Using disk as a backup target for short- or long-term retention is a no brainer at this point -- backup windows aren't shattered, restores have never been faster or easier, and relatively cheap disk makes a perfect home for data before it gets spun off to tape. It's a pretty picture, but one marred by an ugly reality: There doesn't seem to be an end in sight to the growing amount of data that needs to be backed up.
The benefits are apparent and make pitching a data dedupe deployment to upper management a relatively easy exercise. But dedupe does have its finer points, with capabilities, efficiencies and administrative issues varying from product to product, and from one environment to another.
To determine the best fit for your data backup setup, you'll need to sort through the types of dedupe available and make decisions regarding file or block methods, hash-based systems vs. those that use byte-level comparison techniques and inline vs. post-processing deduplication implementations. But there are still numerous details to work out to get optimal performance and to restore deduped data in a timely manner. A little homework up front will avoid some grief later, while helping you set reasonable expectations.
In this free guide on backup and data deduplication, learn about getting started with deduplication software, file-level vs. block-level dedupe, problems with restoring deduped data, and other timesaving tips and tricks.
--Rich Castagna, Storage Media Group Editorial Director