Dell beefs up its deduplication appliance line

Dell boosts capacity of its disk-based backup appliances; current DR4000 users can upgrade to the new DR4100 series without charge

Dell Wednesday unveiled upgrades to its disk-based backup appliance, boosting its capacity with expansion shelves, offering larger drives, and increasing the number of remote backups to a central data center.

The company said the new DR4100 rack-mounted deduplication appliance line includes models ranging from an entry-level 2.7TB system to one with 81TB of physical storage and two Dell PowerVault MD1200 direct-attached storage arrays. The PowerVault NV1200s expansion shelves are capable of hosting 1TB, 2TB, or 3TB disk drives.

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Dell launched the DR-series last year. The DR4000, based on technology the company gained with its acquisition of data compression vendor Ocarina in 2010, was Dell's first deduplication appliance.

As of mid-March, owners of older DR4000-series models can upgrade to DR4100 arrays using a free firmware download that will let them to add capacity using the same PowerVault expansion shelves.

The original DR4000 series has 2.7TB, 5.4TB, and 9TB base models that could achieve up to a 15:1 data reduction ratio. Therefore, the boxes could store up to 100TB in a 2U (3.5-inch high) array, said Bob Fine, director of product marketing for Dell Compellent when the DR4000 series was unveiled.

The new DR4100 series is also a 2U rack-mounted array, but the lineup adds a fourth model that starts at 27TB of capacity, said Peter Waugh, Dell's storage product director.

The DR4100 is built on a Dell PowerEdge 12th-generation server. The earlier arrays were based on the PowerEdge 11th-generation servers.

The DR4000 is capable of replicating data from up to five remote office sites back to a DR-series array in a central data center, where data could them be access from all remote offices. The new DR4100 can replicate data from up to 32 remote sites to a central node, according to Waugh.

DR4100 data replicated over distances can first be encrypted using the AES 256-bit or AES 128-bit specification. The DR4100 supports Dell's own AppAssure backup software applications, as well as third-party offerings from Quest, Symantec, CommVault, Oracle, CA, and others.

Waugh said the DR4100 will be comparable in price to its predecessor, with entry-level arrays starting around $12,000 and higher-end models priced from $40,000.

The Dell DR4100 will be available through Dell and its channel partners worldwide in March.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is

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This story, "Dell beefs up its deduplication appliance line" was originally published by Computerworld.

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