Data Domain Moves De-Dupe Up Market

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With a new high-end de-duplicationappliance, Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP) has erased all doubt that the company is targeting just midsize enterprises. The new unit features quad-core processors and extensive remote site support for data replication.

Faster and larger than the DD580, Data Domain’s previous high-end model, the DD690 puts the Santa Clara-based vendor shoulder-to-shoulder with technology from the likes of Quantum (NYSE: QTM), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), IBM (NYSE: IBM), EMC (NYSE: EMC) and smaller vendors such as ExaGrid.

De-duplication technology scours data archives to remove redundant information and shrink files, meaning less data to house and store.

The DD690 proves Data Domain has resolved its once-limiting scalability issue and should quiet critics who viewed the vendor as a one-segment player, according to pundits.

“This is a dramatic push that shows Data Domain has the capacity that bigger enterprises need,” said Dave Russell, vice president of storage technology and strategy for Gartner. “They’ve been playing a pretty steady drumbeat of scalability with product news, but this cracks the ceiling a little more.”

Competition among de-dupe players is getting fierce due to enterprise demand and advancing technologies. Analyst firm Robert W. Baird expects the optimized disk-to-disk storage market to grow from $250 million this year to about $1 billion by 2009. Analysts peg Data Domain as the early leader in the space.

De-dupe competitor FalconStor (NASDAQ: FALC) experienced a 33 percent bump in first-quarter revenues, hitting $21.8 million, compared with $16.3 million during the same period last year. The Melville, N.Y.-based vendor anticipates revenues to hit between $100 million and $150 million by year’s end.

The primary reason for such growth is that de-duplication saves money and storage requirements.

The growth is already happening, given this year’s first-quarter earning results. Data Domain reported revenue of $52.6 million, a jump of 160 percent from 2007’s first quarter.

The new DD690 appliance is likely one reason why the company is hiring sales personnel aggressively. In the quarterly earnings call, CEO Frank Slootman told analysts that his company had hired 92 sales and marketing employees in the past three months.

Data Domain’s DD690 uses quad-core processors versus the dual core used in previous boxes. That should prove appealing to IT managers wanting more speed for bigger and expanding backup jobs.

“This is in line with Data Domain’s technology strategy to leverage commodity, high-performance components to achieve greater scale and throughput,” Russell said.

The device also supports more remote sites for many-to-one replication, as 60 remote appliances can replicate to one central array. This is a big spike as the DD580 provided support for just 20. The DD690 can also automate WAN vaulting for use in disaster recovery, remote office backup or multi-site tape consolidation.

The product features aggregate throughput up to 1.4TB per hour, while a fully configured array with 16 DD690 controllers increases aggregate throughput performance to up to 22TB per hour.

Increased capacity and speed in the DD690, according to Data Domain, provides protection of large databases in short backup windows.

“The only place Data Domain doesn’t provide benefit at this point is on the primary storage level,” Russell noted. “This device definitely will get Data Domain serious consideration by larger enterprises and medium-size ones looking to expand.”

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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