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Symantec Launches Deduplication Initiative


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Symantec Corp. announced the next phase of its deduplication strategy, intended to help organizations reduce data, reduce management complexity and reduce infrastructure requirements. Symantec is moving deduplication closer to information sources by integrating the technology into its information management platforms: NetBackup, Backup Exec and Enterprise Vault, and centrally managing native deduplication as well as third-party deduplication appliances.

There are many approaches being offered to increase the performance and economics of storage, but deduplication offers a more cost-effective method, Mathew Lodge, senior director of product marketing for Symantec, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "Integrated deduplication in Symantec backup and archiving software is preferable because it avoids new capital expenditure; it becomes a feature rather than new infrastructure," he explains. "Using Enterprise Vault archiving to deduplicate applications like Exchange, SharePoint, Domino and file shares is compelling because it frees up space on primary storage arrays-the most expensive storage in the data center-unlike traditional backup-centric deduplication."

Symantec deduplication not only helps reduce backup storage, but also primary storage associated with collaborative applications such as Exchange, SharePoint and Domino, Lodge says. "Performance is also a benefit, especially in virtual server environments because data volume is reduced by up to 95%, and I/O is the "Achilles Heel" of today's virtual servers. Our tests show deduplicated backups use up to 87% less CPU on than regular backups on virtual servers."

Symantec's strategy with deduplication is to reduce data everywhere by moving deduplication technology closer to information sources, reduce deduplication complexity by providing centralized management for all forms of deduplication, both Symantec and partner technologies, and reduce infrastructure by using deduplication to improve the return on server virtualization by providing storage consolidation, efficient virtual server protection and simplified management.

The dedup tool also helps sites with large volumes of physical tape backup, Lodge adds. "By using an archiving, there is less application data to back up to tape," he says. "Secondly, NetBackup and Enterprise Vault allow automated hierarchical storage migration-automatically moving information out of primary storage to a deduplicated archive, and then, according to a retention policy, automatically moving data onto tape using NetBackup."

Symantec also offers an integrated solution with virtual tape, says Lodge. "We designed the OpenStorage API (OST) so that customers can choose the storage hardware they like and still get tightly integrated management from NetBackup and, later this year, Backup Exec. Hardware vendors like Data Domain, EMC, Quantum, Falconstor and others have products with OST support. The big advantage is that there's no need to pretend that disk is a virtual tape, so performance is up to five times faster than VTLs, and it's simple to manage: all the backups on disk are visible and directly manageable from the backup application."

Symantec's Enterprise Vault is designed to move messages, files and SharePoint content directly out of applications like Exchange, SharePoint and Windows file shares to a deduplicated archive-moving deduplication to the information source. Using NetBackup or Backup Exec 2010, organizations will be able to deduplicate backups immediately, at the client, and centrally manage deduplication in the data center and globally across remote offices.

Symantec's deduplication strategy is to offer integrated deduplication through NetBackup and Enterprise Vault, offering deduplicated archiving, deduplicated backup storage and global deduplicated remote office backup. NetBackup offers integrated, centralized management for third-party deduplicated storage from Data Domain, Quantum, Falconstor and EMC through the OpenStorage API.

NetBackup PureDisk 6.6, scheduled to be available later this year, is designed to improve storage efficiency by adding enhanced deduplication for backups of virtual server images. Also, the vendor said Backup Exec 2010, scheduled to be available later this year, would integrate deduplication (using NetBackup PureDisk technology) into both backup clients and Backup Exec media server. Backup Exec will also add the OpenStorage API to manage third-party deduplication appliances. NetBackup 7, scheduled to be available in 2010, will integrate deduplication into the backup client and NetBackup media server.

Symantec Corp. also announced new releases to its NetBackup Platform to help organizations improve operational and storage efficiencies across physical and virtual environments. NetBackup provides quick recovery of information and reduces overall complexity by uniting next generation information management technologies for disk backup, data deduplication, virtual machine protection, continuous data protection and replication in the heterogeneous enterprise data center.

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