Network Appliance has added de-duplication software to its primary storage systems.
Ravi Thota, director of product marketing for data and storage management at NetApp, said single-instance storage (A-SIS) de-duplication, once limited to a joint offering with Symantec NetBackup, now works on FAS filers and NearStore R200 storage systems.
De-duplication tools eliminate redundant data because only a unique instance of the data is retained on a disk or tape. Redundant data is replaced with a pointer to the unique data copy and each subsequent instance is referenced back to the single saved copy.
In short, one physical copy is a proxy for several copies, which is why some storage experts view de-duplication as a form of virtualization technology. This approach means customers use less storage for the same amount of data, reducing storage gear, power and management costs.
Thota said some NetApp customers could only afford to put data on tape for specific things. De-duplication makes it affordable to keep the data on disk, giving customers new capabilities such as the ability to search data for legal discovery reasons.
"The overall goal for NetApp is to reduce the amount of storage a customer needs to purchase and manage across the enterprise," Thota said. "De-duplication is one technology that allows us to deliver on that promise."
NetApp's A-SIS de-duplication now works on NetApp FAS and NearStore R200 storage systems. Thota said customers need Data Ontap operating system version 7.2.2. R200 customers need only turn on the A-SIS de-duplication license; FAS systems owners can add A-SIS for $3,000 per platform.
Deduplication is offered by a handful of vendors, among them Diligent, Data Domain, Sepaton, FalconStor and Asigra. With this week's announcement, NetApp joins EMC, Symantec and Quantum as tier-1 storage providers offering the technology.
Support for NearStore VTL de-duplication is planned for a future release, NetApp said, and the company will conduct a technology demonstration of VTL de-duplication at Symantec Vision in June.
Also this week, Gear6 debuted its caching appliance that the company claims serves data 10 to 50 times faster than disk and eliminates storage bottlenecks. The company says its CACHEfx appliances support a baseline of 250,000 I/O operations per second (IOPS), 16 gigabits per second throughput, microsecond response time and linear scaling to handle millions of IOPS. Pricing for all that performance starts at $400,000.