De-duplication a 'hot topic' for Dell

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De-duplication is just one feature of optimising your storage, not the only step, according to Dell.

IT PRO met with storage executives from the firm this morning to discuss its launch of PowerVault DL2000 powered by CommVault Simpana 8.0, an integrated hardware, software and services option for customers looking to incorporate de-duplication into their data centres.

But the executives were keen to emphasise that "de-dupe" was just a single element, not the entire answer.

Jon Kamminga, global solutions architect at Dell, said: "De-dupe is the hot topic in storage at the moment but it should fit into a broader strategy. We look at it as part of the solution, not on its own. Ultimately though we see it integrated into software and becoming more prevalent."

In its research, Dell found that half of data stored is on expensive tier one storage, even though it's often older than 90 days - and so should be moved off to a cheaper third tier. It also found that a fifth of all data was duplicated. However, the biggest problem it came across was insufficient preparations for backup and recovery.

Paul Kaeley, director of the global storage consulting practice at Dell, said: "This system is plagued with complexity but it is critical for businesses. Get it wrong and it results in expense, risk and inefficiency."

The plan with the integrated PowerVault and Commvault system is to address these issues with data de-duplication of up to 20:1, integrated back-up recovery and archiving in one space and cutting tape media use by up to 90 per cent.

The approach Dell is taking however includes a focus on its consulting services and what it is calling Measurable Rapid Insight (MRI).

Kaeley said: "The classic model is an army of consultants and long engagements taking up so much time. We want to disrupt this model. Customers have given us feed back that they are impressed with the innovation on our product side but lacking it on the services side. It came back loud and clear for consulting so we knew we had to deliver this in a different way."

The company proposes to go through stages with a customer by workshopping and assessing their problems through to designing, implementing and managing a system on individual customer needs - but in a much quicker time frame.

Kaeley said: "If you went to the doctors and had an MRI it would be a full body scan identifying the problems and in turn a course of treatment. Take that analogy and put it into IT and that is our MRI."

The PowerVault DL2000 will be launched officially on Monday and MRI services are to be rolled out across all of Dell's product lines.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.