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9 minute read12 Dell EMC Data Domain Terms You Don’t Know

Understand Data Domain More Deeply

Every storage server seems to have terms that are unique to that system. The features of Data Domain, and terms you need to know, are as follows: the speed of transfer, deduplicating data, fault detection, recoverability, and reducing the footprint of the data. By reading and understanding these terms, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a relative newcomer, you’ll get an overview and a reminder of why this technology has become so important in maintaining clean data.

What is Deduplication / Why do you need it?

For each new phase of a Data Center’s lifecycle, a prospective administrator is tasked with the responsibility of buying new equipment. To complete this task one must start by collecting detailed information about each piece of technology needing to be replaced, its current and future uses, and its expected performance, before deciding to make a purchase. With the need for periodical technology purchases or overhauls, the more information you can gather, the better chance you have of finding the best product or service for your requirements and your budgets.

When searching for a deduplication service, you could do worse than buying Dell EMC’s own Data Domain. Data Domain’s deduplication system brings some hefty benefits, and there are some unique terms that you will need to know to help you in your decision-making journey.


What is Data Domain?

Data Domain is an inline deduplicating storage system

Data Domain is an inline deduplicating storage system that helps deduplicate and archive data and recovers backed-up data, at high processing speeds, in the event of server failure. The systems integrate seamlessly with existing system configurations and third-party backup solutions.

Data Domain makes highly scalable deduplication systems created to decrease the amount of storage required to retain and protect data (on average of 10-30 times less). This makes it a cost-effective alternative, compared to tape, for protecting backup and archived data.


Features of Data Domain System

Speed: Data Domain Systems are known for their speed during the transfer of data, as they are capable of reaching speeds of up to 68TB/hr.

Fault Detection and Healing: Data Domain systems are capable of detecting errors and duplicates and correcting them before they become catastrophic. They possess spare drives which automatically jump into action when a drive fails.

File Recoverability: Data Domain systems aid easy access to data backups when needed and they ensure the integrity of this data by end-to-verification. End-to-end verification confirms that the data is copied exactly.

Features of Data Domain System

Storage Space Requirements: Due to Data Domain’s variable-length deduplication, less storage space is required to save data, hence a smaller footprint is needed for data protection. Data Domain helps to reduce the cost and complexity of storing data.

Flexibility: The flexible designs provided by the Data Domain’s storage architecture integrate with the leading backup, archive, enterprise, and directly with the primary storage. This system provides room for upgrades, which in turn could lead to high-efficiency scalability of these systems.

Other features of Data Domain systems include Cloud Compatibility, Data Protection capabilities, Easy Customization, and Scalability.


12 Terms You Don’t Know About EMC Data Domain

1. Variable-Length Deduplication

The storage architecture in data domain systems helps to reduce the volume of bits required to store information by varying the storage blocks needed to store the information. This process is done by removing repeated or duplicated segments of data when storing this data.
Then, since only unique data is saved, the amount of storage space needed to store data is reduced. These systems also have good compression rates, so once your data is deduplicated, it’s also reduced further via compression.

2. Data Invulnerability Architecture

The architecture in Data Domain Systems ensures top-notch data integrity and recovery by ensuring end-to-end verification of data, fault containment, fault detection and healing, and easy recovery of files. The main selling point is that the data is meant to be “invulnerable.” When used correctly, as part of good data maintenance, this means you can be confident in your back up and storage capabilities.

3. Data Domain Boost

In Data Domain systems, the Boost software helps to increase the speed of backups by 50% by distributing the process, meaning less CPU load, without altering the current hardware configuration. This software enables servers to reach speeds of up to 68TB/hr on backups, which is at least 1.5 times faster than its closest contender.

4. VTL: Virtual Tape Library

Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs) enable seamless integration with many existing backup infrastructures and processes, meaning legacy data and backup can still be maintained with Data Domain in the rig. Data Domain VTLs also help eliminate tape-related failures by enabling multiple tape devices over a Fibre Channel Interface.

5. SATA: Serial Advanced Technology Attachment Disk Drives

SATA Disk Drives are storage mediums used in Data Domain systems with high reliability, high signaling rates, fairly high transmission speeds, and compatibility with virtually all operating systems. With these disk drives, storage requirements can be compressed up to 10-30 times, making it a cost-effective storage drive for data.

