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3/19/2008
10:29 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
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De-Dupe Do-Si-Do

I'm not sure if you need a dance card or a scorecard to keep track of the pairings in the data deduplication market. One thing's abundantly clear: this storage app must have more commercial appeal than most everything else that's come down the pike lately, given the scramble for partners.

I'm not sure if you need a dance card or a scorecard to keep track of the pairings in the data deduplication market. One thing's abundantly clear: this storage app must have more commercial appeal than most everything else that's come down the pike lately, given the scramble for partners.Just today, for example, EMC added Quantum as a dedupe partner. This, despite an existing OEM deal with FalconStor and having acquired another dedupe vendor, Avamar, more than a year ago.

How EMC layers Quantum into its product line will be interesting to monitor. One report insinuated that EMC had two motives with the Quantum deal: get something sufficiently different from what FalconStor was supplying EMC and its competitors, and, secondly, blunt the momentum enjoyed by another dedupe supplier, Data Domain.

Hitachi Data Systems has partnered with Diligent, as has tape vendor Overland. Meanwhile, a handful of vendors are using homegrown dedupe technology, like Avnet, BlueArc, and NetApp.

There hasn't been this much do-si-do'ing in storage since the heady days of continuous data protection. But CDP became sort of a dirty word once it became clear how limited the market was for such granular backup. And maybe I'll eat these words, but dedupe has a different feel about it. It offers up some pretty immediate, tangible savings, unlike CDP, which was more of an insurance policy (with a hefty premium).

There are some interesting challenges ahead in the marketplace for dedupe. Is it best suited for primary storage, secondary storage, or both? Is it just an add-on to virtual tape libraries? Will large enterprises start to buy into the dedupe concept more, with their data center strategies and their pocketbooks?

Grab a partner, and watch the dedupe market sort itself out.

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