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Dell's sticks with dual de-dupe strategy

Thinks two heads are better than one

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Dell is going to have two de-duplication technologies, not a single de-duplication architecture across its products,

On Monday it announced a single, block-level de-duplication architecture to be applied across its PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC storage arrays next year. The technology is based on licensed intellectual property from Quantum.

This followed its PowerVault DL2000 announcement where one option included the use of CommVault Simpana software with file-level de-duplication, also known as single-instancing. This is less efficient at removing redundancy in files than block-level de-duplication.

CommVault will add block-level de-duplication next year also. Thus Dell, which aims for simplification, will have two incompatible de-duplication technologies in use.

A Dell spokesperson stated: "[This] is intended to be a 'single architecture across different size and capacity target-based de-dupe solutions', not across DL2000. In other words we would use the same de-dupe SW stack from SMB to enterprise on our target-based de-dupe solutions. [This] drives the compatibility and replication capability of the product line.

"We will continue to work with CommVault on advances for the DL2000 platform. The DL2000 is a new product that is intended as an integrated backup appliance for SMBs and happens to include de-dupe functionality."

Although the DL2000 is branded as a PowerVault DL2000 product, in this situation it's not being treated as a PowerVault product.

Competitor HP has two de-duplication technologies, one for enterprise customers and one for small/medium enterprises.

In its de-duplication architecture release Dell stated: "Dell is taking a common architecture approach to its de-duplication strategy." That now seems to be an over-statement. The company is saying that the coming Quantum-based de-dupe is for customers needing to replicate and de-duplicate data across multiple sites, perhaps from departments or branch offices to the data center. The DL2000 de-dupe appliance is for single offices with limited IT support, implying it is not for replicating data between offices.

However, the Simpana DL2000 can also replicate data between offices leading to the situation that, where a small business has a couple of offices, there will be two incompatible backup to disk and de-duplication products in Dell's product line. ®

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