NetApp Extends De-Dupe to Rivals' Storage

Software upgrade turns vendor's V-Series controller into a de-dupe gateway for other vendors' arrays

July 31, 2008

2 Min Read
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NetApp opened up its de-duplication technology to storage from other vendors today, touting the ability to de-dupe data on rivals' primary storage.

An upgrade to the vendors Data ONTAP 7Gsoftware running on NetApp's V-Series device has opened the door to de-dupe on other firms’ hardware, according to Chris Cummings, NetApp’s senior director of data protection solutions.

“The high-end and the midrange V-Series Controller lets us put a NetApp gateway in front of an existing array from our competitors,” he explains, adding that the V-Series functions as the gateway. “This allows us to apply de-dupe to those volumes that are being managed where the data is resident in those arrays.”

Arrays that could be linked to the V-Series include, for example, HDS’s Tagmastore, EMC’s Clariion and Celerra offerings, and IBM’s Shark,he adds.

The software upgrade, which is available now, is free of charge to V-Series users with ONTAP 7G licenses.NetApp, which like Sepaton, and Exagrid, uses a ‘post-processing’ approach, where data is de-duped after it is written to a target disk, has been ramping up its de-dupe strategy during recent months. Earlier this year, for example, the vendor was the first to extend its de-dupe capabilities from secondary to primary storage devices.

The vendor is touting today’s announcement as another plank in this primary de-dupe strategy.

”It’s for both primary and secondary storage, although the main use case is front-end primary” storage, says the NetApp exec. “HP, Diligent, all those folks, are talking the backup game, but the game has changed and it’s now on primary storage.”

Like NetApp’s V-Series, rival vendor Data Domain also offers de-dupe gateway devices that can be connected to storage from other vendors, although these focus on backup. Data Domain, unlike NetApp, uses “inline” de-duplication where data is compressed on the fly while it is being sent to the target.

Despite all of NetApp’s de-dupe hype, the vendor was unable to offer up any early adopters who are using the V-Series software upgrade, although Cummings reiterated that vendor’s commitment to de-dupe technology.“You can have it on every current system from NetApp except for the SMB S500 device,” he explains, adding that plans to extend de-dupe on the S500 are “under review.” The vendor later confirmed that “all NetApp systems will include de-duplication technology” in a statement released this morning.

NetApp, which introduced de-dupe in spring 2007 has now amassed more than 2,500 customers using the technology on more than 10,000 systems, according to Cummings. “In the last four months, the rise in licenses was between 1500 and 2800 per month,” he says.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)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • ExaGrid Systems Inc.

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Sepaton Inc.

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