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HP Dedupe Comes Of Age

According to HP, there is a massive information gap--with more than 50% of information within an organization unconnected, undiscovered and unused--but it says it can help harness the power of 100% of this data to drive insight, foresight and action. The world's largest IT vendor is making a number of storage-related--Information Optimization--announcements, including the debut of what it calls "deduplication 2.0," a market where it has had minimal participation but now expects to pose a significant challenge to the dominant vendor, EMC.

Just over a week ago, HP reported fiscal 2011 results of non-GAAP net revenue of $127.4 billion, with the Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking group up almost 10% year-over-year to $22,241 billion. The storage portfolio showed revenue growth of 4% year over year.

As part of its storage news, the company is announcing the HP B6200 StoreOnce Backup System, the "industry’s fastest large-scale deduplication appliance at 28 Tbytes per hour," with more than three times the rate of competing systems and able to eliminate multiple backed-up versions of the same information, lowering storage capacity requirements by up to 95% and delivering rapid data recovery without impacting daily workflow. The new Data Protector software integrates the HP Labs StoreOnce deduplication engine to deliver data backup for smaller IT environments.

Targeted at midsize clients, the X5000 G2 Network Storage System, designed by HP and Microsoft, can support over 10,000 users on a single system and can be expanded to more than 100 Tbytes of capacity. The B6200 StoreOnce 48-Tbyte Backup System is available with a list price starting at $250,000. The X5000 G2 starts at $30,229.

HP hasn't been doing much in data deduplication, says Arun Taneja, founder, president and consulting analyst, Taneja. He says HP announced StoreOnce for the low end of the market but didn't really push it, and seemed to be waiting for tomorrow, waiting for the major event. This is it.

"HP has arrived, at least on the strategy part, and they have arrived big time." EMC was first to market and has shipped a ton of product, but it has a variety of products and has been inconsistent, says Taneja. HP is late to the market, but for the first time it has product that can compete with EMC across the board with better performance and better scalability. "I think it is a major event for HP. Large enterprises will for the first time have an option. We'll see how aggressively they will compete with EMC."

Lauren Whitehouse, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), likes the HP approach. "First, they have a modular approach to deduplication … one algorithm applied in backup hardware and software [and, in the future, it can be applied to primary storage systems]. This is not unlike Symantec’s current strategy. The beauty of that is that it allows users to decide how best to apply deduplication to meet performance requirements per workload, and it’s interchangeable. Down the road, it could mean the difference between a cumbersome transfer process and a streamlined one. Data won’t have to be rehydrated and re-deduplicated as it moves from one storage system to the next."

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