2009: Do more with less


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Planning for data protection
With backup the top-rated 2009 priority for storage managers, and data protection concerns like DR not far behind, it's no wonder so much attention is being paid to technologies that can enhance data protection operations. And the current poster child for improving backup is undisputedly data deduplication. In our survey, 62% of respondents plan to implement or at least evaluate dedupe in 2009, the most popular backup technology by a good margin (see "Data protection tools to be deployed or evaluated in 2009," below).

Dedupe was similarly a popular option last year when even more respondents (69%) expressed their interest in the technology. The drop in the dedupe deploy/evaluate number this time around can be attributed to the number of shops that have implemented it since last year. Eighteen percent say they have dedupe up and running this year vs. 12% last year.

Large- and medium-sized companies currently lead the dedupe charge, with 22% and 23%, respectively, saying they have dedupe systems installed. But even small companies are in on the dedupe play: 12% say it's already been implemented, while another 52% will evaluate or deploy dedupe in 2009. Perhaps even more telling evidence of dedupe's compelling value proposition can be found in the number of companies that have no plans at all in 2009 related to the technology--a

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mere 20% say they'll pass on the technology.

While dedupe tends to hog the spotlight, there are other data protection technologies storage pros will be considering in 2009. Lagging dedupe by only a handful of percentage points is archiving software (for file systems, email or databases), which 56% of our respondents say is on their 2009 agenda. That figure is almost identical to last year's, and the percentage noting that they've already implemented some form of archiving (26%) is an exact match of last year's results. That suggests that while there's considerable interest in archiving, other data protection needs may have superseded it over the past year, although it remains a high priority in many shops.

Slightly more than half of the respondents also rate continuous data protection (CDP) apps high on their 2009 to-do lists. That's about six percentage points fewer than last year but, unlike some other technologies, implementations don't cover that discrepancy, as the same number of respondents as last year currently report using CDP (12%). The benefits of the technology are clear so interest has remained high, but acceptance has been hampered because it was typically offered as an additional application that would run alongside a company's mainline backup application. That stumbling block is being whittled down as backup application vendors are increasingly offering CDP as an integrated tool (see "Second-generation CDP," Storage magazine, October 2008).

This was first published in December 2008

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