Data Domain Expands Nearline Storage Options

New Retention Lock Software Option Enables Active Archive Protection for IT Governance


SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 23, 2008: Data Domain® (NASDAQ: DDUP), the leading provider of Deduplication Storage systems, today announced the Data Domain Retention Lock software option, the industry’s first software to allow file locking for IT regulatory governance with high throughput inline deduplication and maximum flexibility for trusted operators. With Data Domain Retention Lock software, IT administrators can now store deduplicated files in an unalterable state for a specified length of time. This introduction of WORM (write once – read many) for active archive, high performance deduplication storage allows enterprises to implement a wide range of corporate IT governance policies that require data be retained and unchanged for fixed periods of time before removing it.

Unlike other CAS and NAS archive and compliance storage products, many of which offer no deduplication and weak throughput, Retention Lock is based on Data Domain’s high-speed inline deduplication storage. This means, where other active archive storage products provide a silo of specialized storage, Data Domain continues to expand its consolidative effect, enabling a consistent storage system for the nearline storage tier, encompassing archiving, remote office backup, datacenter backup, and lower-tiered file storage.

Data Domain Retention Lock software enforces per-file locking with a set retention period. During this period, users cannot change or delete the files, but trusted operators can manage files and space as required. This level of compliance protection is designed for supporting those regulations that focus on protection from inadvertent or malicious data modification by storage users. While some industry-specific regulations require immutability guarantees that assume even IT administrators cannot be trusted, many others allow that files may need to be deleted under court order, e.g. to protect identity information or to remove other inappropriate confidential information. In these governance regulations, data still needs to be held with retention enforcement, but administrators need file-level policy flexibility.

With Data Domain Retention Lock software, privileged administrators can reconfigure retention periods or security settings on a per-file basis, providing the flexibility required to deal with changing security and retention policies. Retention Lock uses existing industry standard interfaces for NAS-based locking, enabling rapid certification with third-party software vendors. Retention Lock may be applied to any file on a Data Domain system regardless of whether it is from a backup, archive, or other nearline application. Retention Locked files may also be replicated using standard Data Domain replication for disaster recovery or WAN vaulting, and all locking policies will be retained across links.

According to recently published research by the Enterprise Strategy Group, organizations will archive nearly 200,000 Petabytes of information over the next five years. “Compliance with recordkeeping and legal preservation mandates, both of which require retention management solutions, are two of the biggest drivers for capacity growth,” said Brian Babineau, Senior Analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. “Data Domain has already proven it can help customers manage capacity in nearline storage environments which has a direct impact on space, power, and cooling. With the release of the Data Domain OS 4.5 and the Retention Lock product, Data Domain further extends these benefits to information that is retained for compliance purposes. The addition means that customers can now lock down archive and backup data within the same system that delivers the benefits of de-duplication.”

The Department of Water in Perth, Australia is leveraging Retention Lock to prevent inadvertent or malicious alteration of critical company data that must be retained to satisfy government policies. “By leveraging Data Domain with Retention Lock to store disk-based backups and data archives, we can now rest assured that our critical data is retained securely on disk for pre-defined time periods, at a fraction of capacity required to store it on traditional disk storage systems,” says Yong Leong, Manager, ICT Infrastructure. “Retention Lock also offers the flexibility required to react to changing security requirements and policies, reducing our cost to manage our environment.”

Data Domain Retention Lock software integrates with archiving solutions from industry-leading providers, including EMC, CommVault, Symantec, AXS-One and DataGlobal.

“Where most deduplication products can address either backup or archive storage, Data Domain can do both, enabling users to consolidate around a single architecture,” said Brian Biles, VP of Product Management at Data Domain. “Retention Lock provides extraordinary operator flexibility for archiving operations, so it can be used with backup data, email archives, database archives or unstructured data archives with equal ease, all at high deduplication throughput.”

The Data Domain Retention Lock is available immediately as a software license for all Data Domain systems running Data Domain OS 4.5.

A Data Domain webcast entitled “Nearline Storage Update,” which includes a discussion of Data Domain Retention Lock software, is available now at and in the Resources section of the Data Domain website.