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If you're looking for evidence that data deduplication is just about the hottest thing in storage, look no further than the bidding war between EMC (NYSE: EMC) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) for Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP).
While Data Domain may have pioneered the data reduction technology, it's hard to find a data storage vendor that hasn't followed the company's lead. Or as Steve Whitner, Quantum's disk products marketing manager, put it, "It's hard to throw a rock today and not hit a new vendor of deduplication."
Quantum (NYSE: QTM) has been one of the better-positioned dedupe vendors, with an OEM deal with storage giant EMC and another partnership with Dell (NASDAQ: DELL). EMC has even provided funding to help the company through the credit crunch.
But the consensus among analysts is that an EMC-Data Domain combination could be bad news for the EMC-Quantum dedupe partnership, even though EMC has said the relationship will continue. Quantum shares fell 18 percent yesterday after EMC launched its takeover bid for Data Domain.
Quantum this week refreshed its dedupe offerings with the DXi2500-D appliance for remote and branch office environments that are part of a distributed enterprise, and the company also announced version 3.0 of Quantum Vision software, which offers centralized multi-tier management and reporting capabilities for unifying backup resources, including disk and tape.
The DXi2500-D was designed to be deployed in conjunction with Quantum's DXi7500 enterprise system. The DXi2500-D can reduce disk capacity and bandwidth requirements while handling 1.8TB of data at 300GB an hour and offering RAID 6 data protection. It also supports the Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) OpenStorage API for Veritas NetBackup.
The new system is built on the Dell PowerEdge server platform, a result of the two companies working together, but Dell has yet to offer a product OEMed from Quantum. The DXi2500-D lists for $12,500, while Quantum Vision costs $3,750 for a single device license.
In other dedupe news this week, NEC said it has added application-aware deduplication to its Hydrastor grid storage platform. The new feature analyzes incoming data streams and filters application-level metadata to boost dedupe ratios. The offering is optimized for CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) Simpana and Symantec NetBackup, with other applications planned.
And FalconStor Software (NASDAQ: FALC) is claiming the fastest backup and deduplication time with the FalconStor Virtual Tape Library (VTL) with deduplication, citing a benchmark that showed a four-node configuration completed the deduplication process for 100 terabytes of data in less than 14 hours.
Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Lauren Whitehouse said the vendors "are all addressing use cases they come across that need to be addressed by their technology."
NEC introduced content-awareness for CommVault environments, she said, to make sure "they wring out the best reduction ratio possible."
FalconStor is citing its performance and scalability features, while Quantum "is focused on addressing the distributed data problem. Organizations that want to consolidate remote and branch office backup to a central location now have a Quantum solution sized and featured to do that," Whitehouse said.
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