EMC Data Domain Review

Admirable technical support, but could use real-time online backup and restore


What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution with NetWorker. currently we are using it to back up our sap ERP. We have scheduled backup at intervals. We have two DDs, one Data Domain is on the Production Site while the second Data Domain is on the DR site. NetWorker backs up the SAP ERP to the Data Domain in the Production site and the backup is automatically cloned to the DR DataDomain.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we deployed the NetWorker, the process was to have the backup uploaded to an external drive, then the external drive would be transported from the Production Site to the site where we would then initiate the restore process. Now the backup is scheduled, and the entire process is automated

Restore is now done remotely to the recovery host over the WAN.

What is most valuable?

The feature that is most valuable is the Data Domain Boost. With the DD Boost, it takes minimal time to clone very large data over WAN to the DR site with a very reasonable bandwidth. Over 1.5 TB of data is cloned every day. The cloning process is seamless. 

What needs improvement?

With very minimal cost implications, we would want to have a real-time online backup solution.

It would be perfect to see EMC include real-time online backup option to significantly reduce RPO, if possible 0. Currently, backup is scheduled at intervals.

One other important feature to add to Networker is bare metal restore.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had any issues with Data Domain. It has been very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Data Domain is scalable, the appliance can be expanded at any point in time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I admire EMC for their technical support. In general, they are very responsive, and in this case, it is no different. They supported the system without any issues. 

I think that the users needs some training before and after implementation for better understanding of the solution. I have gone for the training.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Previously, we tried deploying Tivoli Storage Manager. Tivoli was very complex. The backup and the restore procedures were complex, and the backup process took a very long time. 

There was an eighty percent improvement with EMC Data Domain.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup wasn't complex. It was straightforward. 

All that we had to do was to  install the application on the hosts, and provide all of the parameters for the database.

Understanding the customer's needs is what is most important. The implementation was not complex at all.

Everything from delivery of the server to implementation took between one to two months aside aside waiting time for hardware delivery. 

The deployment method was on-premises and took less than ten members to deploy it. 

What about the implementation team?

EMC did the deployment. The deployment team was very experienced and professional

What was our ROI?

We had a major crash at the Production Site, which caused a failure to our server on the site. The restore process was good, and for that alone it goes a long way. We don't have to manually transport the backup to the site. It eliminates the transport costs, and the data integrity is huge, so we are fine with it. Hence, the return on investment is huge and its instant.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In Naira it was about twenty-seven million (approximately $75,000 USD) for the implementation and maintenance cost for three years. All that is needed now is the maintenance cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We tried IBM TSM and it didn't work. It was complex. Before IBM TSM it was a manual process, backup was done on external storage/ Tape and then transported daily from Production to DR Site. It was expensive, tedious and time consuming. In fact it was not a good experience moving the backup manually to the DR site.

What other advice do I have?

The users should embark on the EMC NetWorker /Data Domain training before the implementation.

Considering past experiences, I will rate this product a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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