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For Infrastructure & Operations Professionals

Will Data Deduplication Finally Make Disk As Cheap As Tape?

July 23, 2007

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Why Read This Report

For years, disk vendors have greatly exaggerated the news of tape's demise. While magnetic tape is certainly not a glamorous technology considered critical to C-level executives, it's a mature technology, it's low cost, and it's portable (which offers firms a low-cost way of getting data off-site for disaster recovery purposes). Forrester does not expect tape to completely vanish for another five years at least, but we believe that firms will continue to shift more of their backups (as well as their investment) to disk as their first line of protection. Technology such as deduplication will accelerate this shift. Deduplication eliminates the storage of redundant data; depending on the environment, the amount of redundant data can be significant (imagine all the duplicate files, duplicate data within files, and duplicate data in database and email stores across the organization). Backup vendors with deduplication technology are claiming deduplication ratios of 20:1 or more. This will enable firms to store more data on fewer physical disk drives for more extended periods of time — ultimately closing the 4x price differential between disk and tape.

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Table of Contents

  • 1. What is data deduplication?
  • 2. Where is block-level data deduplication available today?
  • 3. What are the key differences between vendors' deduplication offerings?
  • 4. What data reduction ratios can be achieved with data deduplication?
  • 5. Should I be concerned with data integrity?
  • 6. Is it too early to invest in data deduplication?
  • 7. Will this be the disruptive technology that finally makes disk more affordable than tape?

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