Buying Guide: Backup Appliances

Posted on February 17, 2016 By Drew Robb

RssImageAltText

IDC recently put out a report on the worldwide purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) market. The big news was declining revenues, which are likely to continue due to changes in the dynamics of this space.

"The worldwide PBBA market experienced a year-over-year decline in the second quarter of 2015 as the market continues to evolve," said Liz Conner, a storage analyst at IDC. "Focus continues to shift away from hardware-centric, on-premise PBBA systems to hybrid/gateway systems. The results are greater emphasis on backup and deduplication software, the ability to tier or push data to the cloud, and the increasing commoditization of hardware, all of which require market participants to adjust product portfolios accordingly."

IDC numbers show EMC as the big kahuna in PBBAs with 60% share, followed by Veritas (Symantec) at 13.4%. IBM, HP and Barracuda make up the top five. Outside of that group, the others category amounts to around 11%.

EMC Data Domain

Although EMC Data Domain started as a backup appliance back in 2003, it has evolved into what EMC calls ‘protection storage.’  These days, these systems can consolidate backup, archive and disaster recovery (DR) on a single platform, It is said to reduce storage requirements by 10 to 30 times on average through variable-length deduplication. Specs include throughput of up to 58.7 TB/hr and up to 86.4 PB of logical capacity. The Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture addresses data integrity issues through inline write/read verification, continuous fault detection and self-healing. It integrates with other backup and archiving apps, and also directly with enterprise applications (like Oracle and SAP) as well as primary storage. There is a wide range of Data Domain units available from SMB size to enterprise level. 

“Traditional backup appliances cannot keep up with the new demands like cloud and big data alongside exponential data growth and increasingly tighter SLAs so they must evolve to offering more,” said Caitlin Gordon, Director of Data Protection Product Marketing, EMC Corporation. “Protection storage is able protect data across consumption models from physical to virtualized environments as well as cloud.”

Veritas

Veritas NetBackup Appliance is a single platform for storage and data protection that works across multiple sites, servers and platforms for virtual and physical environments. The NetBackup 5330 Appliance is a media server with anywhere from 114 TB to 458 TB of storage. The NetBackup 5230 Appliance can be deployed as a NetBackup domain master server, media server, or combination master/media server. It has from 4 to 148 TB usable capacity. They both include Auto Image Replication (AIR), deduplication (at source or target; inline or post-process), Veritas V-Ray technology for better visibility into virtual environments, the Veritas Optimized Operating System, Veritas InfoScale (host intrusion detection and prevention with Critical System Protection, and WAN optimization) and NetBackup Copilot for Oracle (to backup and recover databases, it integrates Oracle, NetBackup software, and NetBackup Appliances).

Companies are turning to integrated PBBA solutions to better manage data by providing greater control and visibility while reducing costs and providing greater investment protection,” said Phil Wandrei, Senior manager for Product Marketing at Veritas. “With more than 40 percent of corporate data not being touched in more than three years, this presents both a data management challenge as well as an opportunity to take control of enterprise environments by managing data more efficiently – eventually cutting costs and lowering the changes of a breach.”

IBM TS7620 ProtecTIER

ProtecTIER is offered in an entry-level appliance known as IBM TS7620 ProtecTIER with up to 35 TB capacity. It is also offered as an enterprise data class gateway, known as IBM System Storage TS7650G ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway. The gateway supports up to 1 PB. Deduplication is inline, provides 100% data integrity and with all processes (background delete, defrag, replication, backup, and restore) done in parallel to boost. Flexible licensing offers the ability to add storage to the gateway. It supports IBM FlashSystems, DS8800, XIV, Spectrum Accelerate, Storwize, EMC and other vendor disk systems. The TS7620 provides up to 300 MB/sec performance for backup and restore while the TS7650G offers up to 2500/3200 MB/sec backup/restore for a dual node system. Another product is the IBM TS7700 virtual tape library that protects data behind IBM z Systems. It offers clustering with native grid cloud replication in dispersed configurations of up to six systems. The TS7700 supports up to 300 PBs of storage (at 3:1 compression).

“Over the last few years, the growth of the PBBA market has continued to slow as the market is mature in terms of deduplication and is now beginning to move towards commodity-based systems developed from Software defined Storage (SDS),” said Levi Norman, Director of Product Marketing, IBM Systems, Enterprise Storage. “But PBBAs have a strong place in the market for performance capabilities that are often difficult to manage in a commodity-based market. There is still great opportunity for entry-level systems to grow significantly as new use cases are identified and open APIs for interface will continue to see adoption in the growth markets, moving away from proprietary protocols.”

HPE StorOnce Systems

HP Enterprise (HPE) offers a range of StoreOnce systems. SMBs have StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) Software, the StoreOnce 3100 and the 35x0. The 5100 unit is aimed for mid-sized enterprises while the 4900 and 6500 are targeted at larger organizations. They include federated deduplication and a guarantee of 95% capacity savings when migrating from legacy backup solutions. There is also flash-integrated data protection for HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage using StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central software (called Express Protect), which provides backup and restore for VMware vSphere environments, with expanded support planned. Performance rates are said to be up to 139 TB/hr. and restore performance of up to 75.2 TB/hr. HPE StoreOnce VSA, for example, is a software-defined data protection solution that can scale from 1 TB (license provided free of charge) to 50 TB and can be deployed in VMware, Hyper-V, and KVM environments.

“An emerging trend is the convergence of primary and backup storage – for example, by using snapshots and ‘snapdiffs,’ but then moving them to a deduplicating backup device for very fast protection and restore, longer term protection, and to maximize the storage space on the primary storage array,” said Andrew Dickerson, Senior Manager, Storage Product Marketing at HPE.

“Consolidation across the data protection ecosystems is accelerating, with appliances needing to do several jobs such as: super-fast protection and restore using snapshots and snapdiffs; directly protecting applications (such as Oracle, SQL etc.) by integrating the deduplication technology with the application for faster protection with maximized deduplication; integration into the backup application or ISV (eg Data Protector, Veeam, etc.) for enhanced deduplication and much improved performance; and strong manageability and reporting capabilities." 

Barracuda

Barracuda Backup is all-in-one data protection solution capable of supporting physical, virtual, on-premises, cloud-hosted, and hybrid environments. Deployment options include hardware or virtual appliance, SaaS cloud-to-cloud backup for Office 365 and support for hybrid scenarios. Initial deployments are said to take as little as 15 minutes and include local storage, software, and built-in offsite replication to either Barracuda Cloud Storage, privately to a separate Barracuda Backup appliance in an offsite location, or to external disk or tape.

Barracuda has recently added Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup for Office 365, which can be used as an add-on to an on-premises Barracuda Backup appliance or as a standalone subscription without an appliance. For Exchange Online, Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup protects email messages and attachments.

“Businesses are rapidly moving to the cloud to leverage solutions like Office 365, which means backup vendors need to not only support this move, but help make the customer experience even better,” said Tony Liau, Senior PMM, Data Protection Solutions, Barracuda. “The PBBA market needs to adapt, and that could mean offering both a traditional on-premises backup option like they always have, but also providing options for backup and recovery once customers decide to migrate to the cloud, so they can get the most out of their cloud investments. It’s important to remember that even though data is in the cloud, it doesn’t mean it’s completely safe as files are still at risk of being accidentally or intentionally deleted.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.


Comment and Contribute
(Maximum characters: 1200). You have
characters left.