In an article for Enterprise Storage Forum, Paul Shread comments on the positive reviews that various deduplication technologies got at Storage Decisions from analysts and end users. He suggests that less than 10% of attendees were using deduplication already, but that others were inspired by their experience and would be using it soon.
Paul goes on to quote me, saying I “didn’t think primary data de-duplication technology was ready for prime time just yet.” I absolutely did say these words, but I am not sure if my point came across.
I’ve recently expounded about the benefits of deduplication technology, but have warned that it might not be all it’s cracked up to be in primary storage environments. By “primary” I mean those storage environments serving mission-critical applications. Although dedupe works great for backup and archiving, the random I/O, low latency, and high throughput of primary storage (and especially virtualized servers) might be too much for current systems. And as of now, only NetApp, Riverbed (soon), and startups greenBytes (see my story) and Ocarina (more on them another time) were willing to go on record with me as supporting deduplication of primary storage.
So what I meant was that deduplication is not yet ready for prime time in primary storage applications. No one should hesitate to use the technology for backup or archiving at this point, but make sure you do a thorough evaluation of the specific product you are selecting to make sure it delivers the performance you require!