Dell rolls out two new backup appliances, latest AppAssure release

New backup appliances include the DL 1000, Dell's first purpose-built for SMB, an area of strength for the Round Rock, Tex. vendor.


Dell DL 1000

Dell DL 1000

Dell Software has bolstered its backup lineup with the release of two new backup appliances and the latest version of its AppAssure backup, replication and disaster recovery software. The new appliances include one, the DL 1000, aimed at the SMB market, and another, the DR2000v, which is a virtual offering targeted at the ROBO (remote office and branch office) environment.

Dell is a relative newcomer to the backup market. They launched their first product in the space in 2012, and their technology includes elements from three separate acquisitions — Ocarina, AppAssure and NetVault. The solutions are sold up and down the market, from small businesses to very large enterprises, but unusually for Dell, which built its business originally on the SMB market, their backup solutions are strongest among larger business rather than smaller. The Dell DL1000 appliance is designed to remedy that imbalance.

“SMB has been an area for Dell which is very strong, but this is our first appliance form factor for that market,” said Paul Davis, director of product management, data protection, Dell Software.

The DL1000 is a turnkey solution built on a Dell PowerEdge R220 server with AppAssure already installed, and with a cloud connector that gives customers an easy way to use a public cloud as the target for AppAssure archives. It comes equipped with either 2 or 3 TB of usable capacity, and the 3TB version also can be ordered with two licensed Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines.

“It takes the technology of the DL 4000 and puts it into a sub $10k appliance,” Davis said. Pricing starts as low as $4,300 for 2TB of capacity, at $6,000 for 3TB of capacity, and $8,300 for the 3TB of capacity, plus the two licensed V virtual machines.

“The very low end of the SMB market [the sub 50 person shop] has a strong demand for a software play – but the DL 1000 will cover a lot of the SMB, to the 499 person level,” Davis said.

“Customers who viewed the DL 4000 as expensive will like this,” said Brett Roscoe Executive Director of Data Protection Development at Dell Software. “This is well suited for a large swath of the SMB.”

While the DL 1000 has the same features as the DL 4000, some are scaled down commensurate to the market. For instance, Davis said that while the DL 4000 can take a snapshot every five minutes, if needed, the DL 1000 will take them every hour.

The other new appliance, the Dell DR2000v, is a virtual appliance designed specifically for ROBO settings. It runs inside a virtual machine on a customer’s existing VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor server and works in tandem with any physical Dell DR appliance, including the DR4000, DR4100 and DR6000. It lets customers can back up their remote and branch offices, and then replicate that data to a central office, enabling edge-to-core backup and disaster recovery.

“Previously, the customer would have had to do this using a physical appliance,” Davis said. “This gives them the capability to use VMs, and that flexibility is a big aspect for customers now, that they don’t have to buy another physical appliance.”

Like the other Dell DR Series appliances, this virtual one reduces the volume of data from backups by a ratio of up to 15:1. It is available in capacity points of 1, 2 or 4TBs, with pricing starting at $4,200 for 1TB of capacity, $7,500 for 2TB, and $13,500 for 4TB.

As part of this launch, Dell announced it is updating all of its DR series appliances with new cascaded replication and replication seeding capabilities. Cascaded replication gives customers the ability to replicate to a third site for additional disaster recovery flexibility, while replication seeding speeds up the process of establishing a disaster recovery site.

AppAssure 5.4.2, the new release of the software, adds several new features, which are also reflected in the new appliances.

AppAssure now features a simple account management interface that allows accounts to be added and managed for each cloud provider, thus enabling the user’s cloud to also become a target for archive activities.

Cloud archiving is enhanced by adding a number of cloud storage targets, including Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and OpenStack-based platforms. Users now can also import cloud archives back into their AppAssure repositories with just a few clicks.

The new release allows the creation of recurring scheduled archives on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, as well as the option to update existing archives with incremental changes by storing only the changes since the last archive.

Finally, platform support has been expanded with support for Hyper-V Generation 2 Virtual Machines, and VMware VM Hardware version 10. The new release has also achieved FIPS 140-2 Certification.