click to enlarge

Illustration of HP StoreOnce data deduplication technology.

As data grows, IT managers continue to look for efficient, cost-effective solutions to manage and protect critical information. Deduplication technologies have emerged as a key solution and, according to SearchStorage, is the fastest growing market segment in the data storage industry.

HP StoreOnce software from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard (HP) is a deduplication technology used for data protection that allows users to store more data longer, on smaller storage devices. Enabling low-bandwidth replication, the software moves tape to its most-useful role: archiving and long-term storage.

Unlike other technologies, HP StoreOnce includes an architecture that permits data to be moved around the enterprise in a deduplicated state, with no need for rehydration. It also provides a patented way of maximizing the dedupe ratio, while retaining performance (fewer disk accesses) and hardware costs.

Permitting IT teams to solve classic data protection problems better, the deduplication technology has changed the economics of both disk-based backups and data transfer. The software has enabled organizations to reduce their dependence on tape for backup, disaster recovery, and restore functions, says Jim Borchert, HP StoreOnce worldwide product marketing manager. It also has changed the economics of data transfer by allowing data to be transferred from remote sites to the central data center.

The company also worked with backup app vendors to ensure the software would work as expected out of the box in each user environment. A technical challenge faced in bringing this data protection technology to the market was the conflicting tradeoff between small chunk sizes (used to identify duplicate data) and the size and performance of the associated index (used to reconstruct deduplicated data whenever it is needed), says Borchert. Usability of this complex technology also challenged the developers. To make the software more user-friendly, HP developed an approach that required 66% fewer installation steps than competitive alternatives.

Horizontal application HP StoreOnce helps users address increasing data volumes and constant, or even shrinking, backup windows, and offers reliable ways of securing offsite copies for disaster recovery. With organizations having up to 50% of their data in remote locations, the software provides protection of this data. As data volumes increase, so do the challenges of rapidly restoring files. The software addresses this need with an 80% restore rate.