Related Media Coverage
Related Blog Posts
Author: Alan Earls
Data deduplication software has become more reliable and affordable in recent years, giving users of deduplication hardware a viable alternative. But, according to users and analysts, deduplication appliances are still a good choices for many types of organizations.
According to Rachel Dines, an analyst at Forrester Research, in general dedupe hardware appeals more to larger companies that are storing more massive amounts of data and need fast throughput. "The dedupe algorithms in the software and hardware solutions are really very similar," she said. On the other hand, Dines said dedupe hardware is optimized to support data deduplication; it isn't just a disk with software running on it. Dedupe appliances also have the advantage of usually being self-managing, so they can do their own provisioning. And, many of them have different ways of interfacing with backup software.
"These kinds of capabilities first emerged with virtual tape libraries [VTLs] that provided tape emulation to ease that technology transition. Now, with developments like the Symantec Corp. OpenStorage (OST) API, deduplication hardware can interface and connect with backup software and provide more granular management," she said. Dines also noted that almost all of the big players in backup, for example, CommVault Systems' Simpana, EMC Corp.'s NetWorker, IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) and Symantec's NetBackup, are offering both source and target-side deduplication in their software.