Some experts believe replication is where the battle for data de-duplication dominance is being fought. In an effort to strengthen its de-dupe offerings on that front, Data Domain today announced a round of updates to its Data Domain Replicator software option that extends global de-dupe to more remote sites and adds full system replication mirroring.

The Data Domain Replicator software de-duplicates backup, archive and nearline data across multiple sites prior to sending data over the network to a hub location for a global de-dupe, a process that saves bandwidth for distributed enterprises.

With the software updates, Replicator now supports up to 90:1 remote site fan-ins to a single controller for automated global de-duplication. As a result, a single DD690 enterprise system can now support replication fan-in from up to 90 remote sites using smaller Data Domain systems. This means a fully configured DDX array now supports up to 1440:1 fan-in.

Replicator also features new network management options such as replication scheduling and WAN resource throttling and supports full system replication mirroring (also known as “collection replication”), which offers rapid throughput from backup ingest through restore from the replica site. Replicator offers wire-speed transfer of de-duplicated and compressed data on a Gigabit Ethernet link, for up to 21TB/hour of backup image transfer speed.

Data Domain’s Replicator software made its debut in 2004. Since that time, customers have been taking to the technology in droves, according to director of product marketing and channel marketing, Shane Jackson.

“In 2006, we had about a 40% attach rate for replication. Data Domain’s current attach rate for replication is about 65% on system purchases. We credit [the rate of adoption] to a shift in focus by customers toward better disaster recovery,” says Jackson. “Since some accounts add replication licenses after their first system purchase, we believe actual replication deployments are quite a bit higher than the two-thirds we see on initial purchases.”

He expects the attach rate of replication to Data Domain systems will continue to rise as the company moves into large enterprise environments.

“The message is clear that the largest enterprises want more. In some cases, even a 90:1 fan-in ratio isn’t enough,” says Jackson.

The Data Domain Replicator software option is priced in several ways. It is available free of charge for existing customers via an operating system upgrade, as well as on all DD120 entry-level systems. New Replicator license purchases cost $2,540 for the DD510 and approximately $35,000 for the enterprise-class DD690.

Data Domain’s disk-based backup systems support a variety of enterprise backup and archive applications and several transfer protocols, including CIFS or NFS, a virtual tape library (VTL) with Fibre Channel, and the Symantec Veritas NetBackup OpenStorage (OST) interface.

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