HP StorageWorks D2D110

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The HP StorageWorks D2D110 is a disk based storage appliance that emulates up to four tape devices. Each tape is configured as an autoloader or standalone tape drive and presented over iSCSI. The D2D isn't designed to act as your primary backup solution, since it has a single point of failure, but rather as an intermediate backup device where you still need to implement a system to regularly backup data from the D2D to tape.

The key benefits here are to simplify your daily backups by automating the backup process and providing backup of multiple servers onto one single disk based device. It also gives you the performance to recover data faster than if it's on tape and it's also a very affordable way of consolidating your backup.

What's inside
The D2D110 is housed in a mini-tower case -- inside the case is a 3.2GHz Celeron processor with two PCIe and two PCI slots, four DIMM slots (one was taken up by a 512MB memory module) and 300W PC power supply. In the drive cages were four 250GB SATA hard disk drives (total usable storage capacity with RAID is 750GB) and on the back was a single Gigabit Ethernet port and standard power inlet.

There are two main ways of connecting the HP D2D to your network. One way is by plugging it directly into your network switch -- this is the simplest way of connecting the device. Alternatively you can connect it directly to a backup server which is already connected to your network.

The D2D110 didn't have any network settings assigned so we had to make it appear on the same subnet as our host. This was easily configured using the set-up wizard which discovers the D2D110 on your network then asks you to give it a static IP address. The set-up wizard installs the standard drivers and looks for an Internet connection to download the iSCSI initiator. It also creates a basic configuration -- the default configuration configures the D2D as a single eight-slot autoloader which is what will appear in your backup software on your host.

Using the Web management interface you can modify the default configuration by entering the IP address of the D2D110 in your Internet browser to gain access. The Web management console is well laid out and provides a simple interface to configure the device and cartridges. The set-up is very minimal and thanks to the supplied start-up guide and set-up wizard, we didn't have any problems getting up and running quickly.

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As part of our testing we measured the speed in which we could backup and restore data from the D2D. We used Symantec's Backup Exec 11d to backup and restore a 1GB file. The D2D110 will also work with other major backup software solutions like HPs own Data Protector or CA's BrightStor ARCserve. Using a dual-core AMD desktop processor we were able to transfer data at approximately 30MB/sec which is quite good; furthermore a more powerful server equipped with Xeon or Opteron's processors would yield better results with HP claiming it has a maximum data transfer rate of 40MB/sec.

The D2D110 is an affordable intermediate backup device for small- to medium-sized businesses who want to take advantage of iSCSI. And with seamless integration and good performance, the HP StorageWorks D2D110 Backup System is an excellent addition to any existing backup solution.