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Exagrid slides out smoothly scalable Data Domain beater

100TB without having to change boxes

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Start-up Exagrid has introduced a 10TB dedupe appliance, configurable in a 10-node deduplication grid or cluster, with global reduplication across the nodes and Data Domain-beating performance.

Exagrid provides disk-to-disk backup deduplication appliances that connect in a grid architecture for the mid-market. The company says its users can scale its grid to grow capacity and avoid replacing one dedupe box with a bigger one.

Its EX10000E is a 10TB, 4U deduplication appliance that uses Nehalem processors and stores data on 1TB SATA drives. It has a 1.8TB/hour backup data ingest rate. A grid of ten of them has 100TB capacity and an 18TB/hour backup data ingest rate. This compares to that of EMC/Data Domain's top-end box, the DD880 which has a 5.4TB/hour aggregate backup performance. That machine does its deduplication inline, while Exagrid's is post-process.

Steve Jenkins, Exagrid's EMEA manager, said: "We have a very similar architecture to the Isilon approach (and) we're the largest unified system out here by an order of magnitude."

The DD880 uses a 4-socket, quad-core Xeon processor engine and it's apparent that it will progress to a Nehalem processor base with a consequent uplift in performance.

Deduplication in Exagrid's grid is done globally. Exagrid's Jeff Crum, a senior product manager, said: "We have redundant mapping tables across all the nodes and they can take advantage of a global reduplication index."

Part of the company's pitch is that users can start with a single 1TB appliance and grow to a 10-node grid without tossing out any box. This means, it says, that as a user's backup data set increases in size, the Exagrid set-up can scale up both in performance and capacity and keep the same backup window. It can also replicate its data to a remote Exagrid for business continuity and disaster recovery.

Exagrid says its products are smoothly scalable whereas other suppliers have to change boxes if their customers want to scale up. It doesn't name suppliers here but one of them is now headquartered in Hopkinton.

In general, deduplication has become a standard part of a large storage supplier's offering, with EMC purchases of Avamar and Data Domain being part of this. There is a relatively small number of independent suppliers.

Falconstor supplies software through OEMs and channel partners. CommVault supplies its deduplication as part of an archive software product set through OEMs and resellers. Quantum sells its DXi dedupe through partners such as EMC and a channel. Sepaton supplies its own hardware and has an OEM deal with HP. Exagrid sells through a channel of resellers and system integrators and is going for the performance leader crown.

A 22TB starter DD880 is priced at £248,000. The EX10000E is sized according to a customer's backup data amount and prices start from £54,000 or $85,900. ®

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