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Dell fastens shrink ray tech onto new file vault

Plays Ocarina for backup box in 2012

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Dell appears to have a new disk backup array in development, with a launch likely in the first half of 2012.

After sounding out various sources, we think that Dell is developing a backup-to-disk product that complements the existing data reduction products in its portfolio and uses Ocarina deduplication technology.

Dell used to rebadge EMC's Data Domain deduplicating disk backup systems as the DD140, DD610 and DD630 products. This ceased with Dell ending its OEM deal with EMC in October this year. In that month it launched its DX6000G SCN object storage system with Ocarina data reduction technology.

Dell also provides PowerVault DL backup to disk products with either Symantec Backup Exec or CommVault Simpana deduplication software. It has said it wants to bring the Ocarina technology to these products.

However, before this is accomplished, it is developing a new backup to disk system to replace the now absent Data Domain boxes, using the Ocarina technology. Dell's Ocarina strategy devolves on three use cases. The first is archive with the DX6000G object storage system. This uses Ocarina compression, as Dell does not consider deduplication optimal for mutable and immutable files in objects.

We understand that the policy-based compression delivered by the DX6000G SCN is optimised either for performance or for capacity, and can shrink data by up to 90 per cent, depending upon its type.

The second use case is backup, where both compression and deduplication are valid technologies to reduce the size of backup data sets. The new deduplicating backup to disk system is for this use case. We may see deduplication ratios of up to 15:1, meaning a 15-fold reduction in the backup data storage footprint. Possible applications could be backing up VMWare and other hypervisors' virtual machines.

We don't expect he new product to interoperate with the DX6000G because that system does not use deduplication.

The new product will complement Dell's PowerVault DL products, which are for customers who want an all-in-one disk array and dedupe product. Alternatively, for best-of-breed backup and deduplication, or for customers who already have an enterprise backup strategy/environment, Dell will provide this new deduplicating backup to disk product.

The third use case is the integration of Ocarina functionality in the Dell Fluid File system for Scale-out NAS and Unified Storage products. This is still a future development. ®

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