Pillar's Choice Reflects Storage De-Dupe Trend

Pillar hedges its bets by aligning with multiple vendors, FalconStor first

September 28, 2007

2 Min Read
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The last few weeks have brought some blurring of boundaries associated with data de-duplication products, a trend that continued yesterday when Pillar Data Systems announced partnerships with a slew of vendors to deploy different forms of the technology on its Axiom hardware.

Pillar's de-duplication partners include FalconStor, Data Domain, Diligent, and Symantec, a cast of characters that encompasses the two de-duplication camps: "in-line" and "post-processing."

Data Domain, Diligent, and Symantec, for instance, use appliances to de-duplicate data "in-line" before it is sent to backup. FalconStor uses "post processing," in which data is de-duped once it is sent to backup.

In-line technologies, although they use less disk than post-processing solutions, may interfere with performance on the network. It really depends on whom you speak to.

Pillar is taking an "agnostic" approach to de-duplication, according to Bob Maness, the vendor's vice president of marketing. "We're not coming down on either side -- there are pluses and minuses with both approaches," he says.The Pillar exec is not the first to climb onto the fence. As one analyst, who asked not to be named, recently noted: "Both in-line and post-processing approaches have advantages and disadvantages. A well done post-process de-dupe is just as effective as an ingress de-dupe. A well done ingress de-dupe can be just as fast as a post process de-dupe."

At the moment, Pillar is farthest down the de-duplication road with FalconStor, inking a reseller partnership for the vendor's Single Instance Repository (SIR) -- compared to its "interoperability" deals with Data Domain, Diligent, and Symantec. Still, Maness says there is "good potential" for those agreements to develop into full reseller deals.

Meanwhile, the Pillar deal nonetheless spells good news for FalconStor, which recently received a slap in the face when its de-duplication was bypassed by longstanding partner Sun in favor of Diligent's ProtecTIER suite.

Clearly, Pillar is looking to avoid a de-duplication "religious war," which may be the right move from the vendor's side of things. Storage managers are still wrestling with de-duplication, and it's not clear which tack if any will prevail in specific markets.

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  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Diligent Technologies Corp.

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Pillar Data Systems Inc.

  • Symantec Corp.

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