Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??

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Which is the better solution, NetApp or Data Domain and why?


Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??


Data Domain is a one application storage box, specifically it is only useful for connecting to backup software applications, provides efficiency with target deduplication.  NetApp's data protection solution is integrated Snapshots and Replication for a new level of data protection that offers near instant backup, instant recovery, however beyond performance and efficiency the clear differentiation is the convergence of disaster Recovery (DR) and Backup/Recovery (BR) and make use of the backup data. Companies can use the backup data for Test/development, business intelligence, search and custom applications to read the content.  No one else can do this.

Let's say you already use an incumbent backup application such as Symantec NetBackup or CommVault Simpana, you can use inherit features in both to manage NetApp FAS to FAS snapshots and replication. If you need a new Backup/Recovery solution to replace their incumbent BR software they should consider NetApp SnapProtect.

With Data Domain customer gets a storage box that sits there waiting for a recovery request and does nothing more than capture backup data.

  1. Data Domain boxes can only be used for backup and are useless for general-purpose NAS
  2. Data Domain backups are still limited by how fast a server can send data to the appliance
  3. A full restore of a 50TB dataset requires all 50TB to be transferred over the network. How long will that take?
  4. Probably the most important one: even with great dedupe, a 50TB data set needs 50TB of Data Domain usable disk in order to store the backup plus some versions. Then you need another 50TB at the DR site to replicate it. Plus the 50TB of production disk. Plus the 50TB of DR disk to place the recovered data. Total: 200TB.

Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??

Thanks for the reply. That is very true. My problem is that I need to backup physical boxes too and OSSV is no longer being developed. We are a small shop and cannot afford Snap Protect. Our plan would be to keep 7 days of snaps on the primary array and to keep a months work out in the DR site. However, there is no way to catalog what is out in the DR site. So if you need to restore a VM or files from a VM from three weeks back, you would need to Flexcone it, restore the entire volume and then grab your file. How long would that take?  If I have a primary array at Site A with VM's and physical servers and I want to replicate to Site B for DR and keep three months of data out there for a restore and 7 days snaps on the primary what would you suggest from a NetApp perspective?

Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??

I'm not sure what your spicific situation is, but here is what we are setting up.

We currently have 3 Data Domain appliances. We have already let the maintenance drop on them, because we are going away from that solution.

We also have a lot of physical servers that need a "3rd" party backup solution (we are using CommVault Simpana for this). What our plan moving forward will be is this:

We are going to use our NetApps to act "like" the Data Domains, by creating a large volume on the NetApp system. We are going to let the NetApp do the rest. Since the NetApps have de-dupe we wont lose the benefits of the Data Domains on that. However, with the Net App SnapShots on the Volumes we are going to be able to keep 7 days on site and then Replicate it to our "offsite" location for the rest of the 30 day retention.

As we convert our physical servers to VMs we will slowly reduce the need for the 3rd party backup solution, and reduce the need to use the NetApp for Backup storage. 

Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??

That is very similar to what we are trying to do. Why are you moving away from Data Domain?  Do you use Copmmvault Simpana for the physical servers only?

Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??

When we first set-up our VM environment we were not using the NetApps. We didn't even have them. So we did set-up our CommVault to backup the VM as if they were physical servers. We still have a few of them being backed up through CommVault, but for the most part all VMs are being backed up through the NetApp SnapShots now.

As for why we are moving away from the Data Domains. Mostly for the same reasons that Korso stated in reply to your initial question. The Data Domains are fast at writing data, but are very slow at reading it. I was running into problems doing AUX copies to get my data off of the Data Domains and onto Tapes for offsite storage. Believe it or not the Tape speed was not the bottleneck, but the Data Domains were.

Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??

This post is very interesting as my organization has a similar configuration (CommVault + Datadomian).

John - How will you be presenting the NetApp backup volume to CommVault? As a lun or CIFS share? Will you use CommVault replication or snapmirror to mirror the volume to your DR site?



Re: Backup Solution - Netapp or Data Domain??


Since this is a temporary set-up just to get Us to a point where we can remove the Data Domains and get the rest of our Physical servers converted to VMs. We will be presenting the NetApp volume as a CIFS share. Even now our SQL transaction log backups (running through CommVault) are pointed to a NetApp CIFS Share. Once the backup data is on the NetApp we'll be using the SnapMirror to get it off site to the DR system.