Survey shows rapid adoption of data de-dupe

Posted on January 01, 2008

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By Kevin Komiega

Market research firm TheInfoPro (TIP) has released the latest results from its ongoing survey of Fortune 1000 IT managers, and it is no surprise that data de-duplication remains atop the list of storage technologies end users plan to spend money on in the coming year.

According to TIP’s survey, data de-duplication holds a commanding lead over virtual tape libraries (VTLs), a closely related technology, which ranked second in terms of storage networking technologies under consideration (see figure).

“Data de-duplication took off in 2007. We haven’t seen this type of demand since disk-to-disk backup solutions emerged,” says Robert Stevenson, TIP’s managing director of storage research.

Stevenson says there is another corollary between de-duplication and disk-to-disk backup devices in that more and more vendors are combining the two technologies. The combined growth of data de-duplication and disk-to-disk backup systems has sparked a shift in the way users are designing backup architectures.

“One of the top-three storage initiatives among the Fortune 1000 is a re-design of their backup operations,” says Stevenson. “By the end of 2010 about 70% of infrastructures in the Fortune 1000 will be protected by replication solutions, and that shift is fueling the demand for technologies that will help them do backup in a more intelligent way. We are seeing all of these trends collide, and the result is demand for data de-duplication.”

The Wave 10 Storage Study indicates that the average size of de-duplication repositories among Fortune 1000 users is about 20TB and growing. Companies are planning to increase spending on de-duplication over the coming year as they incorporate more pieces of their infrastructures into the process to minimize the amount of data that is sent to tape every month.

Stevenson adds, “The fact that we are consistently seeing plans for de-duplication adoption, in addition to increased spending on the technology by users that have already implemented it, tells us that there are bigger trends afoot, such as an increased commitment to data protection for all applications and a move away from tape as a primary data-protection platform.”

Companies seem to be changing their vendor preferences as well. According to Stevenson, there has been a shift in the de-duplication provider landscape over the past six months. For example, Data Domain leapfrogged EMC as the leading in-use de- duplication provider, with EMC dropping to number two. Diligent Technologies ranked number three. Network Appliance is on the rise, coming out of nowhere to secure the number-four spot for de-duplication usage (see figure). Stevenson also says FalconStor and Sepaton have improved their positions, while vendors such as NEC, Quantum, and Symantec are also making headway as vendors of choice for data de-duplication.

On the flipside, TIP found some interesting results in the world of data archiving. According to the report, there has been a rise in homegrown archiving and data-classification solutions despite a rise in the number of products on the market. Stevenson says that users are frustrated and are struggling to find adequate archiving and classification tools. “The frustration has a lot to do with legacy applications. It’s hard for companies to find vendors that understand their legacy installed base, and it’s putting pressure on some companies to externally source operations in some non-critical areas. For example, some users are looking to outsource backup-and-archiving applications,” says Stevenson.

The TIP study points to drop-offs in interest or spending in the areas of archiving, data classification, and e-discovery products in favor of homegrown solutions. Rounding out the survey results, Stevenson says demand for iSCSI, tape encryption, continuous data protection (CDP), and storage virtualization solutions are also showing an increased presence in end users’ purchasing plans for the coming year.

“iSCSI adoption is turning around in the Fortune 1000 as the protocol gains acceptance, particularly with the expansion of replication features and the willingness to consider it as adoption of 10Gbps Ethernet grows,” says Stevenson.

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