Overland Picks Diligent for De-Dupe

New VTLs with de-dupe signal a trend, and ongoing progress for both vendors

November 6, 2007

3 Min Read
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Overland Storage has given its VTL (virtual tape library) series a shot of de-duplication from Diligent Technologies, in a move that could boost Overland's prospects while adding another OEM notch to Diligent's belt.

Overland, which has seen its fortunes wane in the last 18 months, following the defection of key OEMs HP and Dell, has made a range of enhancements to its product line lately in an effort to beef up its traction with the high end of the small-to-medium-sized enterprise market.

"We looked at other partners, but Diligent sells into large enterprises," said Jeff Graham, Overland senior product manager, on a call last week. Overland, which has focused on enhancing its VTLs recently, is aiming for a higher level of customer in an effort to differentiate itself from Data Domain and Quantum, which own the SMB/workgroup market.

In this vein, Overland's new REO 9500D Deduplicating VTL Appliance represents a new high watermark in capacity for Overland. It supports up to 187 Tbytes in a 5U chassis that sports dual 4-Gbit/s host connections. In contrast, the biggest non-deduping platform from Overland to date supports 30 Tbytes. The REO 9500D is priced from $65,400 and will ship this month.

One of two early adopters (the second's unnamed) says he's getting at least a 5-to-1 ratio improvement in storage usage, as well as saving labor and stitching up recovery time. "The backup window is a lot better," says Bob O'Connor, CTO at the Girl Scouts of the USA. An uptick in stored data was the impetus for adopting an Overland disk-to-disk-to-tape setup six months ago to serve the Girl Scouts' 5-Tbyte EMC-and-Brocade-based network. A month ago, the group added the REO 9500D to its existing REO 9000 VTL and NEO 2000 LTO tape drives, and they are pleased with the results so far.O'Connor says the new gear not only saves storage space, it lets the Girl Scouts back up more often, thereby speeding up recovery time. In the past, the length of time required to back up data meant that multiple tapes were needed to create restorals. O'Connor says the Girl Scouts now have the option to keep at least a month's worth of data online, ready to hand.

From Diligent's perspective, the Overland deal is another notch in its lineup of OEM partnerships, which include Sun, whose OEM deal with FalconStor extends just to VTL software without de-duplication, implying a dissatisfaction with that aspect of FalconStor's wares.

FalconStor has a fan in OEM partner Copan, however. And Pillar also has deployed FalconStor de-duplication, though not exclusively: Pillar's hedging its bets by adopting de-duplication from Diligent, Data Domain, and Symantec as well.

Some sources say FalconStor's approach of de-duplicating data after it's backed up contrasts unfavorably for some OEMs with the in-line processing used by Diligent, which de-dupes data "in line" before it is backed up. While Diligent and Overland are making the most of this kind of argument, there are pros and cons on both sides.

"Outside of Data Domain's success in the mid-market, workgroup, and pockets of the enterprise, the enterprise market for de-dupe is still very much emerging," states Greg Schulz of the StorageIO Group. Since enterprises are risk-averse, strong VTL adoption will have to take place before de-duplication becomes entrenched. 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.

  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • Diligent Technologies Corp.

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL)

  • Pillar Data Systems Inc.

  • Quantum Corp. (NYSE: QTM)

  • The StorageIO Group

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