If you say ‘backup’ repeatedly and with increasing speed it ends up sounding a little like the classic Australian refrain ‘bugger’ – try it if you don’t believe me. And while it’s not something you want your employees saying in front of clients – perhaps not at all – it is arguably the most appropriate reflection of the state of storage affairs for many corporations.
Organisations continue to backup data in an uncontrolled manner, resulting in multiple copies which clog up storage space and complicate disaster recovery (DR) plans.
But in the midst of this well-documented data flood, deduplication, or dedupe as it is commonly known, is stemming the tide.
“It’s hot – industry hype is very high at the moment,” Sun Microsystems storage product marketing manager, Steve Stavridis, said. “I think the reality is it is a fact of life.”
Some, like Independent Data Solutions Group (IDS-G) managing director, Gerard Hackwill, claim eight out of 10 customers are interested in deduplication technology.
IDC puts this appeal down to the massive creation of data of all types but particularly unstructured data like videos and PowerPoint files.
“There is obviously great demand not simply on storage capacity but more importantly on the ability to recover these documents once they have been archived,” IDC program director for Asia-Pacific storage research, Simon Piff, said. “I know there is a lot of interest from the dedupe vendors in saying, ‘this is going to help you optimise your storage’. But I think the real message is why are you trying to optimise it? It’s not because the cost of storage is so expensive; the price of storage and dollar per gigabyte is going down year on year. It’s more a requirement of customers – if not to be able to reproduce that data, then know where the data actually resides should the requirement to reproduce the data for compliance and legal requirements arise. That is really driving the markets.”
Looking at most vendor offerings it is clear dedupe has become an integral feature in storage management.
“You have anywhere between five and 20 copies of information stored on your infrastructure,” EMC product marketing manager backup, recovery and archive, Shane Moore, said. “It makes sense that data deduplication gets used there. It’s not just reducing duplicate files – data deduplication actually goes to the sub-file level so it actually turns out there is a huge amount of deduplication there. Backup and recovery is where we are seeing it applied most in the industry.”