Symantec backup gets client dedupe

The next update of NetBackup will add deduplication at the client, which should allow users to cut both storage and network bandwidth needs, according to Symantec
Written by Manek Dubash, Contributor

Symantec plans to add client-side deduplication technology to NetBackup, its enterprise backup product, a change it says will help companies cut storage and network-bandwidth requirements.

NetBackup 7, the next version of the software due out in the first half of 2010, will offer deduplication at the client, as opposed to the target backup server, Symantec said in an announcement on Tuesday. The updated NetBackup will also include deduplication technology for the backup media server.

Deduplication removes duplicated files from a system to free up more storage space. Doing deduplication at the client results in less data having to traverse the network and less processing at the back end, according to Symantec. An enterprise's savings on storage and bandwidth as a result of client-side deduplication typically reach 70 percent and could be as a high as 90 percent, said the company's European NetBackup product manager Martin Warren.

Enterprises need to cut their storage hardware expenditure in a recession, but data-storage requirements are climbing by up to 50 percent annually, Warren said. "So companies have been asking us how they could get more utilisation out of the storage they already own," he said.

Also on Tuesday, Symantec announced an update to its NetBackup PureDisk deduplication engine, which the company sells both as a standalone client and as a component of NetBackup.

Scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2009, PureDisk 6.6 will improve deduplication for VMware's virtual server disk image files. This should produce a cut in virtual backup storage requirements by 90 percent, compared with previous versions, according to Symantec. It could also provide a drop in overall CPU usage by almost 90 percent, compared with removing duplicate data at the backup server, the company said.

The company plans to expand storage capacity in PureDisk 6.6 to 16TB per backup server, raising the maximum in a PureDisk server to 160TB. The update also features enhanced compression, said Warren.

Symantec also announced a new version of Backup Exec, its backup product for small and medium-sized enterprises. This will use PureDisk technology to add deduplication into both backup clients and Backup Exec media server, said Symantec. Backup Exec 2010 will also add the OpenStorage API to manage third-party deduplication appliances, and is due out later this year.

No UK prices were yet available for the new products. However, the current version of NetBackup, version 6.5.4, costs from $5,000 (£3,000) per server.

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