Hitachi Data Systems is announcing a global reseller agreement today with Diligent Technologies whose 25x Backup Data Compression is, IMHO, conceptually the best in the industry. I’m sure the HDS folks have thoroughly checked the technology and found that it actually meets the expectations set by the marketing.

So What’s With Deduping?
Marketing folks have long been blamed for coming up with pointless new terms when the old terms were good enough. Deduping, on the other hand, seems to have been invented by technologists uncomfortable with calling it what it really is: compression. Neville Yates, CTO of Diligent, made a point of telling me they don’t call it compression because techno-purists have strong opinions on the topic. But techies don’t sign the checks.

Double Whammy: Slower Adoption, Higher Sales Costs
Ideally, good marketing helps get ideas to market faster and makes it easy for customers to “get” the advantage. Which is why the choice of “deduping” to describe a compression technology is so blindingly stupid.

Quick, Choose One: 25x Compression or 25x Deduplication
I think this is very cool technology and an important feature that enables disk-based backup by making it cost competitive with tape libraries. So why make it harder to explain by inventing a new word with two variants: file-based and block-based? After all, it is only a feature – not a product.

Congrats to the Diligent team
for snagging HDS, whose unmatched OEM relationships will help them grow the Backup Compression market much faster than they could on their own. I wouldn’t be surprised to see EMC buying Data Domain, whose hash-based indexes Diligent and HDS will spend too much time putting down. Although why HDS’s big customers, like HP and Sun, wouldn’t just go direct to Diligent isn’t clear. But what the hey! Its cool technology offering real benefits – that is the important thing.

Your comments and hypotheses always welcome.

Bill Andrews, CEO of another backup compression company, Exagrid, wrote a note explaining the differences between the vendors in this space. It seems evenhanded, so I’m excerpting it in the comments. If d2d backup is something you are interested in it is well worth your time.