Sun Adds Data Deduplication To VTL Line - InformationWeek

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4/7/2008
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Howard Marks
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Sun Adds Data Deduplication To VTL Line

Just as the arrival of the first robin -- the bird, not Dick Grayson, fanboy -- is a harbinger of spring, adoption by three-letter vendors is an indication that a technology is moving from the revolutionary land of the startup to the mainstream. Sun's announcement today that it's adding deduplication to the StorageTek VTLPrime is just another indication that deduplication is mainstream, if not overdue.

Just as the arrival of the first robin -- the bird, not Dick Grayson, fanboy -- is a harbinger of spring, adoption by three-letter vendors is an indication that a technology is moving from the revolutionary land of the startup to the mainstream. Sun's announcement today that it's adding deduplication to the StorageTek VTLPrime is just another indication that deduplication is mainstream, if not overdue.Sun has long been a FalconStor OEM integrating FalconStor's VTL software with various Sun servers and storage to create its VTLValue and high-performance VTLPrime. Like fellow FalconStor OEMs EMC and IBM, it has taken quite a while to roll a deduplicating VTL out the door and has been reselling Diligent's ProtecTIER as a deduplicating solution in the meantime.

While rumors have been floating around for weeks about IBM acquiring Diligent and EMC getting deduplication technology from Quantum, some of us have been wondering why FalconStor's OEMs haven't taken the easy path and used their SIR (Single Instance Repository). Now one has.

SIR, and therefore VTLPrime, does data deduplication after backup data has been saved to disk as a post process. It does start deduplicating before the backup jobs end, but users still need to have enough free disk space (typically around 30%) for new backups to land before they're integrated into the deduplicated store.

Curiously, Sun is pitching the VTLPrime to run as a second tier of backup storage behind a VTLPlus. According to Dan Albright of Sun, users would backup to VLTPlus for high performance and migrate backup data after several days to VTLPrime, where it will occupy less space.

Also curious for an enterprise vendor looking for performance, Sun hasn't bought into FalconStor's SIR scaling model that allows multiple dedicated server nodes to deduplicate data in parallel to speed the process. VTLPrime is an all-in-one solution that acts as both the VTL and deduplication engine. Sun will support replicating deduplicated data from one VTL to another.

VTLPrime starts at $40,000 for a unit with 3 TB of usable disk space. Four additional models range up to a 42-TB unit for the low, low price of $300,000.

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