NetApp Dedupes the Competition


NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) is extending its primary storage data de-duplication technology to its competitors' arrays (see NetApp Dedupes Customers and Dedupe: It's Not Just for Backup Anymore).

By adding the free feature to its V-Series family of storage virtualization solutions, NetApp says users can use the technology to reduce redundant data on storage systems from the likes of EMC (NYSE: EMC), Hitachi Data Systems, HP (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) to better utilize storage capacity.

With its unique approaching to de-duplication — deduping primary data instead of focusing primarily on backup and archiving — NetApp claims the technology has become one of the fastest growing in the company's history, with 2,500 customers using the technology on more than 10,000 systems.

Chris Cummings, NetApp senior director of data protection solutions, said one thing that makes dedupe an easy sell is that it's easy to explain.

"You don't have to understand IT to understand dedupe," he said. "You are going to see that this is a feature people are going to want everywhere."

NetApp says its dedupe users can expect anywhere from 25 percent to 90 percent space savings, depending on application. And saving disk space also saves on power and cooling costs and data center space, noted Cummings.

With NetApp's post-processing approach to dedupe, Cummings said performance isn't affected. The technology is built into the Data ONTAP operating system and takes 10 minutes to deploy, he said.

To avoid data corruption problems, Cummings said NetApp combines file "fingerprints," checksums and RAID data protection to ensure data integrity.

"You're going to be protected," he said.

Already in its FAS storage systems, NetApp says the technology will be included in all NetApp storage systems by the end of the year.

Dedupe has been one of the hottest storage technologies in the last year or so, with vendors like EMC, Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP) and ExaGrid claiming triple-digit growth rates for their dedupe offerings.

Sepaton today pledged that users of its FastStart De-duplication Package for Symantec NetBackup environments will experience a 40-to-1 de-duplication ratio on Microsoft Exchange data in 30 days — or any extra required disk is free.

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