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A final area of concern is the ability to selectively turn off deduplication for specific files or servers. This is important when compliance is an issue because the authenticity of data may come into question if it's deduplicated in any way. Also, if data is encrypted before the disk library receives it, deduplication provides no additional space-saving benefits; users should identify ahead of time which data is encrypted before it's stored or sent to a disk library.
As data stores continue to soar, deduplication into the backup process is rapidly evolving from a nice-to-have capability to a must-have capability for most corporate environments. The good news is that for small and midsized businesses managing 10TB of data or less, using either type of deduplication product, backup software or disk library, will significantly shorten backup windows. The decision then becomes what product best fits your environment.
At the enterprise level this isn't yet the case. Though promising work is occurring with inline approaches such as Diligent Technologies ProtecTier Data Protection Platform and NEC's Hydrastor, most enterprises will find a postprocessing disk library such as Sepaton's S2100-ES2 a safer choice for now until all of the costs, risks and processing overhead associated with inline deduplication are better understood and documented.
This was first published in June 2007