ESG says Commvault + ExaGrid gets up to 15:1 dedupe ratio

Analysis house ESG says users can get a fifteenfold reduction in backup size by using an ExaGrid array as a backup target for Commvault.

Commvault’s backup software delivers a 5:1 dedupe ratio, using a local-to-the-system deduplication scheme. The backup data set is shrunk to a fifth of its ordinal size. When Commvault sends this to an ExaGrid system, using CIFS/SMB, it – with its global dedupe scheme – provides a further 3:1 dedupe ratio, reducing the set’s size again to one fifteenth of its original size.

This was validated by analysts at ESG, substantiating ExaGrid’s marketing claims. ESG’s report states: “Individually, Commvault and ExaGrid each offer data deduplication, but together they offer a highly efficient backup solution that can reduce the storage footprint by up to 300 per cent, saving storage capacity and cost.”

If the backup is sent to a remote site for extra resiliency then the greater deduplication saves network bandwidth cost. 

In fact the ESGites recorded an up to 20:1 total dedupe ratio in some cases. “A combined ExaGrid and Commvault solution can achieve even greater deduplication: up to 20:1 in many cases. A 20x reduction in backup storage costs can be a significant boost to any budget.”

No operational changes are needed to the Commvault configuration. The ESG testers noted “Adding ExaGrid to an existing Commvault environment is as simple as adding a new Commvault Library and Storage Policy for ExaGrid and selecting them for use. This is a quick and easy task with which Commvault administrators are familiar.”

ESG’s testers set up both sides of the setup and said it was a simple task overall. “ESG validated how easy and fast it was to set up an initial ExaGrid/Commvault deployment to securely back up data, replicate it, and make it available for instant restore. The ExaGrid tasks were simple to complete using the intuitive GUI, and the Commvault tasks are familiar to Commvault administrators.”

You might wonder about how this Commvault/ExaGrid combo compares to Commvault with other deduping backup targets, such as Data Domain/PowerProtect? We had a look to see if Commvault users might get even greater benefits with a different backup target.

It appears not. In fact it seems from a Commvault user Community website that using Data Domain may require Commvault dedupe to be turned off. The full thread is quite informative about the background. The topic is complex and a Dell Technologies community website contains notes about virtual PowerProtect  DD Virtual Edition with Commvault and metadata wrinkles which adds further complexity.

All in all we weren’t able to discover the combined Commvault/PowerProtect dedupe ratio and discovered things might be more complex than setting up a Commvault/ExaGrid combination.

ExaGrid CEO Bill Andrews told us “No one else that we know of can further deduplicate Commvault deduplicated data.” There you have it.