Deduplication may be defined as the process of eliminating redundant data so as to reduce storage needs. It is also referred to as Intelligent Compression or Single-instance Storage or Capacity optimization. The deduplication process involves deletion of duplicate data and maintaining a single copy of the data that has to be stored. Nevertheless, the indexing of all data is continued to be maintained should a situation arise requiring that data. Deduplication has the potential to significantly reduce storage capacity as only the unique data is stored. Data deduplication methods significantly improve bandwidth efficiency.
Benefits of WAN Deduplication
Data deduplication enhances data protection, accelerates the speed of service and substantially reduces costs. Businesses employing deduplication technique in their processes benefited from an increase in overall data integrity and reduction of cost for overall data protection. Data deduplication is an essential tool within the virtual environment to enable deduplicating VMDK files, snapshot files, etc. Through preserving storage space, it helps in reducing carbon footprints, thereby contributing to the Data Center Transformation process.
Deduplication helps to reduce the cost of storage as only fewer disks will be needed. By employing this technique, there will be much lesser data to transfer over the WAN for purposes of replication, disaster recovery, and remote backups. This results in shortening of backup and recovery time. Longer Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is achieved through the optimal use of disk space, which allows longer disk retention periods. It also substantially brings down the necessity for tape backups.
Types of WAN Deduplication
Deduplication methods are generally applied for lessening storage requirements and improving bandwidth efficiency. The distinguishable categories of deduplication methods include: Data deduplication, File deduplication, and Block and Bit deduplication. Data deduplication is the preferred and commonly used productive method. It mostly works on the file, block, and also the bit level. File deduplication is used for eliminating duplicate files, however, it is not considered to be a very efficient deduplication method. In the Block and Bit deduplication method, the contents of the file are analyzed and the unique iterations of each bit or block are saved. Hash algorithm is used to process each data chunk. Only when a file is update, the changed data will be saved. Block and Bit deduplication requires much processing power and a large index to enable tracking individual elements.
In order to identify duplicate data segments, the data deduplication process is dependent on cryptographic has functions. One disadvantage is that if a collision happens, the result would be loss of data. Technology vendors have developed various solutions to address this problem. Data deduplication has become a leading technology process and many vendors including Virtual Tape Library (VTL) vendors are placing it on demand.