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ExaGrid updates and streamlines its backup appliances

News Analysis
Jan 28, 20213 mins
Enterprise Storage

New storage systems take up less space than prior generations and offer greater capacity than its competitors.

A businessman walks through futuristic data repository.
Credit: Gremlin / Getty Images

I’m a sucker for the underdog, so shame on me for focusing on the big guys for so long. It’s time to change that with some news from ExaGrid, a competitor of Dell EMC and HP Enterprise in the data backup appliance market.

Earlier this month, ExaGrid announced it has increased the capacity of its Tiered Backup Storage appliances while also reducing its offerings from nine systems to seven. Appliances of any size can be mixed and matched in a cluster of up to 32 appliances.

ExaGrid also changed the naming convention of the appliances to better reflect their capacity. For example, the discontinued bottom-of-the-line EX3000 had 3TB of full backup capacity, while the new bottom-end appliance is the EX6, with 6TB of full backup capacity storage.

The devices have four times the raw capacity and two times the usable capacity compared to prior generations of ExaGrid appliances. That’s the nature of the RAID beast and how capacity is allocated. As ExaGrid has increased capacity, it has also reduced the size of its appliance, which mounts in a standard server rack, by 33%.

ExaGrid’s new appliances have their own processor, memory, networking, and storage so that the backup window stays fixed length as data grows, eliminating the need for whole upgrades. The new appliances can be mixed and matched with any of ExaGrid’s previous appliance models in the same scale-out system, preserving the life of customers’ previous investments and eliminating product obsolescence.

“Since 2006, ExaGrid has been solely focused on offering customers the best backup storage system possible while improving the economics of backup storage. ExaGrid continues to build on its scale-out architecture and we are excited to announce our largest system to date,” said Bill Andrews, president and CEO of ExaGrid, in a statement.

ExaGrid appears to have adopted much higher capacity drives. Its EX3000 to EX6300E used 2TB to 6TB drives to achieve raw capacity of 12TB to 144TB. The new line, from the EX6 to EX84, have raw capacity of 24TB to 192TB. The company hasn’t disclosed the new drive capacities but they are likely in the 10TB and higher range. If you can get it on Newegg, you have to figure an enterprise storage company is also using it.

Dell EMC’s Data Domain and HPE’s StoreOnce are ExaGrid’s biggest competitors. The largest Data Domain system is the DD9900 with 1.5PB of usable capacity, while the top StoreOnce 5650 has a max of 1.7PB of capacity. With Exagrid’s high-end EX84 in a 32-unit cluster, usable capacity is 5.37PB, much more than Dell EMC and HPE.

ExaGrid’s new appliances can be installed in existing clusters and are available immediately. No pricing information has been disclosed.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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