Are Your Data Storage Demands Killing You?

As enterprises are dealing with ever-increasing volumes of information and storage costs are escalating yearly. Data deduplication can free up valuable storage space and, therefore, help keep budgets in line and your CFO happy.

Data deduplication sounds like an excellent candidate for an HGTV reality show—companies drowning in a sea of redundant data receive a visit from two perky IT people who descend on their files like vultures on road kill with the promise of curing the company’s duplicate data ills with a weekend and few thousand dollars worth of software.

I agree that it doesn’t sound like the best premise for a new show, but if you’re looking for a new money-saving topic to discuss at the conference table next week, toss out the concept of data deduplication. Yes, it’s a mouthful to say but that mouthful might save you a handful—a handful of dollars, that is.

A Tale of Two Methods

There are two types of data deduplication: source and target.

Source-based deduplication takes place as the backup software processes the files prior to transfer to media. This means the deduplication software replaces your current backup software and strategy with one that examines file contents on the fly. As you might expect, source deduplication speeds aren’t stellar (though still better than tape), but savings come in the form of less network bandwidth being consumed, due to fewer files being transferred, and reduced space on backup media. Source deduplication can be used to backup remote office data without additional hardware at the remote site. Restore speeds outperform tape for equivalent amounts of data.

Target-based deduplication uses your current backup strategy to deliver data to a virtual tape library (disk). Deduplication occurs in the virtual tape library, and you can make tape backups from it for off site storage. Note: with a target-based implementation, you don’t have to wait for an entire backup or deduplication process to complete before transferring files to tape.

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