Why data deduplication is important
Data deduplication goes a long way toward reducing data storage costs by making storage much more efficient, which in turn can reduce the overall footprint inside the data center. Just think: if by deduplicating your data you can store the exact same amount of information in less than one-tenth the footprint, imagine how much money and energy you could save in power and cooling costs.
The machine on top is a tape library with 16 tape drives and 6,000 tapes. The bottom machine is a Virtual Tape Library (VTL) with deduplication-which can emulate over 512 of the tape libraries pictured above it. Even if the cost of the equipment is not an issue, the floor space required sure is! So, let's see, 10 floor tiles in the data center dedicated to housing 6,000 tapes worth of data-or one floor tile dedicated to housing over 65,000 tapes worth of data: hmm, which to choose?
Why tape is not so green
Some of the folks who sell tape will tell you, since tape does not require power after it's used, it's greener to use tape than disk-even if the data is deduplicated. They would be right. Tape takes up no power at rest. But some of those older, massive tape libraries need a nuclear power plant to operate. Disks draw a lot of power when they are spinning up, but draw much less during normal operation.
The other not-so-green fact about tape is that you end up with a lot of it over time. If your Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy is to ship tapes offsite for recovery or storage, those tapes are using a heck of a lot of gasoline that disk drives don't need. In fact, a VTL that implements deduplication can electronically replicate the data to another VTL at a different location-which would also green the other data center. Also, the most prevalent VTL solution can encrypt the replicated virtual tapes so there is no risk of losing or misplacing sensitive data.