Monday, September 20, 2010

Data deduplication: Permabit finds success with OEM model

September 20, 2010 -- Following the blockbuster acquisitions of Ocarina by Dell and Storwize by IBM (well, pre-HP/3PAR they were blockbusters), all eyes were re-focused on the data deduplication space (aka data, or capacity, or storage optimization).

Around the same time (early summer), Permabit introduced an OEM version of its data deduplication software, dubbed Albierio, that storage hardware and software vendors can integrate into their products.

Permabit is among only a few "independent" deduplication vendors that are taking the OEM route rather than the acquisition route (although I still say the company is an attractive takeover candidate).

So far, Permabit's strategy seems to be paying off. The company has inked two OEM deals -- with BlueArc about a month ago and, today, Xiotech -- and I understand that Permabit has a few more OEM deals that will be announced over the next couple months.

Permabit claims zero performance degradation with its Albireo deduplication software, and both BlueArc and Xiotech officials cited Albireo's performance, as well as scalability and data "safety" (Albireo doesn't alter data) in announcing their OEM agreements. BlueArc and Xiotech are a good start for Permabit, although it's unclear how long it will take either vendor to integrate Albireo into their systems.

Both the BlueArc and Xiotech deals are focused on data deduplication for primary storage, as opposed to secondary or backup storage. That's where Permabit is currently focused, although Albireo software can be used across all storage tiers, and can be implemented with block, file or unified (block + file) storage.

I recently caught up with Tom Cook, Permabit's president and CEO, to talk about trends in the capacity optimization market.

I asked him about the fact that some of the large storage vendors seem to be embracing multiple capacity optimization techniques for different tiers of storage and, in some cases, carrying a mix of homegrown and OEM'd solutions for data deduplication and/or compression.

"We're still in the very early stages of data optimization, where you have single-function devices such as D2D and VTL appliances," says Cook. "But over time, the big players will try to get to a single data optimization solution that covers all storage tiers."

"Vendors will drive toward total efficiency, where's there's no re-hydration of data," says Cook. "And we believe that the best place to start is on primary storage. It's like New York: 'If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.'"

Related articles:
Dell to acquire Ocarina for data deduplication
IBM scoops up Storwize


Eric Slack said...

Great blog Dave - here's more info on Permabit's primary storage dedupe.

Jim said...

I like your analogy with reference to New York - did make me chuckle. So there is hope for data cleansing success then do you think?