Understanding the importance of data deduplication for the modern data centre

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By Staff Writer

Data deduplication might seem like a new thing but the reality is that the technology has been around for quite some time.

Warren Olivier, regional manager of Veeam Southern Africa, discusses the roles Big Data and the always-on business have played to bring it back into the spotlight.

“Storage has become a hot topic in recent months with many companies trying to leverage the sheer amount of data they have at their disposal to make more effective strategic decisions. And with the IDC forecasting that Big Data will grow at a 26.4 percent compound annual growth rate to $41.5 billion through 2018, decision-makers need to come up with ways to reduce the storage burden they place on their IT departments,” he says.

Warren Olivier, regional manager of Veeam Southern Africa
Warren Olivier, regional manager of Veeam Southern Africa

With virtualisation and cloud computing becoming more critical to the modern data centre, shared storage has become an expensive commodity. The Veeam Data Centre Availability Report 2014 shows more than 90 percent of enterprise respondents increasing their requirements for minimising downtime and guaranteeing access to data. With 81 percent of organisations either modernising or already modernised their data centres, the platform has been established to start benefitting from deduplication.

“One of the easiest ways to explain this [deduplication] is to think about backing up your operating system. You can either make a backup for each of your employees or you can have one copy of the operating system and replicate it back across your organisation when required. Another way of looking at it is having your favourite ebook backup to the cloud and still using it across all your devices.”

As a result of being connected from virtually anywhere and anytime 24/7 using a tablet, smartphone, or laptop, employees in the field have an insatiable demand to access data. Deduplication means executives can be more creative in reducing their storage footprint while still managing the data requirements of a mobile workforce.

This is especially true in South Africa where bandwidth and accessibility can be a premium solution. Performing remote backups through a slow link with high latency is not the most efficient way of managing a company.

Locally, companies in the consulting industry are using data deduplication as part of their data availability strategy. This sees them performing daily backups and then replicating those to an offsite disaster recovery centre. But a data deduplication approach makes sense to organisations across industries. Local companies embracing deduplication includes Stirling High SchoolBarloworld Logistics and Tiger Wheel and Tyre, etc.

“So whether it is in mining or manufacturing, any organisation that relies on data needs to consider the practical realities and cost efficiencies of embracing data deduplication,” says Olivier.

The ability of deduplication technology to identify certain patterns across storage blocks mean it is quite an innovative way of improving business operations while decreasing the strain on backup processes.

“There are various types of deduplication approaches with each offering its own benefits and disadvantages. The key is to work with a trusted vendor who understands your business needs and can identify the correct one for the organisational requirements,” concludes Olivier.

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