Any other surprises in the data protection arena?

Yes. Companies in the wide-area data services [WDS] space, like Riverbed, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Blue Coat, are using products to accelerate applications so they can run with LAN-like

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performance, even though they might be accessing that application across a WAN. We've seen these vendors now start to integrate local disk caches into their WAN acceleration appliances. You'll see all the major players in this space in the next 12 to 18 months integrate these local disk-based caches. That's going to allow people to use these appliances in a much more targeted way for backup purposes so they can actually back up to that WDS appliance in the local remote office and then do restores directly from that disk-based cache. This will put these vendors into much more direct competition with data deduplication vendors, such as Data Domain and Quantum, who are also selling small appliances that can potentially be located in the remote office.

WDS products are already leveraging data deduplication technologies to slim down the amount of data they sent across the WAN. But there's no reason why they can't use those same integrated technologies against data at rest that would be sitting in those local disk caches that are now out in the remote sites.

This was first published in July 2008

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