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The Data Squeeze

ProtecTier deduplication offers 25-to-1 reduction and online backup

ProtecTier deduplication offers 25-to-1 reduction and online backup
Illustration by James Yang

Solving a Disk Problem

Data deduplication addresses the challenges of disk-to-disk backup. “Data deduplication looks at the data that’s in a typical backup set—where there’s often redundant data—and finds ways to reduce it,” Nemechek says. An example is a PowerPoint presentation that’s been sent to 20 people. The backup application stores all 20 copies found on the system. Data deduplication identifies data that’s already been stored and, rather than use extra disk space, can store one copy and point to it for the other instances.

Data deduplication technology also works at the byte level. “It’s any data that’s stored multiple times,” Nemechek says. “For example, let’s say there’s a corporate logo. And you might have that logo in PowerPoints, Word documents, on the Web—it’s everywhere and it doesn’t change based on where it is. Deduplication technology recognizes that it’s seen this chunk of data before and won’t write it again.”

This lets customers store more data on a small amount of disk—generally a 25-to-1 reduction, according to Nemechek. “Deduplication can squeeze 25 terabytes of data down to only 1 terabyte of physical disk, so customers can have the speed and reliability of disk but without that one-to-one cost,” he says. “It enables them to do more of their backup to disk as opposed to only getting to do that most critical data.”

“The ProtecTIER solution really is the best technology on the market today. It has some capabilities of scalability and performance that no one else can match.” —Victor Nemechek

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.

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