Article

Data deduplication product trends in data backup

Dave Raffo

Even with all of the data deduplication product rollouts that happened in 2008, we can expect plenty more throughout this year. CommVault got the ball rolling when it launched Simpana

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8 with block-level deduplication and dedupe for data on tape and disk in January.

Quantum Corp. brushed up the integration and replication capabilities of its DXi7500 dedupe backup box around the same time. While there was plenty of news and new products in 2008, we don't expect the onslaught to let up -- even more data deduplication products, including some for primary storage, are slated to roll out soon.

The following deduplication products have been unveiled or are expected to be rolled out this year.

Data deduplication developments in 2009: In brief

Vendor/product info

What's notable

Availability

CA ARCserve Backup

Added deduplication for disk and tape

Available now

CommVault Simpana 8

Adds block dedupe and tape/disk dedupe

Available now

Dell Inc.

Dedupe systems based on Quantum technology

Not announced yet

Data Domain
Data Domain DD660

Upgraded its operating system to increase speed and dedupe ratio; rolled out new quad-core midrange system

Now

EMC Corp. Celerra

File dedupe using single-instance storage and compression

Available now

FalconStor Software Inc.

Added NAS interface to virtual tape library (VTL) dedupe product

Available

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Plans to add replication to current dedupe products

Available now

Quantum Corp. DXi7500

Enhances replication and integration of DXi7500 dedupe system

Available now

Riverbed Technology Inc. Atlas

Applies some Steelhead technology to primary storage dedupe

Expected 2010

Look for deduplication in archiving and primary storage

Stephen Foskett, director of data practice at storage consultancy Contoural Inc., said dedupe will become a necessary technology for backup and take big steps into archiving in 2009. But dedupe isn't yet ready for many types of primary storage, to the chagrin of some of the storage customers he talks to.

"There's some general disappointment at this point that people can't use dedupe on primary storage, but they're excited about the potential it has on archiving," said Foskett. "I'll be shocked if every product in the archiving space doesn't have advanced deduplication pretty soon."

Frank Slootman, CEO at Data Domain Inc., said dedupe will become more of an archiving play this year, but says dedupe products will change more in size and scope than in capability. He says they'll get bigger and faster on the high end, and smaller and cheaper on the low end.

"The technology is still developing, and will always be developing," said Slootman. "We're riding a relentless wave of microprocessor improvements, mostly on the Intel side. And that kind of stuff is manna from heaven for us."

CommVault took the lead on one new development. Besides adding block-level deduplication, Simpana 8 became the first product to allow writes to physical tape libraries without requiring re-inflation of deduplicated data.

But vendors are working on primary dedupe, too. Riverbed Technology Inc. is preparing a primary dedupe product, although it has been pushed out until 2010. Riverbed began alpha testing its Atlas device in September, with the expectation that it would ship around the middle of this year. But testing showed the product needs more work to make it easier to install and manage, so Riverbed will wait until next year. Atlas will use the deduplication technology that Riverbed employs in its Steelhead WAN optimization products to shrink primary data. Atlas' closest competitor is NetApp's deduplication software for primary data.

Eric Burgener, a senior analyst and consultant at Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group, says Riverbed will also raise the bar with Atlas. "The scalability in a distributed environment is better than anything out there," he said.

About this author: Dave Raffo is the Senior News Director for the Storage Media Group.

This article originally appeared in Storage magazine.


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