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back to article Why do they even call it a backup appliance? Just call it an EMC

In the purpose-built backup appliance market, IDC numbers show EMC reigning supreme in revenue share terms while everybody else basically sucks. Only one rival, Symantec, has a greater than 10 per cent share. Here are the bald revenue share per cent numbers for the fourth 2012 quarter as tracked by IDC's number-crunchers: - EMC …

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Things to think about for a backup system.

How many parts have to fail to render your media unreadable?

Can you remove the media from the box and stick it in another box and read it there?

Do you buy backup because it's cheap or because if your primary system f**ks up it's all that's standing between you and either personal or company bankruptcy?

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

I wouldn't describe Data Domain as a backup appliance, I'd be hard pushed to describe Avamar as dedicated.

Data Domain is a VTL, more or less. Avamar can be a dedicated backup appliance, but it can also be a storage node for Networker, which makes it not a dedicated backup appliance, very similar to Symantec's PureDisk.

I would describe the NetBackup and Backup exec appliances as dedicated, as the whole box does the storage and runs the software.

Again, looking at IBM, I wouldn't say that their products are dedicated backup appliances, they're more akin to VTLs, but I would say that there are a few companies making TSM based dedicated appliances.

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Silver badge

EU to the Rescue

Isn't EMC guilty if being too good? If no one else can get into the space why isn't the EU 'probing' them?

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Coat

Re: EU to the Rescue

Even a monopoly is not against the law as long as you follow the rules. EMC buying a competitor might be something that the EU would look into. And if you are thinking of Google it is not the size but their "methods" that are probed. And for Microsoft it was using a "monopoly" to create an other.

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K
Bronze badge

Interesting

I'm in the process of planning our backup replacement, so it certainly gives food for thought. Guess the real question is are EMC top dog because they are good? Or just because they are the "Cisco" of the storage world?

Dell are currently are trying to push AppAssure on us, its an interesting product on the surface. But wondering what other peoples experience is?

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AppAssure user chiming in...

...I love it. It's dead simple to use and works really well. I have it deployed on a virtual machine at the moment, backing up a dozen VMs to a CIFS volume on our NetApp. We're getting almost 60% savings on AppAssure compression ratios.

My big problem is our NetApp is the production storage system. Last thing I want to do is stick my backups on my production platform - they should be on separate storage. Throwing Data Domain into the racks to further improve space efficiency just makes sense. Yes, Dell makes the DR4000 or whatever (Ocarina-based) but unless you're buying the AppAssure hardware appliance, I wouldn't bother - Data Domain is the best for a reason.

As soon as Data Domain lands in my racks, we'll be pulling the plug on Backup Exec and using our LTO-4 library for monthly dumps to tape for compliance. AppAssure software pointing to a Data Domain target is the way forward for us.

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K
Bronze badge

Re: AppAssure user chiming in...

M.B. Can I ask the purpose of pointing AppAssure to a Data Domain? I was told AppAssure already had De-Dupe.

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Boffin

Re: Interesting

ExaGrid is a small company that would fall under that "others" category. They have a pretty good scale-out method. Haven't used one myself in production, but was looking into them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting

Depending on how much data you have to manage you may also want to take a look at Actifio. Their kit is like AppAssure for the Enterprise.

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Re: AppAssure user chiming in...

It has built-in compression algorithms. Dell themselves sell an AppAssure appliance which combines the AppAssure data efficiency set with the Ocarina-based technology they've built into the DR4000 platform to crank the ratios up even further. I'm looking to get Data Domain on loan for a month or so to see how much space efficiency it can add on top of AppAssures compression algorithm. FYI we're getting 60% space savings already on a wide mix of virtual machines (RHEL, W2K8/R2, W2K3) . Once we start adding multiple W2K8 and RHEL boxes into the mix with dedupe, I would expect some interesting results.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting

Its not because they are the "cisco" of backups. On the surface it may appear that way because of the "landgrab", but don't discredit the backup products they represent solely on this. They have a very good backup portfolio, they wouldn't be market leaders if their products weren't effective.

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Anonymous Coward

Symantec

I would have agreed with the last statement if it was a saturated market, but I suspect that many existing BackupExec and NetBackup customers will switch to the Symantec appliances - it just makes sense...

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Leading a dead-end maybe

People do not want to write tapes anymore because (a) they cannot write them fast enough because they are drowning in file-level metadata, and (b) they are only used for data-burial, there is no useful thing that be done with them after that.

Data Domain is an electric casket; your data is still dead, but now you have to keep it plugged-in, too.

If you are going to bury your data, use /dev/null, it is a lot cheaper.

Yes, there are people dumb enough to buy electric caskets, but that still doesn't make it sensible.

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Re: Leading a dead-end maybe

Alternately, people don't want tapes anymore because everybody who wants them already has owns them. Given the quarter million hour MTBF it's not like they need replacing often, you know?

Just because tape is no longer suitable for a large data centre does not mean that it's useless. There is a frigging huge mass of SME's with a handful of servers still using tapes for good reason, they have good data storage capacity (including easy implementation of off site backups) at a low cost and don't have the same security implications that uploading all of your data to an "online backup" provider has.

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Bronze badge

Re: Leading a dead-end maybe

> "tape is no longer suitable for a large data centre does not mean that it's useless. "

Tape still has a role in many large data centre's however it is behind the virtual tape system; one client has 6 StorageTek Powerhorn's to handle their archival needs...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Leading a dead-end maybe

Tell that to the regulatory and compliance groups that have the ability to shut down our business- We'd love to stop sending tapes off-site on a daily basis, but we can't because those two groups haven't given their rubber stamp on the two data domain boxes we have (one at our main data center, which replicates to our DR bunker offsite).

Granted, even if they *did* give their approval, we'd still be sending a weekly/monthly/yearly tape copies offsite per current best practices and for archival reasons.

Anon to protect my cushy governmental-owned entity provided paycheck.

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fby
Facepalm

Market share?

so is this 70% of the 1% that uses backup appliances?

I expect quite a number of cases of 'backup software on a commodity, but dedicated' servers are in use, but left out of the market overview

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fby

Re: Market share?

it should have read revenue share

in that case EMC usually wins anyway

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Silver badge
Alert

Good lord. From time to time I have to test/adapt our software to EMC's latest offerings and it's the one I fear the most (NetBackup coming a close second). Typically it takes a few hours to get it installed and sort-of working(*) then actually kicking off the handful of manual backups I want is fraught. I vaguely recall having to create a schedule for manual backups or some-such idiocy.

I dare say for a seasoned admin it all makes sense but not to the casual user.

(*)Usually we get mired in DNS issues and end up being able to kick off backups using the client agent or from the server console but rarely both.

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