IBM offers de-duplication for mainframes

The ProtecTIER appliance combines a virtual tape library and an index engine

IBM announced today that it's bringing data de-duplication to its mainframes through an upgraded gateway appliance that has the ability to compress up to 25TB of tape application data into 1TB of disk space.

IBM said its System Storage TS7680 ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway for System z, a data protection platform for z/OS environments, is available immediately.

"Data de-duplication can dramatically extend storage capacity," Cindy Grossman, IBM's vice president for tape and archive storage systems, said in a statement. "Today's announcement will help clients manage more data with less infrastructure, simplify information protection, while helping to reduce operational cost and energy usage."

IBM's ProtecTIER brand uses de-duplication technology that the company acquired in its 2008 purchase of Diligent Technologies Corp.

The ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway combines a virtual tape library, which is a disk array that emulates a tape library to backup servers, with an inline data de-duplication algorithm called HyperFactor, a tool that indexes the complete content of a repository. HyperFactor indices can be permanently hosted in the RAM because of its small footprint, IBM said.

The TS7680, which will have a price tag of around $300,000, also features two-node clustering for up to a petabyte of storage capacity per system under one management interface.

IBM claims the combination of a virtual tape library and data de-duplication can help boost efficiency by rapidly improving the time for backup and restore operations.

"This allows applications to complete faster and improve the batch-processing window," IBM stated. "Also, since virtual tape systems are seen by the mainframe as a standard tape library, existing processes and procedures need not be changed to accommodate the new technology, and little or no operating system modification is required."

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