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The Data Deduplication Revolution

  • The Data Deduplication Revolution-

    As data deduplication solutions have evolved, they have been packaged into a variety of products. The first major deployment of deduplication technology came in disk storage arrays. The units consist of a processor to manage the deduplication process, a bunch of disks to store the data, and a number of data connections through which the source data will travel. Different vendors deployed different techniques, some delivered post-processing capabilities, and others did their deduplication in-line. Some tuned their boxes to store generic data, while others had intelligence built in that helped recognize specific data types to increase deduplication efficiency. Most vendors offered connections to servers over FibreChannel and iSCSI connections, and others included Network Attached Storage (NAS) options. The units either looked like standard disk, or emulated tape libraries. The latter allowed for seamless integration with backup and recovery solutions already in place at a customer’s site.

    Deduplication technology has now evolved from within the hardware disk array and is built into a number of backup and recovery solutions. Putting deduplication within the backup application offers numerous advantages, not least the extra efficiencies that are often gained in performance, and the non-reliance on proprietary disk drives. The latter frequently leads to a more cost effective solution. These software solutions can be found in “standalone” software appliances, or fully integrated components of the backup product.

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The Data Deduplication Revolution

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  • The Data Deduplication Revolution-4

    As data deduplication solutions have evolved, they have been packaged into a variety of products. The first major deployment of deduplication technology came in disk storage arrays. The units consist of a processor to manage the deduplication process, a bunch of disks to store the data, and a number of data connections through which the source data will travel. Different vendors deployed different techniques, some delivered post-processing capabilities, and others did their deduplication in-line. Some tuned their boxes to store generic data, while others had intelligence built in that helped recognize specific data types to increase deduplication efficiency. Most vendors offered connections to servers over FibreChannel and iSCSI connections, and others included Network Attached Storage (NAS) options. The units either looked like standard disk, or emulated tape libraries. The latter allowed for seamless integration with backup and recovery solutions already in place at a customer’s site.

    Deduplication technology has now evolved from within the hardware disk array and is built into a number of backup and recovery solutions. Putting deduplication within the backup application offers numerous advantages, not least the extra efficiencies that are often gained in performance, and the non-reliance on proprietary disk drives. The latter frequently leads to a more cost effective solution. These software solutions can be found in “standalone” software appliances, or fully integrated components of the backup product.

The term data deduplication increasingly refers to the technique of data reduction by breaking streams of data down into very granular components, such as blocks or bytes, and then storing only the first instance of the item on the destination media, and then adding all other occurrences to an index. Because it works at a more granular level than single instance storage, the resulting savings in space are much higher, thus delivering more cost effective solutions. The savings in space translate directly to reduced acquisition, operation, and management costs.

Data deduplication technologies are deployed in many forms and many places within the backup and recovery infrastructure. It has evolved from being delivered within specially designed disk appliances offering post processing deduplication to being a distributed technology found as an integrated part of backup and recovery software. According to CA Technologies, along the way solution suppliers have identified the good and bad points of each evolution and developed what today are high performance efficient technologies.

This slideshow looks at data deduplication and five areas, identified by CA Technologies, that you should consider carefully when approaching a data deduplication project.

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