HP 2011Nov29 Announces new StoreOnce B6200 Backup System

In B6200 Backup System, StoreOnce Appliances by AdministratorLeave a Comment

HP recently introduced a new enterprise level backup appliance above their current D2D4324 called the StoreOnce B6200 Backup System.

StoreOnce B6200 Backup System

The B6200 is an enterprise, scale-out backup appliance that supports NAS (NFS and CIFS) and VTL (FC) modes for data protection.  Ibrix scale-out infrastructure software and a revision of HP’s StoreOnce deduplication functionality were combined to produce thi B6200 Backup System.

StoreOnce B6200 Backup System Hardware

B6200 system hardware consists of couplets or two deduplication nodes which contain a switch supporting up to 16-8Gb/s FC, 16-10GbE and 16-GigE ports, a), 2 processing nodes, and one to four disk shelves.  Each disk shelve supports 24TB (12-1TB drives) or 48TB (12-2TB drives) of SAS-NL disk.  The minimum configuration starts out with a single couplet and can grow to 4 couplets or 8 deduplication processing nodes.  I believe the processing nodes were a pair of HP server blades.

With a fully configured system (4 couplets) it can ingest and restore at the same 28 TB/hr, a first for a backup deduplication system.  A minimum system 48TB of raw data and can grow to 768TB raw (usable ~512TB) which at the industry standard 20:1 could hold 10.2PB of backup data.

StoreOnce B6200 Backup System Software

The new B6200 software  includes some enhancements to StoreOnce deduplication algorithms which now allow the system to restore as fast as it can ingest.  In contrast, most deduplication appliances provide fast ingest but restore typically performs only at 60% or less of the ingest rate.  This may not be as much of a concern for typical file restores but when restoring a server’s complete storage environment faster restore rate will speed up recovery considerably.

Also, the revised StoreOnce has implemented a new Adaptive Micro Chunking which provides more than 3X more deduplication than a fixed 4K chunk size and 10% better deduplication than a variable 8K chunk size.  It also has reduced memory and disk IO requirements for deduplication which probably accounts for the faster ingest and restore.

In addition to the StoreOnce deduplication, the B6200 is now another proof point in HP’s Converged Storage strategy, building products on industry standard components and scale-out storage software.  B6200 is built on top of Ibrix scale out NAS software. As such, it’s pretty easy to grow from one couplet to four without taking the system down for swapout of hardware components.

Moreover with the new clustered architecture, HP is introducing a new high availability capability called Automatic Restart.  This kicks in if a node fails and causes the other node (in a couplet) to pickup it’s backup IO.  Node failover is completely autonomic and thus, requires no operator intervention.  The failover process will take minutes but as most backup applications support physical tape they already issue many IO retries for failing operations which will allow the other node sufficient interval to take over

Finally, B6200 replication is only licensed at the target system and comes free for any source system and it can support up to 384 replication streams to one B6200 systemp  As such, for a 384 to 1 B6200 replication environment one would only need to purchase on target replication license.

Announcement Significance

HP has jumped ahead of EMC’s Data Domain DD890 system appliance in a couple of critical dimensions, scaleability, performance and capacity being the clearest ones.  HP states that the B6200 Backup System has 3.5X the ingest performance, 7X the restore performance and 2X the capacity of the current DD890 (performance numbers based on HP testing).

Other  vendors have similar scale-out NAS products but this is the first time one has been used in support of a pure backup deduplication appliance.  On the other hand, EMC’s Isilon has been supporting Nearline backup services (without deduplication) since before EMC acquired them.  It’s not a big stretch for me to imagine that EMC and other vendors with scale out systems would implement deduplication services in these systems as well.  But it seems HP has beat them to the punch, at least for now.  It should be an interesting 2012.


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Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & System consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.

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