Well, the news is out: EMC announced backup appliances with deduplication today. You can read all about the official announcements, as well as the other backup specific announcements from EMC World at the EMC site if you are so inclined.
I will give my take on the issue below. Forgive the brevity, but we are busy at EMC World, and customer interest is tremendous. Rightly so, I figure. So for now I will offer a very high level perspective, and follow up with a detailed technical analysis later.
The key points to take away are these:
- Scalability. With up to 148 TB of useable deduplicated capacity in a single appliance, we are offering industry leading scalability. That is a virtual capacity of nearly 3 PB at 20:1. Enough to replace 7,500 LTO3 cartridges. In 1.5 racks. With 3 racks, you could replaced 15,000 LTO3 cartridges, or the equivalent of 2.5 9310 Powderhorn Silos. Which would take up about 1000 sq. ft. of data center space. We can explore the math on this, and the impact on cost of ownership of backup infrastructure later. For now, let's just say the scalability is awesome.
- Performance. The new appliances offer up to a 50% improvement on deduplication performance over any existing appliance, and up to 2,200 MB/s of ingest capability. Again, this is a massive performance advantage over the competition.
- Reliability. The only deduplication appliances based on Clariion technology. Clariion which offers a real, observed, 99.999% plus availability. Contrast that with competitive offerings which are founded on 3rd tier (or worse) storage. This is clearly another strategic advantage to the EMC offering.
- Flexibility. The EMC deduplication appliances are the only appliances from a major vendor that offers a simple, policy-based approach to when deduplication is performed: at time of ingest/write, on a schedule, or never. Nobody else provides the flexibility to let you determine the right mix of deduplication and performance to meet your SLAs.
There are a lot of interesting technologies at work here, and a lot of things that are substantially different than what others are doing with deduplication. I will explore those subjects in the weeks to come.
For now, here is what I will conclude with: in one fell swoop, we have blown by the competition. Our first generation product offers 3x the size and up to 6x the performance of 4th and 5th generation products.
EMC has swiftly and unequivocally established a leadership position. We have blown past our competitors with ease.
And you aint seen nothin' yet!