Managing Cost, Time, and Risk With Deduplication Appliances

Oh, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but it’s true enough that you’re worried about these three issues.

After all, for any solution, you have to think of the cost benefit – will it deliver strong ROI? You also wonder about the time it will consume. You’re probably already spending more hours in the data center than you’d like, and a new solution – could just become a new day-eating wormhole.  And finally, you have to worry about the risk, will the new solution cause problems?

All in all, you’re worried about whether a new solution will live up to expectations.

As far as data protection goes, one of the best technologies for managing cost, time, and risk turns out to be dedupe – a way of coping with mountains of data that reduces time, minimizes costs, and helps you to cope with risk.

Have you deployed deduplication for backup? If you have, then you know just how much dedupe helps you manage your data. 

I know at this point you’re asking a question. How? In general, here are the highlights.

Cost – let’s face facts. Terabytes cost money, and your enterprise is probably full of redundant, endlessly copied data that takes up capacity – on disk and tape – that’s just not necessary any longer. Without dedupe, as your backup data rapidly grows, you’re adding additional disk and tape to manage the growth. That bumps up acquisition cost, of course, but there’s also a TCO factor as the costs of managing and storing backup data becomes a problem.

Adding dedupe to your backup at any level – file, block, source, target, online or offline – offers a cost benefit because it reduces backup sprawl and management overhead. Yes, there’s an upfront cost of acquiring deduplication, but that cost is rapidly offset by the technical benefits.

Our DR4100 dedupe appliance offers ingest speeds up to 7.5 TB/hour (using RDA and NetVault Backup), so you can easily meet your backup window and recovery time objectives while driving down costs and secondary storage – resulting in 93% less storage space at as little as $0.17/Gb.

Time – typically, IT administrators worry more about cost, but if your backup windows or bandwidth become a limitation, time is a major issue. Backup size also impacts backup validation and restore times.

Most administrators see a major backup window and/or restore time reduction from using dedupe with their backups. Reducing a backup window or backup verification by a factor of 10 can make a major difference to your environment. Turnkey appliances like the DR series are a smart way to deploy and manage data protection.

Risk – it’s rare for IT administrators to think about dedupe as a risk mitigation technology. However, there’s no question that it is, in a number of important ways:

  1. As you add dozens or hundreds of spindles to your disk-to-disk backup solution, you’re adding dozens of new failure points, which inevitably will stop working sooner or later. The same sort of problems emerges with tape – more tapes means more failures. Dedupe reduces the number of spindles and moves your backups from tape and so reduces the risk.
  2. Backup / recovery failures – it’s no secret that backups sometimes fail to complete. One of the reasons backups fail is a backup exceeding the available window or bandwidth. In this era of explosive data growth, it’s just not unusual at all. Dedupe helps prevent failed backups and restores by reducing the amount of data that’s backed up or retrieved – it’s that simple.
  3. Enhanced data protection and disaster recovery – purpose built appliances can enhance the entire data protection environment and provide a proactive measure against various kinds of failure, including power loss and hardware failures.

So there you have it – cost, time, and risk, the three problems tamed with deduplication.

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About the Author
Efrain.Viscarolasaga
Former PR pro, former journalist, current Product Marketing Manager for Data Protection. Adequate guitarist, less-than adequate hockey player; inadequate golfer.