In an effort to clarify its stance on data deduplication, Dell is answering questions about its dedupe partnerships with EMC and Quantum, shipping a new disk-based backup appliance based on CommVault’s Simpana 8.0 software, and offering details on an upcoming Dell/EMC system based on Quantum’s deduplication architecture.

Last November, Dell entered into a three-way development partnership with Quantum and EMC, under which the trio is developing and standardizing all Quantum, Dell and Dell/EMC storage products on a common deduplication architecture. The deal raised questions about Dell’s other partnerships with OEMs such as CommVault and Symantec.

Today, Dell is attempting to clear up any confusion by officially stating its deduplication strategy. Brett Roscoe, senior manager, product marketing, Dell Enterprise Storage, says deduplication is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

“There are different approaches to deduplication for customers to choose from and, internally at Dell, there is a market for both source-based and target-based dedupe,” says Roscoe.

On the source side, Dell today unveiled a new member of its PowerVault disk-based backup platform based on the latest version of CommVault’s Simpana software, version 8.0.

The PowerVault DL2000 with Simpana 8 extends block-level deduplication across backup and archive data residing on disk and tape. The DL2000 integrates backup and archive deduplication with replication to reduce traffic over the WAN. It also features new iSCSI target support and integrates with VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) to keep Dell EqualLogic iSCSI virtual server backup traffic off the corporate network.

Dell is bullish on source-based deduplication as major vendors add the functionality to their products.

“Target-based deduplication has its place, but we are taking a stronger stance on source-side deduplication because it is happening faster than we originally thought it would. We didn’t expect ISVs would get it integrated into their products this quickly,” says Roscoe.

Dell is also working with Symantec on a new “Symantec Powered” DL system.

On the target side, Roscoe explains that Dell’s partnerships with EMC and Quantum will produce a new, target-based deduplication system later this year in the form of the Dell/EMC DL1500. The DL1500 will feature IP or virtual tape library (VTL) connectivity and replication compatible with EMC and Quantum dedupe technologies.