A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the benefits of Symantec’s Open Storage Technology (OST). The technology enables accelerated disk-to-disk backups (D2D) primarily over IP connections and additional value-added features. Last week, EMC responded with their announcement of BOOST for NetWorker. Insiders have told me that the BOOST architecture is essentially the same as OST although the go-to-market strategy is very different. Of course a major difference is that OST has been shipping for over 3 years and BOOST will not be available until sometime in the second half of 2010.
As discussed previously, EMC/Data Domain was unable to create a true global deduplication solution so were forced to use OST to do the heavy lifting. Ironically, they could only support Symantec NetBackup and BackupExec with the new feature because NetWorker did not offer an advanced D2D interface. The BOOST announcement addressed the issues, but raises new questions. Specifically, BOOST is positioned as an EMC only solution, and it is unclear if the API will be shared with other vendors. In my opinion, this creates a challenge for EMC/Data Domain and NetWorker. Let’s look at how the situation impacts a variety of interested parties.