Deduplication is powerful technology, but it has to be managed properly. Follow these steps for a successful deployment.
- Know your objective. With the price of data storage dropping, deduplication is now very affordable. Rather than cost savings, consider deduplication for its ability to reclaim disk space, thereby giving the organization more from current storage investments and faster site-to-site backup data transfers.
- Study the application environment. Not all data dedupes well. For instance, databases are notoriously poor matches for this technology. Carry out a proof of concept to ensure you're going to get the most from your deduplication efforts.
- Recognize that the first deduping takes the longest. IT experts warn that the initial deduplication is often a long process, so schedule your time and network availability accordingly. After the first backup, deduping should speed up considerably.
- Deduplication might not be the answer. Rather than spending time and money on deduping student-held data, Utah State University chose to have it all stored in the cloud with third-party providers. That way, IT can focus its limited budget on better protecting university assets.
- Take your time. Don't try to dedupe everything right off the bat. Start with an application or two and observe how it reacts to the process. Doing too much all at once won't give you the chance to understand dedupe's impact on each type of data.