I have heard it said that you cannot compare the complexity found in small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to what is found in the “really big” enterprise shops. That is certainly true in some cases but when one starts to examine the complexity associated with backing up, recovering and managing data at the dozens of branch offices that many SMEs support, it equates to any challenge that large enterprises face. However it is this exact complexity that the new features on the Nexsan Dedupe SG 2.0 are designed to address.
As SMEs transition from using tape to disk as a primary backup target in their remote and branch offices, they quickly find out that using disk as a backup target is easier said than done. While it solves their day-to-day backup and recovery problems, new levels of complexity await, especially as it pertains to managing the solution and ensuring that it meets new demands for power, space and cost efficiency. These requirements include:
- Appropriately sizing the storage capacity of the backup target at each site
- Replicating the backup data to a central data center
- Controlling what data is replicated
- Scheduling when this replication occurs
- Ensuring the solution maintains constant availability
No silver bullet may exist that hits on all of these challenges but the Nexsan Dedupe SG 2.0 comes pretty close to doing so. The Nexsan Dedupe SG 2.0, which leverages version 2.0 of FalconStor’s File-interface Deduplication System (FDS) as it deduplication engine, combines the new features found in FDS with its wide arrange of storage models and focus on delivering highly efficient storage systems to better tackle this next generation of disk-based backup challenges.
Since remote and branch offices each contain varying amounts of data to backup, Nexsan offers seven (7) different Dedupe SG models. Each one includes the new FDS 2.0 software though they come with different size storage repositories and optional 10 GbE interfaces.
The smallest unit, the DDSG-4, supports up to 80 TBs of logical data capacity (assuming a 20:1 deduplication factor) and is intended for use in the smallest of remote offices. At the other end of the spectrum, the DDSG-72 can scale up to 1.4 PBs of deduplicated data which puts it in the realm of enterprise solutions.
This range of Nexsan models gives organizations the option to place an appropriately sized appliance in each of their offices. Once in place, they can leverage the new features found in FDS 2.0 to address this aforementioned issues that disk-based backup creates.
For instance, one new feature that FalconStor added to FDS 2.0 was to increase its replication fan-in ratio from 32:1 to 150:1. This gives organizations using the Nexsan Dedupe SG 2.0 the flexibility to deploy appropriately sized SG models at their remote offices as backup targets and then replicate that data back to a larger Dedupe SG 2.0 model (say, the 26, 52, or 72 models) in the home office.
Another new feature that Dedupe SG 2.0 brings to the table is the ability to better control what data is replicated and when. It does this in a few ways. First, the Dedupe SG 2.0 can now globally deduplicate data so only new unique deduplicated chunks of data at remote sites are replicated back to the central site. This minimizes the amount of data sent which in turn decreases the amount of bandwidth that organizations need for replicating data to their remote site.
Second, Dedupe SG 2.0 users can select which files and/or folders that they want to replicate. It is conceivable and quite probable that all of the data backed up at a remote site will not need to be replicated back to a central data center. Using the new policy features found in Dedupe SG 2.0, users can optionally control at a very granular level which data at a remote site get replicated back to the central data center. In so doing, this can further save on network bandwidth requirements and minimize the size of the Dedupe SG 2.0 appliance needed at the main data center.
Third, Dedupe SG 2.0 now includes support for the NetBackup OpenStorage API (OST) protocol. While it is unlikely many remote offices use NetBackup, many do use Backup Exec. Since Symantec earlier this week announced support for OST in Backup Exec 2010, this will eventually make it possible for users to leverage either Backup Exec or NetBackup as the tool to set and manage these replication policies.
A final feature that Dedupe SG 2.0 brings to the table is high availability (HA). While HA is available on any Dedupe SG 2.0 model, one would expect users to select this option and deploy it in conjunction with the models that are located in their central data center to ensure it is constantly available as a target for backup and replication as well as a source for recovery.
The Nexsan Dedupe SG 2.0 continues to bring forward all of the features for which Nexsan’s storage systems are historically known for – energy efficiency, space efficiency and high levels of reliability. But now coupled with the powerful new features found in FDS, the Nexsan Dedupe SG 2.0 clearly is well-positioned to address and solve these complex issues that next generation disk-based backup introduces and which many SMEs face.