With storage demands growing in excess of 50% per year (IDC), total disk storage capacity growing 26.4% year over year (IDC), and the enterprise backup/recovery software market (revenue) projected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 9%, something’s got to give. Data deduplication, data compression, thin provisioning and storage virtualization are all useful tools for helping keep this data deluge in check.
According to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software, released in June, Symantec currently owns 31.6% of the market, followed by EMC and IBM, 17.3% and 17.2% market share, respectively. Every other vendor has less than 8% market share, including FalconStor Software, which was one of the 15 vendors to make the survey, but like many of the others, was relegated to the Niche Player segment.
“Deduplication right now has been marketed as a solution when really it is just a key feature,” said Paul Kruschwitz, director of product management, FalconStor, in a recent interview. “The real key is how you manage the overall environment… tapping into how data is used, moving data around.” The company provides disk-based backup, continuous data protection, WAN-optimized replication and disaster recovery automation solutions through OEMs and partners.
The amount of data generated, processed, and stored by most organizations will continue to grow aggressively for the foreseeable future, with storage increasing at a CAGR of 53% between 2011 and 2016. “Storage will be one of the biggest areas of infrastructure spending for Big Data and analytics environments over the forecast period,” said IDC’s Ashish Nadkarni, Research Director, Storage Systems.
According to a recent IDC study sponsored by FalconStor, 40% of respondents currently have a deduplication solution in place and another 40% report deduplication deployments are planned or are of interest. Not surprisingly, the initial acceptance has come from bigger organizations, with more than half of the large enterprises having a deduplication solution in place vs. less than one-third of midsize and small businesses. The majority of respondents (59%) use both disk and tape storage media for backup—with almost 75% retaining backed-up data more than six months and a plurality for more than three years.
Dedupe benefits range from faster backups and recovery to improved efficiency. Respondents also noted a variety of additional benefits, including lower IT operating costs, reduced complexity and increased data protection.
Enterprise Strategy Group reports that three of the top-ten IT priorities for 2013 are data protection related (27% data backup and recovery; 20% regulatory compliance; 20% business continuity and disaster recovery). Over a third (39%) of storage professionals view data protection as a storage challenge, with 11% saying data protection is their primary storage challenge. ESG also notes the growing importance of Shadow IT: just over a quarter (26%) of business managers have purchased cloud-based storage/backup services without IT’s permission in the last two years.
Kruschwitz said deduplication will play a key role in the cloud and fulfill a twofold purpose. It will reduce the cost of storage because organizations will have local access to data for recovery, and will also reduce bandwidth requirements of data sent to the cloud by over 90%.
The outlook for deduplication may be bright, but the jury is still out on FalconStor. Last week it reported a 15% decline in year-over-year revenues ($14 million) for the second quarter of 2013, and a GAAP loss from operations of $4.6 million, compared with an operating loss of $6.3 million for the second quarter of 2012. In addition to signing on an equity investment of up to $15 million, the company also named Gary Quinn president and CEO, replacing his predecessor, Jim McNiel as of the end of June.