Decreases Data Volume Where It Runs

By Janae Lee  |  Posted 2009-11-11 Print this article Print


Rule No. 3: Deduplication decreases data volume where it runs

Deduplication decreases data volume where it runs but it also causes work where it operates. Deduplication products offer the ability to extract data volumes at different locations in the architecture: on the production server, on a backup media or index server, or on a specialized appliance. The selection of location depends on the value organizations want to extract, as well as the resources they are willing to use pay for it.

If, for example, there are 500 remote branches with limited bandwidth, and an organization wants to centralize backup, a product optimized to run at the source ("source-based") on the production servers will reduce data over the wire, creating large communication savings.

By contrast, a 12TB data center needing to reduce data storage for rapid backup and off-site vaulting using a specialized appliance ("target-based") will reap savings in storage as well as communications, as the data is electronically vaulted to the disaster recovery site.

Sadly, there is still no such thing as a free lunch: finding and indexing takes system resources to operate at whatever point at which it runs. "Target-based" systems accommodate this reality by controlling their own resources in an appliance that plugs into the backup environment [such as network-attached storage (NAS) or virtual tape library (VTL)]. This may initially appear expensive but it allows organizations to transparently add deduplication value without the need to redesign their current backup architecture.

By contrast, if production servers are already in relatively full usage, a source-based deduplication process will impact production. In another common case, operating "ISV-embedded" deduplication as a feature on traditional backup media or index server may appear transparent and inexpensive but can require a complete redesign of the backup system. The new workload caused by the deduplication process will cause any already burdened backup systems to blow out existing resources, driving the need for a new media server and rebalancing of the backup environment.

Rule No. 4: Integration with existing tools is valuable

There is high value in the ability to integrate with existing backup processes, management interfaces and tools. The ease of integration derives more from the approach and sophistication of a deduplication product rather than where the process operates. For example, the importance of strong tape integration for vaulting should not be overlooked. Integration with backup software also varies widely, particularly if organizations want to operate a disk-based (versus virtual tape) backup model.

ISV-embedded deduplication clearly has strong value here. For Symantec NetBackup customers wanting to do disk-based backup, the availability of OpenStorage (OST) also offers strong management and integration possibilities across multiple complementary target appliances.  Organizations can use OST with a certified target appliance to manage deduplication, replication and copy to tape functions-all through the NetBackup administration console. More information about management and integration options can be found at the SNIA Website.

Janae Lee is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Quantum. Janae has over 30 years experience in the storage market, including nine years of focus on deduplication. Janae can be reached at


Janae Lee is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Quantum. Janae has over 30 years experience in the storage market, including nine years of focus on deduplication. She can be reached at

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