What type of data reduction ratios should you realistically expect using deduplication?

There are two ways you can look at it. Most people are looking at data deduplication in conjunction with backup; backup appliances performing deduplication or even virtual tape libraries (VTL)...

Data deduplication information
CAS and data deduplication: Partners in archiving

In-band vs. out-of-band deduplication
There are two ways you can look at it. Most people are looking at data deduplication in conjunction with backup; backup appliances performing deduplication or even virtual tape libraries (VTL). So, looking at it in that context, you'll hear advertised ratios of anywhere from 10 to 500X.

But, realistically, I think it's safe to assume a ratio of anywhere between 13 to 17X. You'll probably see lower ratios on target-based deduplication, and you'll see higher ratios on source-based deduplication just because of how they are architected.

Now the flip side of that is the kind of data reduction ratios you might see in an archiving environment. I recently had a chance to speak with companies like Permabit and NEC that are seeing their appliances deployed more in that context. They're seeing ratios from as small as 2X to as large as 200X. So again, your mileage will vary; a ratio of 13X to 15X is a good rule of thumb, but you could see extraordinary results, if you are in the right kind of environment.

Check out the entire Data Deduplication FAQ.

This was first published in December 2007
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