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Xiotech joins primary dedupe parade

Xiotech today at Storage Decisions in New York declared its intention to offer primary data deduplication through an OEM deal with Permabit for its Albireo embedded software.

Xiotech chief marketing officer Brian Reagan said the vendor had no timetable for embedding primary dedupe into its storage systems. “We’re looking at incorporating Albireo into our next-generation products,” he said, adding that Xiotech does not plan to use it in current shipping products. “It’s an opportunity to enhance products on our roadmap now.”

However, the press release issued by the companies said Xiotech will use dedupe with its Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) storage blades, suggesting that it will be in an ISE upgrade. Xiotech has been pushing its storage’s performance with virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI), and the release said “Xiotech’s leading cost per virtual desktop will be taken to the next level when combined with Albireo’s enormously powerful deduplication of virtual desktops, greatly reducing storage requirements.”

The release also noted that Albireo sits outside the data path, has no impact on data reads, and scales to petabytes.

Reagan said Permabit and Xiotech are headed in the same strategic direction with data reduction, and the move to incorporate reduction technology is inevitable.

“We’ve seen the rise of deduplication and compression in backup and archiving, and it’s a matter of time until it becomes a table stakes feature in primary storage,” he said. Reagan also said using Permabit’s deduplication leaves the door open for Xiotech to add compression as well, although the vendor has no concrete plans for that yet.

Xiotech is the second vendor to publicly announce plans to use Albireo, following NAS vendor BlueArc last month. Permabit CEO Tom Cook says more are coming.

“Until now, NetApp has had a strong advantage as the only vendor with [primary] deduplication,” Cook said. “We’re seeing a clear objective from all storage vendors to have these products in the market in 2011.”

NetApp has offered dedupe for primary data since 2007, but other vendors have been lining up this year to follow that path. Dell acquired primary reduction vendor Ocarina Networks and IBM bought compression vendor Storwize this year. EMC added block compression to its midrange Clariion storage systems, and Hewlett-Packard said it will extend its StoreOnce backup deduplication technology to primary data. Storage systems based on ZFS can also take advantage of the dedupe built into that file system.

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