My long time friend David Chapa just wrote a blog entry called “Mr. Backup makes predictions for 2010. He shoots and misses!“ I can’t let a title like that go without a response, so, here goes.
He took some pot shots at an article that I wrote of predictions for 2010. First I want to say that I hate predictions articles. Who the heck knows what’s going to happen this year? Who would have guessed what happened last year with the whole Data Domain/NetApp/EMC deal? It’s less than two weeks into this year and Google’s changed the game again with the introduction of their cloud storage service. But TechTarget asked me to write one so I did.
His first complaint is that I predict target dedupe to grow and that’s a no-brainer. It may be so, but there are some vendors predicting otherwise, so I thought I’d at least say that. He then hints at why shouldn’t a customer just put their backups on a NetApp that has dedupe built in it? How do I count the reasons?
1. It will inevitably end up costing them more. Their dedupe is less robust (read lower dedupe ratio) than other dedupe systems, it’s only within a single flex-vol (it’s less global than data domain), etc. That translates into buying a lot more disk — and nothing’s free.
2. The performance is less than other dedupe systems. If you’re going to be a target for backups, you need massive performance. NetApp’s got some nice systems, but thousands of MB/s they don’t have.
So you would get more performance and more storage for less money by buying a real target dedupe system. (NetApp knew that, which is why they tried to buy Data Domain.) I like NetApp for a lot of things, but as a target for regular backups (e.g. NetBackup/NetWorker/TSM/CommVault, etc.) not so much. I didn’t mention NetApp in the target dedupe section because nobody else sees them as that either.
He then asks a what if. Sorry I don’t do what ifs. What if NetApp had won Data Domain? Would I have to respond to this blog post? What if monkeys fly out of my butt? I don’t know.
He complains that I didn’t mention NetApp in my source dedupe section. Um, cause they don’t HAVE a source dedupe product? I listed all the vendors I knew of. NetApp doesn’t have a source dedupe product. He says that they have other ways to back up VMware. That wasn’t what it was about. It was about source dedupe — and they don’t have a product in that space.
The next complaint is that I left NetApp out of the cloud backup section. Again, cause they don’t have a cloud backup product. Hello? I know you guys are pushing your storage as the platform for the cloud. I even know that one cloud storage provider is using it as their storage. But that paragraph wasn’t about cloud storage; it was about cloud backup — and you don’t have a cloud backup service. And as to cloud backup — who got mindshare last year? That would be Mozy/EMC. Sorry.
And then he thought it was really weird that I mentioned the vStorage API and that it would really change things. Let’s see… VMware is HUGE, right? Like 95% of datacenters huge, right? And VMware backup is a pain, right? And vStorage is finally poised to fix that, right? (Well, except for the whole VSS thing that I didn’t know about when I wrote the article.) That to me seems like something poised to really move in 2010. What’s so strange about that?
And again I didn’t mention NetApp when talking about things that would change VMware backup in 2010. That’s because (while I actually think they are one of the two best ways to back up VMware) I don’t think they’re really going to move much more of it in 2010 than they did in 2009. I’m not saying they won’t sell it; I’m just saying it’ll be a lot like 2009.
Now I get it. He didn’t like that EMC, Mozy, Data Domain, Avamar, and VMware (all EMC products or companies) all came up as game changers in 2010, and not one NetApp product made the list. Sorry. I like their products, but I don’t see any games being changed in 2010 because of them. Sorry I have to say it like that, but he asked why.
----- Signature and Disclaimer -----
Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Evangelist at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.