Open letter to EMC, future owners of DDUP

In this world where everyone seems to be writing open letters to other people, I thought I’d do the same.  Hopefully they’ll see it.

Greetings, EMC employees!

Congratulations on your acquisition (alright, still proposed acquisition) of Data Domain.  It’s a good product with real market leadership.  They do have one big limitation that I hope you address soon and a major benefit that I hope you continue to develop.

Lack of Global Dedupe

Currently when a Data Domain customer needs more that 35 TB of usable disk or more than 500 MB/s, they must buy multiple Data Domain heads to manage that.  I have blogged about this previously. This is a bigger problem than some want to admit, as my arguments with some of your bloggers has illustrated.  (We were arguing how your Quantum-based product has the same issue, and they continue to want to talk about two Quantum heads as if they’re one.)

Data Domain has been working on this challenge for some time now. They were originally going to come out with global dedupe in 2009, then it slipped to 2010.  Please put this project on the front of your radar and do not allow it to become derailed due to the acquisition.  They have been losing ground over the last several quarters ($$ attributed to new customers has stayed flat for five quarters), while competitors that have this feature have gone up and up.

Keep support NetBackup’s OST

NetBackup’s OST (which I’ve also previously blogged on) significantly increases the ease with which you can manage, report on, and use replicated copies of your backups that happen to reside on Data Domain and others.  Data Domain was the first to support this functionality, and a significant portion of their revenue already comes from it.

I can imagine that some people sitting in some chairs might not be thrilled about one of your products being made more useful by a competitor’s products.  This may cause those people to not be too thrilled about supporting OST.  While I can’t see them pulling it, I can see them not wanting to be a leader in supporting the next release, which includes support for back-end tape.  Please don’t do that.  Please have the DDUP folks continue to be leaders in that area.

NetWorker’s answer to OST

You’re probably already working on an answer to OST.  You could do so in a way that is just as proprietary as OST is.  I’ve already blogged that I think that this is a bad idea.  While I do think you (and other ISVs) need similar functionality, I’d like you to see this as a similar problem that was solved by NDMP years ago and do something differently.

You can use your market dominance to force meetings.  You’ll have a leading backup software app and the leading target dedupe system.  Force meetings between competitors and see what they all want to do.  It’ll be good for the market, and ultimately will help you sell more DDUP systems to customers of other backup software products.  You do understand that last part, right?  If there was an industry standard way to manage and use replicated copies you could sell more replicated systems!  Please consider this, and I’d be happy to act as a catalyst in any way.



----- 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.