Overland and Diligent target SMEs with de-dupe VTL appliance

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Content Copyright © 2007 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Overland Storage today [Mon 5th November] announced its REO
9500D virtual tape library (VTL) appliance. The unit combines
Overland’s existing RAID-based VTL system with Diligent
Technology’s HyperFactor de-duplication software.

The rackmounted 5U appliance, available later this month, is
being pitched primarily towards the SME market. It boasts
considerable expansibility and performance capacity, but Chris
James, Overland’s EMEA marketing director, told me this was
necessary because, he said, “Now SMEs are not buying anything that
is not scalable.”

The VTL provides up to 187TB of physical disk capacity and has
dual 4Gb/s fibre channel host capability. The VTL software allows
users to define up to 12 library partitions plus 64 virtual tape
drives and 3,000 virtual cartridges.

However, the jewel in the crown is Diligent’s de-dupe software.
This was first released just under a year ago as a result of 18
months R&D. Melissa Morales, Diligent’s director of
communications, said the work had been to produce a more efficient
product than competitive offerings and led to new de-dupe hashing
algorithms being developed that eliminated redundancy at

Equally important is the very high appliance throughput,
achieved through the de-dupe index being memory resident within the
4MB RAM. According to Morales, this capacity will handle up to
about 1PB of data at a go, which should keep the SME market quiet
for a bit! By being delivered as an appliance, the heavy processing
load always required by de-dupe will also not negatively impact
other server or storage access performance.

De-dupe has been gathering popularity since it was first
introduced by Data Domain some three years ago. Output storage
capacity savings of as much as 95% or more have been achieved
through this approach—and Diligent is one of those who have
done this. With storage capacities soaring, it is easy to see why
interest in de-dupe has grown rapidly.

It is easy to measure the actual space saved in
practice—and there are quite a few approaches which are far
less efficient—but this has to be balanced against a
generally higher performance hit during processing for the more
granular de-dupe solutions. IT managers will win few friends when
de-dupe is installed if the systems take a performance nose-dive as
a result. So potential purchasers need to choose carefully.

By most measures, Diligent’s de-dupe with Overland’s VTL in
appliance form should be excellent in terms of both space savings
and speed and, once set up, the process should be largely
automated, just as SMEs want. So, if medium and even small users
are happy to stomach a starting price-tag of $65,400, Overland
could well see a boost to its channel sales. With the addition of
de-dupe, it can now argue more confidently about the advantages of
using VTL as part of a tiered storage strategy to save on storage
and associated costs without sacrificing on-line access