EMC Data Domain Review

Has superior data compression capability but there are a few caveats to using this product for data backup

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this product is for backup purposes and compression.

How has it helped my organization?

There are a number of ways that it improved our organization with the processing of backups and saving disk space, but the costs are somewhat prohibitive.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature, beyond simply backing up our servers, is the data compression capability.

What needs improvement?

There are several things that can be improved with this product even though it is not bad. 

The biggest concern for us is the licensing model. In terms of feature capability, there are too many separate modular features that require licensing. I would like to see a Data Domain license for one cost that contains what we need to utilize the product to its full capability. I don't like the idea of having to worry about buying another license to do something else and add functionality. So I am suggesting that it would be good if they made the product more integrated and adaptable.

If I choose not to use only EMC products, it should allow me to make whatever integration I choose to do with ease. It is not so easy to do this.

The technical support after the initial deployment and having the service account manager on site was not so good. They should have better means of support while you are using the product to encourage success with the product and that you remain a customer. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for about nine years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

During the period where you have resident, live support to take care of issues the product remains stable because they help with any issues. Without a service account manager after the initial deployment, the support is poor. Because of this, stability starts to become a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is centralized to the company or business process, so I don't really have users using it as an application. I've got one division — a team — that takes care of data protection which makes use of Data Domain services.

How are customer service and technical support?

The initial, on-premises EMC technical support is pretty good. I have no complaints about them. Although we did have some initial support issues with Data Domain during the implementation, we always had that EMC account manager available. He dealt with most of the support issues when they arose and he was resident on-site. He was there only for as long as he was required to be there. He was very good. So we didn't really have support issues with EMC product initially as they addressed problems fully. However, when we did not have the service account manager resident on-premises anymore, the level of service changed. The regular channels for support are poor and not so responsive or they don't come back with good with solutions.

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

EMC is a solution we are starting to move away from because of the cost more than anything. We are evaluating it along-side a Veritas product currently.

How was the initial setup?

The installation and initial setup of the program was a straightforward process.

What about the implementation team?

We did use EMC services for that initial implementation and had a service account manager on site.

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

I can't say I am very happy with the cost of the EMC product because we also have got a Veritas product. The comparison is that the EMC Data Domain solution is more expensive than the Veritas and they have similar capabilities.

We were satisfied at the time we made the purchase of the EMC product, but subsequently, we went in a different direction. We added another product because we decided the price was too high for the original solution and to continue to add licenses. We are running both environments now.

What other advice do I have?

Anyone who is considering this as a solution should study the availability of the features and caveats surrounding the licensing. You will want to make sure that you are covered for all the capabilities that you require. Then, if you choose to go with the product, I suggest adding a service account manager as part of the initial scope of the project and implementation as that was very helpful to us. That sort of guarantees you will definitely have a more controlled approach to implementation and better continuity from your experience with EMC.

On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the product about seven or eight. For us now it is a little closer to a seven.

A lesson that we learned in using the product is that its CPU capability does not match its storage capacity. These two things should be more in synch to enhance performance.

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