Highly Reliable Systems: Removable Disk Backup & Recovery


Understanding Deduplication and Single Instance Storage

By Darren McBride

The new Workstation Backup Appliance is a Windows based NAS with a removable drive that includes software to backup windows and Mac workstations.  One of the key features in this product is file level deduplication.  This feature was written for Highly Reliable Systems by Microsoft and is referred to by them as Single Instance Storage. Single-instance storage is a system’s ability to keep one copy of content that multiple users or computers share. It is a means to eliminate data duplication and to increase efficiency. SIS is frequently implemented in file systemse-mail server software, data backup and other storage-related solutions.

In the case of the WBA this means that if you have multiple Windows 7 machines that have the same files (for example in the \windows operating system folder) the WBA backs these files up only once.  So the backup drive(s) can be much smaller than the sum of the machines backed up. This functionality applies to the Microsoft workstation backup storage on the WBA, not for general NAS shares.  This appliance can could be used to backup both workstations and servers assuming you have enough space on the 2TB internal drive.  The way this is achieved is by using Microsoft built-in backup software  for the workstations and 3rd party software for the server backup. if you share a folder for server backup be aware that deduplication won’t apply to that data.

Workstation Backup Applicance

Windows Storage Server Essentials for fast Backup of Workstations

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