DCIG, LLC Announces Insider's Guides to Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliances

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Second Round of Deduplication Buyer’s Guides Offers Most Advanced Way for End Users to Evaluate Cost-Effective Options to Maximize Backup Operations

DCIG Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliances Under $100,000

"What deduplication did to help fix the broken backup problem and push disk past tape in many companies, is now helping drive the adoption of purpose built backup appliances,” said Jerome Wendt.

The emergence of disk as a viable and cost-effective alternative to tape for backup operations has pushed Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs) to the top of the list for end users looking to gain control of ever expanding volumes of data that need to be managed and protected. What makes PBBAs even more attractive is the inclusion of mainstream deduplication technology. Deduplication usage continues to gain prominence for its ability to reduce data footprints and allow end users to put more data on disk, making the use of disk for data protection more economical, and in many cases accelerates recovery times.

“What deduplication did to help fix the broken backup problem and push disk past tape in many companies, is now helping drive the adoption of purpose built backup appliances,” said Jerome Wendt, president and lead analyst, DCIG, LLC. “End users have always looked for smarter ways to address the problem of runaway storage volumes. Deploying deduplication with data reduction ratios that are 10-20 times better than standard storage technologies, is a powerful addition for anyone wrestling with costs and better ways to manage their ever-growing need for more storage. We’re excited that our newest set of midrange deduplicating backup appliance buyer’s guides will quickly help end users identify a shortlist of appropriate cost-effective solutions to control and minimize their backup data growth needs.”

For the latest Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guides, DCIG, LLC evaluated over 40 offerings from nine companies. After an initial questionnaire of more than 85 questions was completed, participating companies’ capabilities were assessed from the questionnaire and from information available in the public domain. Solutions were then evaluated for more than 100 characteristics, and weighted after conversations with end-users. After scores were compiled, solutions were assessed and ranked either “Best-in-Class,” “Recommended,” “Excellent,” “Good,” and “Basic” across functionality and capability relative to the overall market landscape. The intent for these Buyer’s Guides, as with all DCIG Buyer’s Guides, is to provide an “at-a-glance” comparison from which end users can select the most appropriate solution for their existing needs. These Buyer’s Guides also provide perspective on how solutions from less well known storage providers compare against established and better known brands.

The DCIG 2013 Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliance Under $50K Buyer’s Guide Top 10 solutions include (in alphabetical order): ExaGrid Systems EX10000E, EX7000, EX5000, EX4000, EX3000, EX2000, EX1000; NEC HYDRAstor HS3-410; Quantum DXi4601; and Symantec NetBackup 5230.

The DCIG 2013 Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliance Under $100K Buyer’s Guide Top 10 solutions include (in alphabetical order): ExaGrid Systems EX13000E, EX10000E, EX7000, EX5000, EX4000, EX3000, EX2000; NEC HYDRAstor HS8-3002S; Quantum DXi6700 Series; and Symantec NetBackup 5230.

The ExaGrid Systems EX13000E and EX10000E achieved the “Best-in-Class” ranking in the two respective midrange deduplicating backup appliance buyer’s guides with five other ExaGrid systems earning either “Recommended” or “Excellent” ratings. In comparison to other midrange deduplication appliance evaluated, ExaGrid Systems stood out in the following ways:

  •     Offer a good combination of scalability, management and hardware capabilities
  •     Offer global deduplication, high raw capacity capabilities, instant recovery and scale-out grid architecture, where companies can scale performance without replacing existing nodes as they move up in scale. In particular, the EX10000 can scale up to mid-200 TBs range while the EX13000E can start in the mid-300 TB range. Both can start with low capacity and build continually higher, helping organizations start off with only as much capacity as they need and then increase capacity by choosing increments appropriate to their environment.

