Next Generation Deduplication Platform Delivers on Promise of Green IT with Operational Savings

September and October are the traditional months that many midsize businesses start to
forecast what projects they hope to accomplish in the upcoming year and then put together budgets in support of those plans. Projects currently being given the highest priority are those that are power efficient, space efficient and cost efficient to meet organizational “Green” initiatives.

While data deduplication is gaining increasing consideration in meeting these challenges, it is next-generation power managed deduplication that is poised to increase overall operational savings for organizations with Intelligent Power Management (IPM), energy-optimized hardware architecture and maximum system density to reduce energy-related system and datacenter costs. A deduplicating disk-based storage system is one such initiative that many organizations are planning on for 2010 and doing their due diligence to select the right deduplicating system.

A January 2008 ESG Research Report, Data Protection Market Trends, that was cited in
another ESG brief found that the 364 individuals it surveyed expected 48% of their
organization’s onsite backup data to be stored on an external disk-based storage system by 2010. While 2010 is just around the corner, anecdotal evidence that DCIG has collected from its conversations with IT end-users and consultants indicate that this estimate may even be a bit conservative.

However what this survey probably did not and could not fully take into account was the
growing importance of “Green” initiatives within organizations. While deduplication is a
“Green” technology in the sense that it reduces the amount of disk capacity that
organizations need, the economic crisis that occurred in late 2008 and that is persisting in
2009 has put an even greater emphasis on minimizing ongoing operational expenses that
are a mandate with well-engineered green IT products.

This is supported by a May 2009 Green IT report released by Symantec that was performed by Applied Research. Applied Research found that among the 426 companies it surveyed in North America, 90% of these companies spent 6% or more of their data center budget on electricity with 19% of them spending over half of their data center budgets on electricity.

These are the challenges that businesses are encountering as they look to introduce disk as a backup target into their data centers. Disk-based storage systems can certainly solve corporate backup problems and improve employee productivity. However, unless IT selects a system that integrates next-generation green technologies such Intelligent Power Management across power optimized hardware and high-density packaging that consolidates energy-draining electrical components along with data deduplication – the promise of Green IT will fall short.

Granted, deduplicating backup data helps since it requires less disk capacity and power than storage systems that do not deduplicate data at all. However what organizations also need to factor in when selecting a system is how much power hard disk drives (HDDs) in the storage system consume during off-peak backup hours. Since backups may only run 6, 8 or 12 hours at most, HDDs in these systems only need to be spun up during these peak backup hours.

Power Managed Deduplication that spins HDDs down during periods of reduced system access is one of the key features that the Nexsan DeDupe SG brings to the table and which helps to differentiate it from competitive offerings. It is like some other products in that it offers the FalconStor File-interface Deduplication System (FDS) as its deduplication engine. However the Nexsan DeDupe SG differentiates itself from other systems by leveraging AutoMAID Intelligent Power Management across an energy reducing hardware platform as part of the total deduplication solution.

By activating Nexsan’s AutoMAID feature, when HDDs are not actively receiving and deduplicating backup data, the Nexsan DeDupe SG spins these drives down so they consume less power during periods of reduced data access. Not only does this save energy but the design also reduces system wear and tear to significantly extend the life of the HDDs themselves, reducing administrative overhead.

Many organizations are starting to look ahead and budget for 2010 and implementing disk as part of their backup strategy is on the short list of many organizations. The good and bad news is that there are more deduplicating disk-based storage systems than ever before from which to choose.

To make the best choice in leveraging ‘Green Storage’, products that go beyond deduplication to compound savings with power-managed, high-density hardware in addition to a solid deduplication core address multiple areas in operational cost savings. In addition to system power savings, new products in this area also reduce data center space requirements, cooling, and management overhead.

Selecting systems with a richer feature set in these areas increase the chances for deduplication success, supporting IT in addressing overall operational efficiency. In that respect, the combination of features (high-density energy optimized hardware platform, deduplication and AutoMAID Intelligent Power Management) that are found on the Nexsan DeDupe SG should be spot-on in helping IT managers respond to these executive concerns and delivering the business value that organizations want from their IT departments.

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