6. Data Domain Cloud Tier

Dell EMC’s Cloud Tier set of hardware is a line of DD assets specifically designed to structure data for long-term retention and store it in a cloud-centric architecture. Ensuring your systems are best-suited for their needs might mean researching if there’s specific hardware available to do exactly what you need it to, eliminating bottlenecks in back-up and recovery, which helps in reducing the cost of additional physical storage or cloud gateway. Data Domain Cloud Tier also helps to scale up the maximum capacity of the active tier in Data Domain systems.
Data Domain Cloud Tier has free space capability, which helps to accurately predict storage savings for data moved to the cloud, by simulating mock data storage scenarios before completing the migration.

7. Redundant Array of Independent Disks

RAID are drives set aside for storing the same data content in different places to protect data in cases of drive failure. This is usually done by disk mirroring, which copies the identical data onto more than one drive, or by disk stripping, which spreads data over multiple disk drives. These disks come in various levels, some of which are based on block-level striping, enabling the storage array to function even when one of the disks fails.

8. Non-Volatile Random Access Memory

NVRAM enables Data Domain systems to hold onto the state of information when the power goes off, unlike SRAMs (static RAMs) and DRAMs (dynamic RAMs), which were revolutionary at the time of their first implementation! This, in turn, leads to faster boot times of servers. These devices are more power-efficient as they don’t have to run a full boot-up cycle every time, nor do you have to waste any time getting back to where you were.

9. Fingerprints

Fingerprints in Data Domain systems are a form of signature or representation of data blocks in storage architectures. Each individual fingerprint is then compared to the rest of the data in order to find the duplicates and remove them quickly. This is much more efficient than other forms of comparison and search.

10. Block Storage

Block storage configuration provides fixed-sized storage capacity. Each storage volume can be treated as an independent disk drive and controlled by an external server operating system. They are also used with RAID-based storage.

11. Stream Informed Segment Layout

SISL allows Data Domain systems to develop a high throughput deduplication storage system with economical storage hardware.

12. The Protocols: NFS, SMB, and CIFS.

There are many different file protocols, and, depending on how you have set up your system, the file protocols you’re using might vary. Legacy systems that are averse to the latest upgrades and updates may be running on protocols that most modern systems have depreciated. Below are three types of NFS (Network File Systems) for NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices.

12a. SMB: Server Message Blocks – SMB was created by IBM in the 1980s to allow people to exchange data over a LAN. Microsoft tried to rebrand with their own particular flavor called:

12b. CIFS: Common Internet File System – CIFS is a client program that helps to request a file from a server program located on another computer. It is also used to read, write, and remove files from the servers. It was designed to sit alongside FTP and HTTP using the TCP/IP model. It still exists in older gear but is considered obsolete and depreciated now. Replaced by:

12c. SMB2 and 3. Which are much more robust and secure file-sharing protocols, reducing the number of commands from hundreds to fewer than 20, introducing encryption, and widening the compatibility between different systems.

As organization data continues to grow, the need to find a means to control the cost of storing and protecting the integrity of data grows in importance. With Data Domain systems, this issue is eliminated as it solves such challenges while reducing costs.

Support for your EMC Data Domain System

Reliant Technology is here when you are searching for help maintaining and servicing your EMC Data Domain system. As your system reaches End-of-Service Life (EOSL), the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will stop offering maintenance contracts. You can easily get more years out of your system by turning to a Third Party Maintenance Provider, like Reliant Technology, when that happens.

You can continue to find

  •         Replacement parts
  •         Remote monitoring
  •         Phone and on-site tech support
  •         On-site spare parts kits and training

Reliant Technology engineers are highly experienced with EMC Data Domain and other systems, such as those offered by NetApp, HPE, and IBM. You can turn to Reliant Technology for help with all your data center questions.

For more information about EMC Data Domain or help with maintenance or service, contact Reliant Technology.

Every storage server seems to have terms that are unique to that system. Features of Data Domain, and terms you need to know, are shared here. At Reliant Technology we equip you with information you need.

Our team of experts is experienced with IT nomenclature and available to answer your questions.

Reliant Technology will work with you Data Domain or whatever system you are using, or are considering. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.


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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

Reliant Technology Cares

Reliant Technology Cares

When you have Reliant Technology support your data center, you help us support SERV International and provide thousands of meals for starving children.

About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.

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