Mid Year Review- Storage:Vendors & Partners’ Dealing Of De-Duplication

By Yogesh Gupta Jul 19th 2010
Mid Year Review- Storage:Vendors & Partners’ Dealing Of De-Duplication

Emerging technologies like storage virtualization and compliance further compel customers to archive, save and protect their ‘data’ for longer spells.With shrinking storage capacity & exploding data growth, de-duplication is a compelling solution.

Explosive data growth is transforming enterprise infrastructure into a more complex environment. Emerging technologies like storage virtualization and compliance issues further compel customers to archive, save and protect their ‘data’ for longer spells. An IDC report indicated that worldwide volumes of digital data grew by 62 percent between 2008 and 2009 to nearly 800,000 petabytes. The gap is constantly widening between the amount of digital data being created and the amount of available storage. Storage growth is mainly driven by consumer-generated content and regulatory compliance. “The key factor aggressively pushing the demand for data de-duplication solutions is the explosion of data everywhere. Unstructured data is growing at an alarming rate and management of this data is recognized as one of the major unsolved problems in the industry,” says Vijay Mhaskar, Vice President, Information Management Group, Symantec India.

With shrinking storage capacity and exploding data growth, de-duplication comes as a compelling solution with powerful benefits. “Today, increased dependency of businesses on automation has resulted in burgeoning volumes of data, which need to be stored, managed, protected and retrieved based on business demands. Over the last one year, due to the prevailing economic scenario, enterprises have been forced to re-structure their businesses,” says Surajit Sen, Director –Marketing and Alliances, NetApp India.

The vendor has been witnessing significant uptake across almost 400 systems in India where customers are taking advantage of NetApp de-duplication technology. “There is an increased momentum in the market for technologies like virtualization and cloud computing,” he says.

Data duplication along with transparency of usage for data of laptop / desktop is also gaining prominence (where the same file can exist in 1000s of PC thereby increasing ratio of de-duplication), which is adding other segments to the deduplication market,” says Arvind Singh Chauhan, lead technical consultant, Atempo India. As India is expected to be a country with one of the biggest datacenters, the de-duplication industry would be one of the largest in India,” he says. Singh adds that the early adopters include retail, print media and manufacturing facilities with remote locations in terms of server storage de-duplication and its backup. Government would also emerge as a real big segment.

CA Technologies sees a clear trend which indicates that end-users are looking for solutions which are ‘ More Than Backup.’ “Basically the customer wants a comprehensive solution which delivers total protection, recovery and availability for systems, applications and data,” says Vijayant Rai, Director Channels , CA Technologies.

The explosion of email, power point and Internet downloads means that there is more data to backup. “They need to backup more data in the same backup window time and without de-duplication technology. This would mean companies would have to buy more storage to keep multiple copies of data backups available for rapid recovery,” he says.

Atempo Live Backup continuously captures all data, including any modifications, from the moment it is created thus offering more flexible Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and faster Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) than the traditional data protection solutions that were designed to create, manage and store single-point-in-time copies of data points. NetApp technologies like SnapShots, SnapMirror, FlexClone and SnapVault have inherent deduplication capabilities. “For organizations that deal with customer data, de-duplication of data is going to be a key requirement in years to come. This includes banking, insurance, telecom, credit bureaus, and travel among others. The key areas include risk management, customer service and sales and marketing,” says Sen.

A Top Priority for CIOs

CIOs and IT organizations are challenged today to manage the explosive data growth which needs to be backed up, protected, made available for applications and recovered in case of any eventuality. “Needless to say, the demands on physical and in a lot of cases virtual storage capacity is ever growing as well. De-duplication helps save on precious storage capacity besides making the whole process a lot more efficient,” says Rai at CA Technologies.

According to Mhaskar at Symantec, archiving takes infrequently used unstructured data off primary storage, indexes it, and moves it into less expensive, slower disk arrays for longer-term retention. “The need of the hour is for integrated solutions that let the CIO cut costs as well as manage the data effectively. Our key approach is unique which is information-led one rather than being infrastructure-led,” he adds.

Atempo firmly believe that de-duplication is becoming important by the day for the CIOs from storage management point of view. Especially for CIOs of large and distributed enterprises or those who have mobile or critical PC users, says Chauhan at Atempo India. The vendor is training their partners extensively to further impart the knowledge to the CIO community. CA partners have been educating the end user community on the benefits of deploying a comprehensive ‘Recovery Management’ solution like CA Arcserve and utilizing cutting edge features like ‘De-Duplication’ and ‘Storage Resource Manager (SRM)’ which besides providing substantial saving, will give them better manageability of their Backup Environment.

According to CA Technologies, channel partners are crucial to delivering the benefits of features like ‘Deduplication’ & ‘SRM’ to end-users. “By selling and implementing features like ‘Deduplication’ partners can easily display ‘Value / Benefit / Savings’ which the customer accrues by deploying such features. This represents an opportunity for partners to increase his services footprint,” says Rai at CA Technologies. We have been working closely with partners to ensure that they are enabled sales and technical perspective to deliver the full value of CA Arcserve Recovery Management solutions, he adds. “Atempo has high niche backup focus for specific verticals. Aligning with partners having focus on these industries ensures higher margins even when the end-user price drops,” says Singh.

F1 Infotech is concentrating on Atempo Live Backup and CA BAB (De Duplication feature included in latest version) as both solutions gives de-duplication a higher rate. “Our team has been trained with the products in respect to this technology or solution,” says Sunil Gupta, Director - Business Development, F1 InfoTech. He adds that they do pitch the dedupe solution along with storage as it adds value to the proposed solution.

Delhi-based Zephyr Info Solutions are pitching dedupe to enterprises, but its adoption depends upon the vision and strategy of individual decision makers. “Market trends like economic benefit (in terms of floor space, cost of power and cooling), value of increased retention, value of operational efficiencies and time to protection are the factors to increase demand for dedupe,” says Ajit K Jha, Technical Director, Zephyr. “We are focusing on EMC’s product namely Data Domain and Avamar which facilitates de-dupe on target and  source level respectively; in turn giving us the leverage to provide purpose-built solution,” he says.

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