EMC DL3D Backup Solution

This past week we had the opportunity to present a proposal for an EMC Disk Library solution, the DL3D.  The DL3D is a backup to disk solution that emulates a tape library (VTL or Virtual Tape Library) and provides target based de-duplication during the process.  So why would you want to go this route for your backup solution?  What benefits are there over just keeping your existing tape infrastructure?  After all it’s just backupright? The short answer …… NO.  So let’s look at some of the benefits to the DL3D solution.


Depending on what report you read, most tapes have a failure rate of anywhere from 25 to 50%.  Being conservative and assuming the low end number that is still a disturbing amount of tape failures, especially for critical data.  With a VTL like DL3D your are backing up to disk and thereby taking advantage of RAID and significantly reducing the probability of media failure and in the end data loss.

High Speed

With tape based solutions your restore speed is typically slow.  When restoring from disk restores are significantly faster and more reliable.


Now with de-duplication technology built-in the amount of data you actually have to backup is much less.  This is key in reducing the amount of media you need to purchase to support your data backup needs.

Replication and DR

Unlike tape, DL3D infrastructure can be replicated to another DL3D library at a DR site.  This can essentially eliminate the need for tape all together and the expenses associated with media and offsite storage and transportation.  Now granted some companies are restricted by policies that require offsite tape backup and storage.  For these situations there is a tape-out option on the DL3D to enable you to dump your data to tape media if necessary.

Ease of Implementation

DL3D integrates right in to your existing infrastructure as a replacement for your tape based backup solution.  Your existing backup software and policies stay in place.  More than likely you have a significant investment in backup software which can now still be utilized.

Is a VTL solution the end all be all backup solution for all environment?  Definitely not, however for many companies it can be an excellent solution to many of their backup issues.


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