Common Questions-and Answers-about Backup Data Reduction - Slide 6

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Typically, deduplication and compression are applied to primary data in very different ways. Primary storage deduplication works on blocks of data aligned at the disk’s boundaries. Windows and Linux file systems align the beginning of each file at the beginning of a block. This means that primary storage deduplication will always identify duplicate blocks within files. Also, databases read and write on fixed-size pages, so duplicate data within a single database or across databases can be detected. Backup applications, on the other hand, create files that are the equivalent of .tar or .zip files in which the blocks are not always aligned the same way, so backup deduplication applications have a very different job to do than primary data deduplication.

Data deduplication and compression promise often-staggering reductions in data storage capacity requirements, shrinking backup data by 90 percent or more. Reducing this backup load achieves a corresponding reduction in the cost of hardware and management. Small and midsized businesses and departmental computing operations, however, can struggle to achieve optimal data reduction because of a number of factors including a lack of hands-on experience using these technologies.

Poway, Calif.-based BridgeSTOR LLC, a provider of data reduction technology, has outlined the following Q&A based on its most frequently asked questions about backup data reduction.

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