What Is Dell EMC Data Domain?

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Data integrity and recoverability are crucial foundations of effective data storage—without these two elements in play, an organization’s backup and storage efforts are arguably carried out in vain. A myriad of issues could arise that undermine data storage operations; for this reason, storage solutions should incorporate numerous defensive and data recovery measures to ensure that data recovery capabilities are continuously intact.

In this article, we’ll discuss Dell EMC Data Domain, its built-in data integrity mechanisms and other features that make it the optimal solution for maximizing data integrity and recoverability.

What is Dell EMC Data Domain?

Dell EMC Data Domain has a distinguished pedigree when it comes to data deduplication and storage. Before its acquisition by EMC, Data Domain Corporation was a longstanding leader in the data deduplication storage systems space and the primary innovator of disk-based substitutes for backup tapes. Now absorbed into the Dell EMC PowerProtect line of data protection solutions, Data Domain can now be found in the Dell EMC Data Domain line of appliances in several models: DD6300, DD6800, DD9300 and DD9800.

A key underlying component of Data Domain is the Data Domain Operating System (DD OS) and its Data Domain Stream-Informed Segment Layout (SISL) scaling architecture. DD OS is a core part of Dell EMC Data Domain’s Data Invulnerability Architecture, a framework built into the product line for mitigating the risk of data integrity issues. SISL relies on CPU power and performance to continuously minimize the disk accesses required to deduplicate data—specifically, by identifying duplicate data segments in memory, thereby minimizing disk usage.

Benefits of Dell EMC Data Domain

As the industry’s most battle-tested and cloud-enabled data storage and protection solution, Data Domain enables organizations to leverage scalable cloud protection storage—regardless of the composition of their IT environments. For on-premises, automated data deduplication and protection, Data Domain reduces network utilization for cost-efficient storage.

This article focuses on several of Dell Data Domain’s Data Invulnerability Architecture’s key benefits, which in combination give organizations comprehensive levels of data integrity and recoverability: inline data verification, continuous fault detection and self-healing.

Inline data verification

A myriad of issues can occur that impact the integrity of data during ingestion and retrieval. Data Domain provides continuous fault detection and self-healing for ensuring that data is recoverable throughout its Data Domain lifecycle. By detecting and remediating input/output (I/O) errors during the backup process, Data Domain eliminates the need for repeat backup jobs and ensures that each job is completed on-time and in-line with SLA agreements. Along with inline write and read verification for protecting and recovering from data integrity issues, Data Domain also performs end-to-end verification to confirm that data is correct and recoverable at all system levels.

Continuous fault detection

Data Domain provides continuous fault detection and on-the-fly recovery mechanisms to ensure that data restore operations are always carried out successfully. Various scenarios could occur that result in compromised backup operations: failing disk drives, unreadable disk blocks or other issues with supporting hardware and components.

Dell Data Domain periodically validates the integrity of the drives’ RAID stripes—using the redundancy of the RAID system to heal any faults—and re-verifies both data and container log integrity, healing any errors in real-time.


As mentioned previously, Dell Data Domain can leverage RAID redundancy to automatically heal any faults. Data Domain’s Data Invulnerability Architecture anticipates that numerous problems could occur at any level; for this reason, Data Domain ships with features for reconstructing lost and corrupted file system metadata, as well as tools for checking problematic file systems and bringing them back online safely.

For example, its self-describing data format ensures that metadata structures (e.g., indices for accelerating access) are entirely rebuildable from data that is resident on-disk. This allows for advanced recoverability—even in extreme cases of file system and metadata corruption.

Ideal use cases

Data backup, archive and disaster recovery

Data Domain provides high-performing, reliable backup, archive and disaster recovery capabilities to organizations of all sizes. For example, the DD6300 appliance was designed for providing high-speed and variable-length deduplication and cost-effective data protection and storage to small and medium-sized data centers.

Data on disk is available online and onsite for longer retention periods and restores and retrievals become faster and more reliable. This efficiency enables Dell Data Domain to protect up to 50PB logical capacity on a single system, with the ability to natively-tier another 100PB of deduplicated data to the cloud for long-term retention with Data Domain Cloud Tier. As a result, months of retention on disk is possible using the same number of “floor tiles” that traditionally provided only a couple of days of disk staging.

Long-term cloud retention

Dell Data Domain offers native support and tiering to public, private and hybrid clouds, enabling organizations to implement simple and efficient long-term retention strategies—not to mention low-cost cloud-based disaster recovery mechanisms.

Additionally, support for secure multi-tenancy allows for the logical isolation of user data; in these scenarios, only unique data is sent from Data Domain to the cloud, with data arriving to cloud object storage already deduplicated. Supported cloud vendors include AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud, to name a few.

Protection for physical, virtual and cloud environments

Large enterprises and organizations with a mix of on-premises, public cloud, hybrid cloud and virtual environments benefit from Dell Data Domain’s support of secure multi-tenancy and data protection as a service. With secure multi-tenancy, tenant data and networks are logically isolated for strict data access isolation. Additionally, Data Domain Cloud DR (DD Cloud DR) allows for the copying of on-premises VM backups to the public cloud, as well as the orchestration of disaster recovery testing and failover of workloads to the cloud with end-to-end orchestration.

Learn more about Dell Data Domain

In short, Dell EMC Data Domain offers industrial-grade data storage and protection with high-speed, inline deduplication for supporting a myriad of workloads and IT environments. To find out more about Dell Data Domain and what it can do for your organization, check out some of WWT’s top demos for Dell Technologies.

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