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BLOG: In 2013, deduplication smartens up

Paul Kruschwitz, director of product management, FalconStor Software | Dec. 26, 2012
Deduplication, a fresh idea only a few years ago, has become a commodity, with organizations of all sizes deploying deduplication as just another feature in their data protection and backup solutions. This is progress.

Beware of the all-in-one approach

It can be tempting for enterprises and even small to midsize businesses to buy all-in-one storage or backup software solutions. Deduplication is just a commodity after all, right? Not so fast. Not all deduplication solutions deliver at the same level, and deduplication is not a solution that can be tacked onto an appliance or patched into software. When enterprises attempt to deploy such patchwork solutions, they often find limitations related to performance, scalability and reliability.

The requirements of individual IT shops still matter when it comes to dedupe. For example, the solutions built for large enterprises with massive amounts of data and rich, heterogeneous environments must offer high availability, data protection failover capabilities, scalability and large data repositories. Some of these deployments must accommodate multiple data center and remote offices, as well as consolidated data protection and disaster recovery resources that are cobbled together as the result of mergers and acquisitions. In these scenarios, deduplication is about simplifying processes and reducing costs.

However, some of those operations still need to integrate with physical tape, sometimes for regulatory reasons. For these users, there is no use echoing the cry, "Tape is dead!" For them, tape is very much alive and necessary, and dedupe tools that don't accommodate tape aren't as useful. Whatever the particular requirements of the data center, the deduplication offering needs to address them. Many of these deduplication features are desirable in smaller businesses, as well.

The start of a new year is a prime opportunity to reflect on recent accomplishments. Most businesses will enter 2013 having deployed simple deduplication that solves challenges that seemed intractable only a few years ago. Now, the opportunity is to move toward intelligent deduplication solutions that deliver dynamic data analysis and automatically assign appropriate dedupe policies that make the most sense for each IT environment.

FalconStor Software Inc. is a market leader in disk-based data protection. The company's mission is to transform traditional backup and disaster recovery into next-generation service-oriented data protection.


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