EMC NetWorker Gets DD Boost Integration, New Pricing

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EMC’s NetWorker backup and recovery software has gotten a Boost. The company today announced a range of new features and pricing options for NetWorker, including integration with the Data Domain DD Boost software, replication for scheduling and monitoring of backups at all sites, and an array of productivity enhancements, such as checkpoint restart, simplified cloning, and disk load balancing and space management capabilities.

The DD Boost software, which made its debut at this year’s EMC World conference in Boston, offloads a Data Domain target device by moving segmentation and fingerprinting onto the backup server, freeing up bandwidth for the Data Domain appliance.

EMC claims Boost can cut the backup load by as much as 40 percent, which equates to 80 to 99 percent less backup LAN bandwidth and a 50 percent faster Data Domain box.

According to Rob Emsley, senior director of EMC’s Storage Division, said the integration of NetWorker and Data Domain will help EMC’s 30,000 NetWorker customers “accelerate their transition to next-generation backup and recovery.”

The DD Boost software requires NetWorker version 7.6 SP1. Prior to today’s release, NetWorker users were forced to communicate with Data Domain deduplication appliances as virtual tape libraries (VTL) or as file systems via CIFS or NFS. The new integration allows for a new device type that uses the DD Boost software option as a method for direct communication with NetWorker backup servers.

“This is the [highest performance] option for NetWorker customers because it uses a lightweight IP communication protocol and distributes the deduplication process to both Data Domain and NetWorker storage nodes, while sending less data over the network to the Data Domain boxes,” said Emsley.

Traditional backup servers typically use protocols such as NFS or CIFS. However, these protocols were not developed for backup and they tend to be inefficient. Data Domain first began bypassing CIFS and NFS when it started supporting Symantec’s (NASDAQ: SYMC) Open Storage Technology (OST).

DD Boost is a generalization of Data Domain’s OST-related code that allows for the functionality outside of NetBackup environments. According to EMC, DD Boost has added functionality that makes it faster and more efficient than the OST-only version. Used with a DD880 deduplication device, it changes throughput from 5.5 TB per hour to 8 TB.

Data Domain integration aside, the biggest change to NetWorker may be its pricing model. EMC has overhauled NetWorker pricing by offering a capacity-based licensing option in addition to the existing feature-based pricing model. Emsley said capacity-based licensing simplifies the purchasing process for existing and (more importantly) new customers.

“We are giving NetWorker customers the option of licensing their use of the product based on source-based capacity no matter which product features they use,” he said. “If you have a small amount of capacity and a large number of clients, the capacity-based model would be more cost-effective, and vice versa.”

Emsley said the move is more about simplification than it is about price reduction. “The pricing has been feature-based with different licenses for Exchange, NAS, Windows clients, etc. That option is still available, but we have simplified that over time by removing some licenses and combining others.”

In addition to DD Boost, the NetWorker Management Console can now manage EMC Data Domain Replicator for scheduling and visibility of all backups at both primary and secondary locations including support for separate retention policies.

The software also supports wizard-based discovery and configuration streamlines setup of Data Domain systems and new monitoring and reports simplify system administration.

The NetWorker Management Console can now configure and schedule clones, allows backups to be restarted from the point of interruption, and optimizes the use of Advanced File Type Devices, including new load balancing capabilities and space management.

Users can purchase capacity-based licenses in 10TB increments. EMC said the list price for NetWorker Data Domain Device Type licensing starts at $9,590.

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Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega
Kevin Komiega is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

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