Closing the Data Domain Visibility Chasm

Offering Data Domain Reporting For Enterprise-Level Storage Monitoring 

The Bocada Team | August 8, 2019

Offering Data Domain Reporting For Enterprise-Level Storage Monitoring 

Enterprise organizations were excited to bring in Data Domain for its answer to every backup storage professionals’ key challenge: too much data and not enough storage. As early analysts and tech insiders noted when it was still a hot new product, Data Domain was a game-changer in the storage category:

“By “de-duplicating” corporate data, particularly those terabytes destined for backup, Data Domain provided compression ratios that made its disk-based product a compelling choice over tape. It also made the integration model simple: Connect to your backup server where you used to have your tape library. Boom. Value delivered.”

This novel approach to lossless data compression and deduplication seemingly solved the constant scramble to find more storage. But, it also created a new problem: terrible visibility into what is actually being stored. At a time when storage and backup professionals are expected to leverage tools and resources to their fullest, this black box situation is preventing them for doing just that. 

Bocada is committed to changing this tune. 

What Data Domain Reporting Looks Like Today

The world of data reporting and visualization has come a long way since Data Domain was first released. Data Domain’s reporting has not kept up. 

Data Domain users are expected to pull information from Data Domain as though we were still in the days of MS-DOS, using only a limited number of commands. If you have a hyper-specific question about the status of data at this moment in time, you can only hope that Data Domain’s existing commands let you answer them. Additionally, here are several other common Data Domain reporting challenges: 

  • Extract Structured Data: One of the most basic capabilities of database tools is the ability to extract raw data via CSV files for further analysis. While Data Domain offers log files, there’s no way to easily pull structured data. 
  • Logically View Grouped Data: While Data Domain users typically use MTrees to group data together, there are limited ways to report on MTree metrics and performance. 
  • Gain Historical Views: Some Data Domain charts only show 120 day’s worth of data, not nearly enough for audit and compliance requests. And again, that’s only if the commands exist to pull that information. 

Admittedly, Data Domain has higher priorities than to innovate on its reporting. As long as enterprises rely on its deduping capabilities to keep the tide of overwhelming data quantities at bay, Data Domain must focus on its core mission of protecting and storing data while mitigating storage growth. 

Improving Data Domain Storage Visibility & Usage With Bocada 

As a team invested in improving the day-to-day experiences of backup and storage professionals, not to mention centralizing and automating backup health and performance oversight, we’re ready to change this reality around. 

In our upcoming 19.6.9 release, we’ll be offering new standard reports for Data Domain including:

  • MTree Reporting: Backed up data will be visible by MTree, offering users simplified, automated ways to visualize data sources and how different MTrees are impacting Data Domain usage.
  • Pre & Post Compression Reporting For All Appliances: For the first time ever, admins will have a centralized dashboard to visualize pre and post compression data across each and every Data Domain appliance they have, and will be able to segment this data by MTree. 

While these new reports go above and beyond what administrators have today, there’s still ample opportunity to offer backup and storage admins even more actionable data. That’s why future Bocada releases will also include information to help administrators better manage their systems and reduce unnecessary data. This includes automated collection of: 

  • Data Age: With reporting on data age, administrators will be able to prove adherence to data retention protocols while also isolating data that can be purged, freeing up much-needed storage capacity. 
  • File Size: With reporting on the amount of data taken up by individual files, administrators will be able to identify unusually large files and determine if they’re actually needed or if they can be purged, further allowing them to clear up used storage. 

With these upcoming releases, the name of the game will be to use reporting and data for better, smarter, and more cost effective Data Domain usage.