Article

A comparison of data deduplication products

Antony Adshead, UK bureau chief, storage

Storage budgets are suffering the current economic climate, but that doesn't mean storage spending is on hold. The onus is now on doing more with less, and one key technology that can help is data deduplication.

It's a technology that has matured over the past year, and investing in it can bring huge savings. By reducing the amount of data that needs to be backed up and stored by 20:1 and more, data deduplication can save on bandwidth and storage media. It can also allow for a massive increase in the efficiency of data restores by allowing backups to be retained on disk for far longer.

But there are a large number of deduplication products on the market, with many key differences. Things to consider during the procurement stage include whether to choose a hardware or software data dedupe product; should dedupe be part of a virtual tape library (VTL) or a NAS subsystem; does it use in-line or post-process features; is dedupe done at the source or target; and should you use SHA-1 or MD5 as your data redundancy elimination algorithm.

We answer all of these questions for the key dedupe product vendors in the following chart. For a comprehensive guide to data deduplication products, see the SearchStorageUK data deduplication special report.



Vendor

Hardware or software?

VTL, NAS, etc.

Algorithm used

Inline or post-process

Source or target

Copan Systems Inc.

Hardware

VTL and NAS

SHA-1

Post-process

Target

Data Domain Inc.

Hardware

VTL and NAS

SHA-1

Inline

Target

Dell EqualLogic

Certified ExaGrid gateway for EqualLogic systems

--

--

--

--

Diligent Technologies Corp. (an IBM company)

Software

VTL

Custom

In-line

Target

EMC Corp.

Hardware

VTL, NAS, SAN attached

SHA-1 and MD5

Post-process

Target

EMC/Avamar

Software

--

SHA-1 and MD5

In-line

Source

ExaGrid Systems Inc.

Hardware

NAS

Post-process

Target

FalconStor Software Inc.

Hardware and software

VTL and NAS

SHA-1 with optional MD5

Post-process

Target

Fujitsu

Uses EMC/Avamar software

--

--

--

--

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Hardware

VTL

SHA-1

In-line

Target

Hitachi Data Systems

Uses Diligent ProtecTier

--

--

--

--

NetApp

Software (in OS)

NAS/SAN

Custom

In-line and post-process

Target and source

Overland Storage Inc.

Hardware

VTL

Custom

In-line

Target

Pillar Data Systems

Uses Data Domain, Diligent, FalconStor, Symantec

--

--

--

--

Quantum Corp.

Hardware and software

VTL and NAS

MD5

In-line and post-process

Target

Sepaton Inc.

Software

VTL

Custom

Post-process

Target

Spectra Logic Corp.

Uses FalconStor software

--

--

--

--

Sun Microsystems Inc.

Uses FalconStor software

--

--

--

--

Symantec Corp.

Software

--

SHA-1

In-line

Source


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