Some of the vendors I’m dealing with in the blogosphere are having a difficult time with my frankness. They think I’m picking on them. I’ve got news for them: it’s not just you. Click Read More to see what I’m talking about.
As I was commenting on SEPATON’s blog tonight, I thought about how what I do a lot is tell vendors what I don’t like about their products, and I’m now doing this online. I tell vendors how they can make their product better because I consider myself an advocate for the end user, and I try to speak for them.
Some vendors see a benefit in what I do. They know they always need to make their product better, and having someone telling them how they need to do it helps that along. One vendor yesterday referred to their “make Curtis happy department.” I know she was joking, but it was a nice sentiment none the less.
Other vendors see me as a giant pain and often think I’m picking just on them. And that is just not the case. To prove my point, I thought I’d summarize what I like and don’t like about a lot of major vendors and products.
- NW’s been around a long time and is pretty simple to use — until you need to automate the copying of tapes in a large environment. Hope you’re good at scripting.
- Great for remote offices and relatively small datacenters. I don’t like that it requires a separate infrastructure from NW.
- Lot of features and a strong command-line interface. Good luck making sense of all that. There are literally thousands of pages of manuals to sort through.
- Also great for remote offices and relatively small datacenters. I don’t like that it requires a separate infrastructure from NBU.
- Love the concepts of how storage pools are handled and how data is automatically cycled through them. But from a complexity standpoint it makes NBU look easy.
- Lots of focus on feature areas where the above three really stink. Not enough focus on manageability features for larger environments. (Way too much pointing and clicking to get things done.)
- Based on their MAID platform and FalconStor’s dedupe. They have had limited customer penetration. See comments on FalconStor.
- Data Domain
- First mover and market leader. Strong product and you and they know what it does. They support OST. They are missing global (multi-node) dedupe and sometimes their literatures suggests otherwise.
- EMC 1500/3000
- Quantum DXi on Clarion disk. They support OST and Direct-to-tape features. See comments on Quantum.
- EMC 3D 4000
- It’s a 3D 3000 plugged into the back of an EDL 4000. Doesn’t support OST Or Direct-to-tape. Nice way to add dedupe to an existing EDL, but I don’t see why anyone would buy this as a new system.
- Strong dedupe vendor for the SMB with global dedupe (5 nodes) and replication. They don’t scale as large as their competitors, but they’re aiming for a different market.
- They advertise good numbers and global dedupe, but many of their VTL partners went elsewhere for dedupe. One of the reasons for this is that early versions were buggy. They are the only vendor to support OST with a Fibre Channel interface (others use IP). They have invited me to visit to increase my confidence in the product, and I haven’t been able to do so yet.
- They’re fast and they’ve got global dedupe for two nodes. I’m not sure how soon two-node dedupe will go to three or four nodes. They’re missing integrated replication and OST.
- Very interesting architecture. They’ve had limited customer penetration.
- NetApp NearStore NAS
- NetApp’s ASIS is free with your ONTAP license, so that’s nice. They’re not going to win any dedupe ratio awards with it, but it’s the ONLY product to be deduping all active, primary storage data. They can dedupe VMWare vmdk files! Not global, local to flex-vols only. Bummer.
- NetApp NearStore VTL
- Their dedupe VTL finally has dedupe. Its dedupe is delta differential based but does not yet have OST, RAID 6 or replication.
- Overland REO
- Smaller version of the Diligent product that is a lot more expensive than what they usually sell.
- Strong offering and they support OST and Direct-to-tape. They have one major flaw: restores from the block pool are very slow. My opinion: until this is resolved you need a week of cache and weekly full backups so you don’t get bit by it.
- They’re fast and they have global dedupe up to five nodes. They don’t have deduped replication & OST. They’re content aware, which means they need to understand your backup format to support it. If they support your backup product (NBU, TSM, & DP), then you’re set. If they don’t, no dedupe for you.
Some of these vendors will again be upset for me bringing some of these things up, but I’m trying to make a point. I’m not picking on anyone, and certainly not on EMC (as some have suggested from some of my recent posts). I’m just doing my job of bringing truth to light.
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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 Architect 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.