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VTL Vendors Ponder De-Dupe

Vendors of virtual tape libraries (VTLs) are under pressure to add data de-duplication to their wares. But they continue to waffle on which one to use.

Data de-duplication has become a key technique for data reduction, ensuring that optimum use is made of expensive disk storage. But concerns about performance and other factors appear to have the leading VTL vendors as concerned as end users when it comes to how and when to deploy. (See Experts Share De-Dupe Insights.)

Case in point: While at least three leading storage vendors -- EMC, IBM, and Sun -- OEM their VTL products from FalconStor, they haven't added that vendor's data de-duplication into their wares. Indeed, they're looking elsewhere.

"We will offer de-dupe in our VTL at the beginning of 2008... The VTL comes from FalconStor, but the de-dupe technology will not. That will be our own intellectual property," writes EMC spokesman Todd Cadley in an email to Byte and Switch today. EMC will leverage the technology acquired in the purchase of Avamar to develop de-duplication for EMC's Clariion Disk Library series. (See EMC Picks Up Avamar and EMC Talks Disk & De-Dupe.)

IBM says it has no de-duplication in its VTLs and no timeframe to share for adding it at this point, though the NetApp NAS gear from IBM has de-dupe. "We are actively examining the best approaches, and we do currently OEM de-dupe into our N series line from NetApp," says IBM spokeswoman Cary Barbour.

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