Ravi Thota, director of product marketing for data and storage management at NetApp, said single-instance storage (A-SIS) deduplication, once relegated in a conjoined offering with Symantec NetBackup, now works on FAS filers and NearStore R200 storage systems.
Deduplication tools eliminate redundant data because only a unique instance of the data is retained on a disk or tape. Redundant data is replaced with a pointer to the unique data copy and each subsequent instance is referenced back to the one saved copy.
In short, one physical copy is a proxy for several copies, which is why some storage experts view deduplication as a form of virtualization technology. This approach means customers use less storage for the same amount of data, reducing storage gear, power, and management costs.
Thota said some NetApp customers could only afford to put data on tape for specific things. Deduplication makes it affordable to put the data on disk, affording customers new capabilities such as the ability to search data for legal discovery reasons.
"The overall goal for NetApp is to reduce the amount of storage a customer needs to purchase and manage across the enterprise," Thota said. "Deduplication is one technology that allows us to deliver on that promise."