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2024-25 DCIG TOP 5 Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Targets U.S. Edition Report Now Available


DCIG 2024 25 TOP 5 Sub 2PB Cyber Secure Backup Targets US Icon 600DCIG is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the 2024-25 DCIG TOP 5 Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Targets U.S. Edition Report. This report provides guidance on the TOP 5 cyber secure backup targets that organizations should consider in their fight against ransomware. These TOP 5 backup targets afford organizations the best options for accelerating backups, repelling ransomware attacks, and facilitating restores and recoveries.



Organizations have historically measured backup targets based on how well they minimally deliver on the following three features:

  • Backup throughput speeds.
  • Data reduction.
  • Economical storage.

Ransomware threats and attacks have forced organizations to add at least one more core feature to this list: cyber security.

Organizations and managed service and technology providers now regularly report that many ransomware stains routinely target their backup infrastructures. Some ransomware strains even start their attacks by seeking to compromise or disable backup targets. They do so in one or more of the following ways:

  • Compromise or obtain administrative logins to these systems.
  • Delete backups residing on them.
  • Encrypt backups residing on them.
  • Exfiltrate, or copy, backups from the system to the hacker’s site.



Only recently have storage providers, as a group, begun positioning their network attached storage (NAS) solutions as backup targets. Prior to that, few storage providers formally marketed their NAS systems as backup targets. While NAS systems could serve in this role, providers downplayed this functionality.

Today, few providers exhibit any concerns about their NAS solutions being used in this role. More than 20 different storage providers promote more than 100 production storage systems on their respective websites as backup targets.

While many storage systems support multiple storage protocols, this report focuses on solutions with file protocol support. These support either the Network File System (NFS), the Common Internet File System (CIFS), or both. These NAS solutions provide the following benefits for backup that organizations frequently want:

  • Backup software can easily discover and utilize these solutions as backup targets.
  • Client-side software available to accelerate backup throughput.
  • Facilitate fast application, and data, restores.
  • Fast, easy deployment, setup, and management in backup infrastructures.
  • Readily recognized as a storage target by all commonly used operating systems.
  • Utilize standard, cost-effective Ethernet for network connectivity.



Ransomware first attacking backup targets hinders an organization’s ability to recover from an attack. Having compromised the backup target in any of these ways, the ransomware then turns to attacking production IT data and systems. If it then succeeds in these attacks in production, organizations may find themselves without any restoration or recovery options.

In preparing this report, DCIG formally evaluated over 100 different storage systems based on multiple different features and capabilities. Twelve of these solutions met DCIG’s criteria for a Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Target in the U.S. Edition of this report.

 The general categories under which the features of these backup targets fell included:

  • API/network protocols supported.
  • Data protection.
  • Hardware configuration.
  • Management.
  • Technical support.

2024 25 DCIG TOP 5 Table US EditionBased on these criteria, DCIG awarded the following Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Targets, in alphabetical order, a TOP 5 ranking:

  • Arcserve OneXafe 4500
  • Dell PowerProtect DD6900
  • ExaGrid EX18
  • HPE StoreOnce 5660
  • iXsystems TrueNAS X20



Each of these twelve cyber secure backup targets offers the core features that organizations should prioritize when selecting a Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Target. Across these twelve backup targets, DCIG evaluated over 170 features on each one. Despite all these solutions scaling from at least 250 TB up to 2PB of raw storage capacity, organizations may only safely assume that each one minimally possesses the following features:

  1. Six (6) Ethernet ports. Since each backup target supports file networking protocols, organizations would expect each one to support Ethernet connectivity. Further, organizations might expect each solution to offer numerous Ethernet ports due to the amount of raw storage capacity supported. Yet organizations may only safely assume any one of these backup targets to offer six ports. Even that number of ports comes with a caveat. Many of the sub-2PB backup targets that offer HA offer controllers in an Active-Passive configuration. In this configuration organizations may only routinely use the Ethernet ports on the Active controller. The remaining ports on the Passive controller remain in standby mode until that controller becomes the Active controller.
  2. Can minimally provide eight terabytes per rack unit. Organizations concerned about the utilization of data center floor space need to pay attention to this metric. Sub-2PB cyber secure backup targets vary widely in their storage density with one model only offering 8 terabytes per rack unit (TB/RU). Another 30 percent support less than 50 TB/RU. On the positive side, five models achieve over 100 TB/RU.
  3. Compression. Due to more storage systems repositioning themselves as backup targets, organizations must verify their data reduction capabilities. With respect to this functionality, organizations may now only assume that all these backup targets offer compression. If they need the solution to deliver deduplication, they should check further. Only slightly more than 65 percent offer deduplication as a core or optional feature.
  4. NFS/SMB protocols. As a report that focuses on backup targets that offer file protocol support, one may assume they support either NFS or SMB. That assumption would be correct. Further, every sub-2PB backup target supports both file protocols. However, not every sub-2PB backup target supports the most secure versions of both protocols. NFSv3 represents the most widely supported secure file protocol across these backups targets as over 90 percent support it. 84 percent also support the SMBv3 protocol. Organizations should also verify if the backup target supports SMBv1, as nearly 70 percent do. This may present a security risk in some organizations. Not every model offers the option to disable SMBv1. If enabled on the backup target, this could present an internal cyber security risk.
  5. Command line interface. Backup targets offer as many as 15 or more ways for organizations to manage them. In the case of sub-2PB backup targets, organizations may only safely assume they can use a command line interface (CLI) to manage one. However, organizations may also manage over 90 percent of sub-2PB backup targets using a web interface.
  6. High levels of technical support. Every provider of sub-2PB cyber secure backup targets offers the option to obtain technical support with 4-hour response times. They may access technical support by either email or phone.



The full 2024-25 DCIG TOP 5 Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Targets – U.S. Edition report is available for download immediately on DCIG’s site with registration by following this link. The full report contains additional details such as:

  • A list of all twelve sub-2PB cyber secure backup targets evaluated.
  • The incentives for hackers to first attack backup targets.
  • Similarities and differences between the TOP 5 sub-2PB cyber secure backup targets.
  • A profile of each DCIG TOP 5 sub-2PB cyber secure backup target that lists at least three (3) ways each one distinguishes itself from the other solutions.


    Other than excerpts from this report published in this announcement, the contents of the 2024-25 DCIG TOP 5 Sub-2PB Cyber Secure Backup Targets – U.S. Edition report are copyrighted and may not be republished without the express written permission of DCIG.


    DCIG will release more DCIG TOP 5 reports in the weeks and months to come. Please sign up for the weekly DCIG Newsletter to receive notice of their availability.

    To learn about DCIG’s forthcoming research and publications, see the DCIG Research and Publication  Calendar.

    Technology providers interested in licensing DCIG TOP 5 reports or having DCIG produce custom reports, please contact DCIG for more information.


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