Since shipping its very first deduplication storage system in 2004, each successive generation of Data Domain product has deduped faster inline and offered extra capacity (both raw and logical capacity). This "continuum" of performance and capacity increases has been marked by some true milestones - such as the recently introduced DD880, which eclipsed the single controller ingest and store to disk speeds of all post-process deduplicating VTLs (and even of many VTLs that don't dedupe at all). And yes, along the way, the features and capabilities of Data Domain systems have evolved with new capabilities (cascaded replication, OST, ability to address archival workloads, retention lock for IT governance, etc.) Putting those enhancements aside for a second and focusing purely on Data Domain's "continuum" of performance and capacity increases, what are we really delivering in terms of unique customer value? In short, it's this: driving down costs of deduplication - while keeping customers ahead of the curve in terms of their data growth challenges.
So why is this interesting? I spent all of last week at SNWin Phoenix, AZ, running the SNIA Data Deduplication Hands-On Lab. Not surprisingly, data deduplication was once again a very popular topic throughout the conference. In the concurrent sessions, many of the vendors were busy arguing about technicalities, and this can definitely make for interesting debates, as well as the occasional farce. While some lab participants were getting their first exposure to the technology, many of them were now well versed in the particulars of the technology and their interest and questions were surprisingly singular in nature. They wanted to know how deduplication can save them money in the face of rapid data growth averaging 50% a year or more.
Well, there are la lot of ways to achieve cost savings with inline deduplication technology, ranging from automation of labor intensive DR processes to the whole tape replacement story. But, curiously, I instead found myself telling these users the same story I've been telling customers since I first joined Data Domain in 2006 - namely the "continuum" of performance and capacity increases demonstrated by each successive generation of our systems. How specifically does this drive down costs? Ultimately, it's all due to our SISL scaling architecture, which leverages the upgraded multi-core CPUs and memory in these new appliances - but, for purposes of this blog post, I'd prefer to address the question at the system and real-world implementation level.
Consider the new mid-range and entry-level deduplication storage systems Data Domain announcedearlier this week (the DD610, DD630 and the DD140 entry-level system). Each of these new systems replaces a previous generation that was similarly targeted for either mid-range enterprise applications/regional data centers or remote office locations. In the case of the new mid-range systems you get 60% more capacity and 100% more throughput performance. For the new entry level remote office system, you get 100% more capacity and 50% better performance. So, cost per Gb goes down (yet again) and price/to performance improves. Users can protect 60%-100% larger datasets and they can write their data 2x faster, enabling them to meet their nightly backup windows.
Based on what these users at the SNW SNIA labs were asking me, I remain convinced that Data Domain's proven track record of ongoing significant performance and capacity increases (while relative costs decrease), may actually be the most important element of the value proposition inline data deduplication offers.
So, I guess we should "continue the continuum?"