Essential Guide

Complete guide to backup deduplication

This guide offers information on backup deduplication technology today, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it's being used.


Backup deduplication, which reduces storage needs by eliminating redundant data, has moved from cutting-edge technology to mainstream staple. The data protection technology first showed up in 2003, aimed at organizations looking to move away from tape for the performance of disk-based backups. More than a decade later, dedupe is common in backup products, and can be a valuable instrument in data protection strategy.

But there are many elements to consider in picking the backup deduplication technology that fits best. How do zone-level and block-level deduplication compare? What are the differences between deduplication and compression? How important are deduplication ratios? What are the pros and cons of source and target deduplication?

Check out this comprehensive collection of backup deduplication content and get started learning now.

1What's up-

Backup deduplication technology today

Whether you are new to the technology or just need a refresher, these articles will get you up to speed on the backup deduplication space today.


Deduplication can be powerful backup tool

Learn to use the right backup deduplication method, and how the process differs from compression. Continue Reading


Pick the right deduplication system

Learn how deduplication technology works and some factors that should play into how you decide which backup system to use. Continue Reading


How deduplication benefits, affects data backup

Deduplication can produce faster and more frequent backups, but its performance can vary. Continue Reading


A primer on backup dedupe

Backup deduplication is so common today, it is often taken for granted. However, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a dedupe approach. Continue Reading


A history of deduplication

Since debuting in 2003, data dedupe has become a mainstream technology. Continue Reading


Significant developments in backup deduplication

Deduplication accelerators are among the improvements in dedupe technology. Continue Reading


An analysis of deduplication arrays

Brien Posey discusses who is using deduplicating disk arrays today and the latest dedupe tools in this Expert Answer. Continue Reading

2Tech notes-

How deduplication is performed

There are many different ways that backup deduplication can be performed. Software vs. hardware, post-process vs. inline, target vs. source, and more. Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.


Advantages to zone-level dedupe

Zone-level deduplication may be a better fit than block-level deduplication. Continue Reading


Semantic deduplication vs. global dedupe

There are a number of products that perform global deduplication using a very similar technique to semantic dedupe. Continue Reading


Considerations for dedupe hardware selection

Choosing the right deduplication hardware option requires a comparison of expected savings, performance requirements and storage capacity consumption. Continue Reading


Comparing post-process and inline dedupe

Rachel Dines outlines post-process and inline deduplication, as well as fixed and variable-block length dedupe. Continue Reading


Backup deduplication software vs. dedupe appliances

Learn the differences between software and hardware backup deduplication in this Expert Response from Rachel Dines. Continue Reading


Hardware-based dedupe, software-based or both?

Learn the pros and cons of software- and hardware-based deduplication and how they are typically used to complement each other. Continue Reading


Source and target dedupe: Benefits and drawbacks

Take a look at target and source deduplication today, including their pros and cons. Continue Reading


Try combining source and target deduplication

Many dedupe vendors offer both source- and target-based backup. This piece compares source and target deduping and discusses how they are typically used to complement each other. Continue Reading

3Real world -

How deduplication is used today

Many organizations struggle with data growth. Deduplication, along with other techniques such as data lifecycle management, is aimed at addressing this ongoing issue. This section explores some of the ways backup deduplication is being used today -- to move data off-site, for virtual machine (VM) backups and more.


Deduplication common in virtual storage environments

Compression and deduplication are similar but different data reduction methods, and both have their place in virtual servers. Continue Reading


Deduplication in an all-flash environment

Data reduction methods such as deduplication and compression are taking the all-flash data center to the next level. Continue Reading


Survey says: Many using backup deduplication

A Storage magazine survey finds respondents implementing dedupe and evaluating cloud backup services to deal with issues in their data backup process. Continue Reading


Which applications are well suited for deduplication?

In this Expert Response, Rachel Dines outlines the types of data that yield high deduplication ratios. Continue Reading


Software-based deduplication and cloud backup

Learn about the software dedupe options available today and about the ways cloud backup is driving interest in dedupe. Continue Reading


Windows Server or backup software deduplication?

Now that deduplication has become a mainstream technology, IT pros are forced to choose between competing deduplication solutions. Continue Reading


Virtual servers can benefit from backup deduplication

In this Expert Answer, independent backup expert Brien Posey discusses using deduplication when backing up VMs. Continue Reading


Leverage data deduplication technology for DR

Data deduplication isn't just for backups anymore -- learn how data dedupe technology can be an important part of your disaster recovery (DR) strategy. Continue Reading


Deduplication can improve disaster recovery

Deduplication is an important strategy for DR. Learn more about data dedupe solutions in this expert tip by Paul Kirvan. Continue Reading


Deduplication's effect on data lifecycle management

In this tip, independent backup expert Brien Posey offers information about how data deduplication impacts data lifecycle management. Continue Reading


Data deduplication challenges

Dedupe has changed the way backups are performed, but as with any technology, it can't solve every problem IT pros face. These articles take a look at some deduplication challenges.


Are vendor-advertised deduplication ratios worth considering?

Be cautious when it comes to dedupe ratios as stated by vendors. Continue Reading


When to disable the deduplication process

There are two situations when it may be best to shut off backup deduplication. Continue Reading


Are target dedupe storage appliances losing their relevancy?

Marc Staimer examines why the market for target deduplication storage appliances appears to be in decline, even with the presence of EMC, Symantec and HP. Continue Reading


Backup dedupe doesn't solve all problems

John Hilliard and Marc Staimer discuss backup deduplication in this Q&A. Continue Reading


Deduplication tax among important considerations

In the ninth and final part of our deduplication series, Brien Posey discusses the so-called deduping tax and other things to consider with deduplication. Continue Reading


How to make deduplication work more efficiently

Deduplication is a key piece of the backup process, but it can bog down backup systems. Find out how dedupe accelerators help. Continue Reading


A list of essential definitions

Learn some of the key terms regarding deduplication.