Hitachi is bundling Diligent de-duplication software onto three virtual tape appliances and targeting them at mid to large sized data centres.

The entry level specification of the three models is the VTL Appliance 500M which consists of an Hitachi Adaptable Modular Storage 500 (dual controller) storage system, Diligent ProtecTIER Mid-Range data de-duplication software, multicore server, Emulex and QLogic HBAs
200MB/s inline data de-duplication performance 8TB (expandable to 20TB) mixed Fibre Channel and SATA drive repository, 200TB to 500TB of nominal backup data capacity, emulation of up to: four virtual tape libraries,16 virtual tape drives, 8192 virtual tape cartridges.

The higher spec 1000L and 1000E models have the 1000 AMS system, use fibre channel drives with 15 TB (expandable to 30 TB) and 30 TB (expandable to 50TB) respectively. They share a 24 port SAN switch with 300 Mbit/s de-duplication in the 1000L and 400 mbps throughput in the 1000E.

Simon Howes, solutions marketing manager, Europe at Hitachi said: “We can compress 500 TB down to 20 TB and a Petabyte down to 50 TB. We could do that under our existing reselling agreement with Diligent but what we’re doing here is to make it easier as the appliances come pre formatted in a rack with all the necessary components and management software. It is a question of plugging it in and off you go.”

David Floyer, chief technical officer at consultancy ITCentrix, said: "ProtecTIER technology is far more scalable and ready to meet the coming explosion in data backup requirements than alternative hash-based inline approaches. Our research indicates that customers using Hitachi's ProtecTIER to replace tape-based backup will achieve 31 percent greater savings than best of breed hash-based alternatives."

Hamish Macarthur, CEO of storage-focused analyst Macarthur Stroud, said: "Virtual tape libraries are enabling users to protect all their data more effectively. De-duplication helps to contain the increasing growth of data that must be kept for the long term. Implementation of this new technology must consider the time to restore as well as the time to back-up."