HDS Pushes De-Dupe Downstream

It's all about small and medium-sized businesses for HDS and Diligent

February 12, 2008

4 Min Read
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HDS has overhauled its VTL lineup with software from its de-dupe partner Diligent, adding a set of midrange appliances in an attempt to convince smaller firms of the benefits of the technology.

"Previously, we were mainly focused on the enterprise, but there [are] medium-sized businesses that need this de-duplication software as well," says Victor Nemechek, HDS's senior product marketing manager. "Its our first bundled offering for the midrange -- prior to this, we would do custom configurations for our customers."

HDS has been reselling Diligent's ProtecTIER software on its VTLs for the last 18 months, but HDS is now looking to offer the technology in a way that is much easier for smaller firms to deploy.

The three appliances launched today -- the 500M, the 1000L, and the 1000E -- use HDS's AMS 500 and 1000 storage arrays as their core infrastructure,and range in size from 8 Tbytes to 50 Tbytes.

The entry-level 500M contains up to 16 Hitachi drives and can transfer data at over 200 Mbyte/s, according to the vendor. The VTL has a usable capacity between 8 Tbytes and 20 Tbytes, although Nemechek told Byte and Switch that de-duplication can push these figures up much higher."Through the power of the de-dupe technology, that 8 Tbytes can represent 200 Tbytes of space for the backup data," Nemechek says, alluding to de-dupe's ability to prevent the same data from being backed up.

HDS, which is pitting its midrange wares against offerings from Sepaton, NetApp, Data Domain, and Quantum, also took the wraps off its 256-drive 1000L and 1000E appliances today.

Despite containing the same number of drives, the 1000E offers throughput of 400 Mbyte/s, compared to the 1000L's 300 Mbyte/s. Usable capacity on the 1000E is between 30 Tbytes and 50 Tbytes, although Hitachi says that this can be scaled up to between 750 Tbytes and 1.25 Pbytes, courtesy of Diligent.

With HDS touting data reductions of up to 25 to one, the 1000L's usable capacity ranges from 15 Tbytes to 30 Tbytes, but it can be extended to between 375 Tbytes and 750 Tbytes.

Today's announcement underlines the changing face of de-duplication and follows Diligent's decision to offer a midrange version of its ProtecTIER software last year."The de-duplication marketplace is still maturing, but very definitely there's a marketplace for [selling to] smaller companies," say David Floyer, co-founder of user and analyst group Wikibon. "Where there are regular copies of the same files, datasets, and databases, done frequently, with not a lot of change, that's when you get the best out of de-duplication."

Despite describing Diligent as the fastest of the de-dupe vendors, the analyst nonetheless warns that users should not get too carried away with the technology.

"The negative side of this is that the amount of time it takes to do de-dupe is long," says Floyer, explaining that HDS can de-dupe up to 1.4 Tbytes of data an hour. "You have to be very clear about what you want to do," he warns.

Despite the speed issues inherent in de-dupe, Diligent appears to be gaining solid traction for its "inline" version of the technology, which de-dupes data before it is sent to backup. In addition to the deal with HDS, Overland also resells the ProtecTIER product, as does Sun.

The first six months of this year have already been described as an important time for de-dupe vendors, with HDS's inline rival Data Domain gaining traction amongst small to medium-sized businesses, and FalconStor recently unveiling a new version of its VTL software.HDS's decision to shift de-duplication gears could also be born out of practical necessity. Despite claiming to have amassed "hundreds" of customers for its existing Diligent-based VTLs, it is unclear just how much enterprise demand there is for de-duplication.

A recent survey by analyst firm Baird, for example, revealed that de-dupe lacks traction amongst large enterprises although other analysts have questioned these findings.

HDS's midrange VTLs will be available within the next two months, although the vendor is still playing its pricing cards close to its chest. "They will start shipping at the start of April," says Nemechek. "We're fine-tuning [the pricing] at this time, but they will be very competitive price-wise."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Diligent Technologies Corp.

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.

  • Sepaton Inc.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc.0

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