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PureDisk & Netbackup - a hope for the future, but not just yet.

Created: 21 Apr 2009 • Updated: 29 Apr 2009 • 2 comments
alazanowski's picture
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First of all, I want to state that I am very impressed with the fact that Symantec is moving forward on a product that deduplicates data on either the media or client side depending on configuration. This is one of those demands that will assist all backup administrators and I.T. Departments with minimizing costs in a growing environment with miniscule backup windows. Concepts like this show the ingenuity of the developers and the technical users to perform feats against growing costs.

However, there are a few dissapointments that I have seen with Puredisk & Netbackup:

1. If you bought into the whole VTL libraries before any disk based backups were brought into play, you're screwed if you think you can move Puredisk into that environment to use. Unfortunately, you would have to break the entire VTL system (destroy its OS and applications), wipe out all the data, and set up a linux based system that would host those drives as additional disk paths. Obviously this was not the intent of the hardware and makes it a very dissapointing announcement to people who just a rediculous amount of money for a concept that would now be phased out in just one version with no support.

To Note, the Symantec employee below mentions that alot of vendors offer upgrades to Dedup VTL's, or that if you have certain agreement with distributors that you could possibly do an exchange for different hardware that puredisk would be compatible with.

2. PureDisk isn't a bundled licensing feature. Now i know that Symantec has to make money like any other company, and that generally they are willing to bend some licensing costs depending on your size, but it comes down to the fact that its another cost. I think you will get almost everyone leaving their current backup solution and moving to even a slightly more expensive version of Netbackup when Netbackup integrates that functionality into its own system.

3. (This item in particular has been struck out since a previous comment from Symantec has mentioned that its global deduplication and not a per client.)

But the good news is this - its a start. Sooner or later, concepts and issues will be brought out and resolved in the best manner: well, at least in the way that will show profit.

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Mayur Dewaikar's picture

This is good discussion and thank you for bringing it up. However, there are some inaccuracies in your blog that I'd like to correct and also offer my 2 cents on this topic.

1. When it comes to data deduplication, customers have various options available to them and Symantec's goal is to offer its customers flexibility and choice when it comes to implementing a data deduplication solution. It is understood that certain customers might have a preference for a VTL based offering and with that in mind, NetBackup offers integration with dedupe VTL over the OpenStorage(OST) API. More details on OST can be found at:

However, when upgrading from a non-dedupe VTL to a dedupe VTL, customers should compare the upgrade costs involved and the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the solution with that of PureDisk. Due to the fact that  PureDisk works with any commodity hardware, offers built-in global deduplication and replication at no additional cost, customers will find that the TCO of PureDisk almost always works out lower than that of a VTL based offering.

So, if you are are going to go through the pain of upgrading from a non dedupe VTL to dedupe VTL...why not consider PureDisk with NetBackup which offers similar functionality and can perhaps be owned for a fraction of the cost?

2. One single install of PureDisk can support client side deduplication as well as media server deduplication. There is no need for separate PureDisk installs for supporting the different use cases (client side, media server dedupe). And that is indeed the beauty of the PureDisk based deduplication across the whole enterprise from one single install.

As for PureDisk being an add-on license, which vendor gives deduplication for free?

3. You state that PureDisk is a per client dedupe. That is simply untrue. PureDisk offers "global deduplication". Whether the data is coming from your NetBackup clients, from your remote offices or from your virtual machines, PureDisk can deduplicate the data globally which leads to dramatic savings in storage. The backed up data is tracked in a global catalog and if PureDisk runs into the same data segment anywhere else, the data segment is simply not backed up again.

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alazanowski's picture

The good news is that you have helped me with some controversy I've had due to the lack of "global deduplication" that was told to me by a sales engineer. Thus, now I am in the boat to consider the idea.

As far as PureDisk being an add-on license, another Symantec product (Altiris Recovery Solution) has it built into their product using pointers.

In reference to the VTL upgrades, its just unfortunate that for the people who bought before dedup became popular, that its unsupported directly. I know this is an issue with just how VTL software and disks work, but all again, just unfortunate.

Either way I will go ahead and edit my blog above to adhere to the changes that you've recommended as inaccuracies.

-Austin Lazanowski Backups cost way too much until you needed them.

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