Dedupe does do something incredibly smart (and simple). There's lots of duplicate data -- the same lame e-mail joke, the same quarterly budget spreadsheets -- that the average enterprise stores or backs up daily or weekly. As its name suggests, dedupe identifies this redundant data and substitutes a tag for it, which the system recognizes in the event that restoration is required. Reduced volumes -- and backup and restore times -- then follow.
Fellow storage blogger Robin Harris also wrote this week on StorageMojo about Cleversafe and its dispersed storage network. In Popeil-like fashion, its Slicestor product slices data and stores it across one of four server disks. (No word on whether it's any good for coleslaw or julienne fries.)
Finally, if I can believe the relentless storm of e-mail sent my way, we can expect to hear more in the next few weeks from RevStor. Its SANware product takes unused storage capacity on networked desktops, laptops, and servers, and converts it into a single, virtual storage grid in which files are stored in pieces and distributed randomly. Rather than store a file on a single server, portions of the file get saved in multiple locations.
Whether it's a potato or last night's backup, there's lots of ways to slice and dice. Now if storage innovators just had a spokesman who was as effective (and sonorous) as Ron Popeil.