"We’re extremely honored to be named ‘Best-in-Class’ by DCIG,” said Bill Andrews, CEO of ExaGrid Systems. “From day one, we’ve been focused on building a cutting edge disk-based backup solution that works through unique scale out and deduplication technology, coupled with top-of-the line management capabilities that is unsurpassed for backup and restore. Seeing the market, and industry analysts, recognize ExaGrid for what we’ve achieved so far will only fuel our drive to continue providing the best backup solutions on the market.”

The DCIG 2013 Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guides achieve the following objectives by:

  •     Providing an objective, third party evaluation of deduplicating backup appliances that evaluates and scores their features from an end user’s perspective.
  •     Scoring and ranking the features of each deduplicating backup appliance based upon the criteria that matter most to end users and then presents these results in an easy to understand table that displays the products’ scores and rankings so they can quickly ascertain which deduplicating backup appliance solution is the most appropriate for their needs.
  •     Providing a standardized data sheet for each of the 20 deduplicating backup appliance solutions from nine different deduplicating backup appliance providers that have starting list prices of $50,000 or less in the Under $50K Buyer’s Guide so users may do quick comparisons of the features that are or are not supported with each product. In the Under $100K Guide, standardized data sheets for each of the 29 deduplicating backup appliance solutions for nine backup appliance providers that are $100,000 or less are included.
  •     Giving any organization a solid foundation for getting competitive bids from different deduplicating backup appliance providers that are based on “apples-to-apples” comparisons.

“While the only certainties in life may be death, taxes and data growth, end users should not have to break the bank in order to manage their backup operations,” added Wendt. “As deduplication helped to shift the usage of disk versus tape for key backup operations, purpose built backup appliances leveraging deduplication technology will most certainly fuel the adoption for this new class of storage.”

Disclosure and Methodology
DCIG identified nine companies that provide midrange deduplication backup appliances with starting list prices of $100,000 or less. Each solution had to meet the following criteria:

  •     It had to be for the deduplication of backup data.
  •     It had do target-based deduplication of backup data.
  •     It had to offer a network attached storage (NAS) interface and support the CIFS or NFS protocols.
  •     It had to have a price range of $100,000 or lower.

In every case the participating vendor had the opportunity to review and respond to the survey and the information regarding their product displayed on the data sheets included in this Buyer’s Guide. Deduplicating backup appliance solutions were then put into the respective Buyer’s Guides based upon their starting price point.

There were some cases where deduplicating backup appliance providers elected not to respond to DCIG’s inquiries or requests. While those products were still covered in this Buyer’s Guide, the information as presented in this Guide may be incomplete or not represent all of the product’s capabilities. In cases where no responses were received, a notation is included on the bottom of that product’s data sheet indicating that all information displayed is strictly drawn from publicly available sources.

DCIG also spoke to various end-users to get a sense of how they would weight their needs in these various areas. DCIG then evaluated the vendors’ capabilities by applying weighting indicated from our conversations with these end-users. No vendors, whether clients or not, were afforded preferential treatment in the Buyer’s Guide. All research was based upon information provided directly by vendors, research and analysis by DCIG and other publicly available information.

It is worth noting that each Buyer’s Guide is not intended to be a substitute for internal testing. DCIG encourages any organization that is considering the purchase of any solution included in a Buyer’s Guide to do its own in-house testing.

The two DCIG Midrange Deduplicating Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guides are available immediately and may be downloaded for no charge with registration at the following link.

DCIG Blog: http://www.dcig.com

About DCIG
DCIG, LLC, is an analyst firm with headquarters in Texas, focusing on archive, backup, retrieval and storage systems as well as information management and data security. DCIG’s analysts blend analysis, journalism, advertising and marketing into compelling blog entries at http://www.dcig.com as well as journalistic writings with leading trade and industry publications. DCIG’s goal is to provide evaluations and interview content on sponsoring and non-sponsoring companies to consumers, public relations firms, business analysts and other companies. DCIG distributes industry, company and product analysis by way of viral marketing and community building using the burgeoning BLOG infrastructures created worldwide.

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