HP Sees Opportunity in Data Deduplication

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HP (NYSE: HPQ) sees the bidding war between EMC (NYSE: EMC) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) for Data Domain as evidence of the potential of deduplication — and the company says it’s ready to do battle.

“The size of the deal and the bidding between EMC and NetApp was a testament to the size of the market opportunity,” said Kyle Fitze, HP’s marketing director for Storage Platforms. “We want to be there and we want to compete aggressively in the market.”

HP has offered dedupe for more than a year through its partnership with Sepaton, and the company also offers its HP Labs-developed D2D Backup Systems for remote offices and small businesses.

HP’s Data Protector software also offers host-based dedupe capabilities, and the company this week announced a reseller agreement with compression and dedupe specialist Ocarina Networks, which also works on image files, for HP’s NAS offerings.

“This is a space that HP is taking seriously,” said Fitze.

Deduplication technology reduces data, speeds up restores and helps minimize bandwidth usage during replication, he said. Fitze said HP sees dedupe as part of an overall capacity optimization strategy that also includes thin provisioning, snapshots, pooling and virtualization, as storage users become more focused on freeing “trapped capacity and performance in the existing environment.”

Boosting capacity utilization from, say, 25 percent to 50 percent can mean big savings for end users, Fitze said.

Fitze did not provide the number of HP dedupe users, but he said the number is “growing all the time.”

David Shoup, technology manager for the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut, said the tribal government chose HP’s Sepaton-based Virtual Library System to work with its HP EVA SAN environment. The tribe also switched to HP’s Data Protector software at the same time for centralized management. Shoup said he briefly looked at Data Domain, but the HP VLS made more sense for the HP environment.

“It’s worked rather well for us,” he said, as backups have fallen from more than 24 hours to 8 to 10 hours even as the tribe has backed up more data. He said he’s seeing about a 5.5 to 1 deduplication ratio on changed data.

Asked what he’d like to see added to the VLS, Shoup said he would like to see more automation, but nonetheless said he finds it “straightforward” to operate and is generally a satisfied customer.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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