InfoWorld review: Data deduplication appliances

Data deduplication appliances from FalconStor, NetApp, and Spectra Logic provide excellent data reduction for production storage, disk-based backups, and virtual tape

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Data deduplication appliances at a glance

  Cost Platforms Pros and cons Bottom Line
FalconStor FDS 304 $29,000 as tested; price ranges from $7,000 to $29,000 CIFS, NFS, iSCSI; Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Good all-around deduplication performance
  • 10Gb Ethernet support
  • Native Symantec OST support
  • Limited scalability (32TB)
  • No Fibre Channel
FalconStor's FDS 304 deduplication storage appliance is a solid all-around performer with the added benefit of being the only item in the roundup that's available as a virtual appliance. The deduplication engine provided excellent all-around data reduction, even for Backup Exec backup sets.
NetApp FAS2040 Pricing not available (priced on a per-customer basis) CIFS, NFS, iSCSI; Gigabit Ethernet, 4Gb Fibre Channel
  • Highly scalable (136TB)
  • Dual storage controllers support active/passive and active/active configurations
  • Supports NAS, SAN, and Fibre Channel in one chassis
  • Poor dedupe results with Backup Exec backup sets
The NetApp FAS2040 provides excellent scalability through both internal and external hard drive chassis and supports all the relevant protocols. The deduplication engine works very well on "normal" files and folders, but suffered poor results with backup sets created by Symantec Backup Exec.
Spectra Logic nTier v80 and nTier vX nTier v80: $27,250 as tested; price ranges from $23,500 to $37,000. nTier vX: $65,500 as tested; price range from $58,000 to $221,000. NFS, CIFS, iSCSI; Fibre Channel, SCSI, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Excellent "drop in" VTL appliance
  • Dedupes to both virtual and physical tape libraries
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Defining VTL libraries was a little difficult
Spectra Logic's VTL appliances allow existing tape-based shops to migrate to virtual tape while enjoying deduplication of data. Both the nTier v80 and nTier vX do a very good job of reducing the overall data set before it is backed up to virtual or physical tape drives. They also scale well, with the nTier vX topping out at 60TB, and support a wide range of storage protocols.

This article, "InfoWorld review: Data deduplication appliances," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in storage and enterprise data management at InfoWorld.com.

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