Continuing with our series of blog entry’s about creating and implementing data storage and back-up plans, we thought we should also share some information about how you can reduce the amount of data that you need to back-up. In our last blog Have You Considered Hybrid Data Storage Solutions we discussed ways to cost effectively store your data while optimizing the speed at which you could use your data.

So just how can you reduce the amount of data you are backing up? One way you can reduce the amount and size of the data you need to back up is by implementing data deduplication. Yes, that is not a commonly used word outside of IT circles, but it is one that you will hear more and more as you learn to manage your data. We actually first heard the term last year when a office for rent Toronto tenant asked us if we knew the best data deduplication system. This got our IT people looking into how we could implement data deduplication for our data.

Data deduplication is basically a specialized data compression technique for eliminating duplicate copies of repeating data. One of the most common forms of data deduplication works by comparing chunks of data to detect duplicates and assigns links to the common data. Using the deduplication process, unique chunks of your data, or data byte patterns, are identified and stored by the software during a process of analysis. As the analysis continues, other chunks of data are compared to the stored copy and whenever a match occurs, the redundant chunk is replaced with a small reference that points to the stored chunk. While this technique is most often used to improve storage utilization, it can also be applied to network data transfers to reduce the number of bytes that must be sent for particular queries. By reducing the amount of data stored with data deduplication, the result is that you can save major storage costs and thus the amount of data you need to back-up.

This is a simple explanation of deduplication that we shared with a few of our Toronto office space clients (one that you should do more research on before trying to implement), but is still an example of how to reduce the size of the data you need to back-up on a local server or on an external data-storage device. We will be exploring data back-up appliances in the next blog in this series.