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Storage management tools

NetApp Deduplication

Data deduplication took center stage in 2008, as major storage vendors rolled out backup products, and corporate IT managers either tested the waters or clamored for more information about the red-hot technology.

NetApp Deduplication claimed runner-up honors in the storage management competition, differentiating itself from other large vendors with its ability to work with primary storage data in addition to backup and archival data.

NetApp announced in July 2008 that customers of its V-Series family of storage virtualization products could also use the deduplication technology to reduce redundant copies of data on disk arrays from other major vendors, including EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Hitachi Data Systems.

Judges awarded NetApp Deduplication technology the highest marks of any storage management entrant in the areas of "ease of integration into environment" and "ease of use and manageability." NetApp Deduplication is a simple command-based feature that's free to users of the company's Data Ontap operating system, which is part of all NetApp FAS Series and V-Series storage systems.

"Porting dedupe into the core OS is a winner," comments one judge.

NetApp Deduplication operates as a background process

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on FAS Series and V-Series systems, and the impact on read/write operations is minimal. Users can schedule deduplication for off-peak times, which can be especially important in minimizing performance hits with heavily used primary storage apps. They can also select the data sets that will produce the greatest benefit, leaving out sets such as encrypted data that won't deduplicate efficiently.

NetApp's Web site has a "deduplication calculator" for customers to compute the space savings they can expect to see.

This was first published in February 2009

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