Data Domain, the deduplication market leader, has also been a leader in leveraging deduplication's ability to replicate data. In fact Data Domain states that 60 to 70% of their customer base now use the replication option. On September 22nd they announced several updates to their operating system and Replicator software option that further enhance their replication capabilities. This update has three core elements. First they can now do a cascaded replication which allows for additional multi-site DR protection. Second they expanded the use of their global deduplication, meaning more sites can "fan-in" to a single target system and third they have improved the performance of the directory replication on higher speed links.

Multi-site protection with cascaded replication allows for multiple DR sites. For example a Dallas office could be the target DR site for all (up to 180) the branch offices that a company may have, then the Dallas office could replicate to London for protection from a broader disaster. Alternatively the organization could leverage a service like that offered by Simply Continuous if they don't have a third site to replicate to. The cascaded replication leverages cross-site deduplication, and data that already exists in the tertiary DR site won't be re-transmitted across the WAN nor of course stored at the DR site.

Increased fan-in is more of an evolutionary step in Data Domain’s replication advancements as the fan-in rates have been steadily increasing over the past few years. Much of the fan-in ratio is dependent on the size of the system at the primary site. For example the Data Domain D880 can receive up to 180 replication jobs simultaneously while the mid-range D565 system can receive 45.

A use case could be an organization with remote branch offices which would deploy Data Domain's DD120 remote office appliance, execute the backup jobs there and then replicate those jobs to a DD565/880 at the main data center and then, now with cascading, replicate the backup data to a third site. This results in a DR strategy that is affordable and rock solid.

Finally Data Domain optimized the replication software to be able to take advantage of higher bandwidth situations when there is significant data to be replicated. Instead of replicating in a single stream, the replication jobs can now perform a parallel transfer of data. Meaning that multiple components of a backup data set can now be multi-streamed across the WAN segment. This is ideal for organizations that have high WAN bandwidth available but only perform backup replication once per day. Multi-streaming allows them to leverage the available bandwidth to get the replication task done as much as 100% faster.

Replication is quickly becoming the most critical requirement for backup deduplication systems. As a result data centers are going to require more than just moving data from point "A" to point "B". They are going to need enhanced capabilities that allow them to meet the ever increasing requirement of disaster recovery.

George Crump, Senior Analyst

Briefing Report