Curtis Preston raised an interesting point over at Backup Central regarding the need for a common set of standards for the interaction of deduplication appliances and backup applications.
Now, on one hand I agree with Curtis' basic premise (even if I do slightly disagree with some of his historical characterizations). In fact, I have twice made pleas on this blog to similar effect, here and here. Having said that, I will readily admit that W. Curtis Preston is taking the request to the next level. Rather than just ask backup application vendors to implement the means to take advantage of the target side replica of a deduplication appliance, he is asking to community to have a common set of APIs, an open standard, around this.
So, a couple of things. First: everything in this post is strictly my opinion. Nothing in here has been read, endorsed, or reviewed by anybody else at EMC. Having said that: Mr. Preston is right. This is needed, and needed badly. I have been saying it for a while, and his request is the logical extension of the arguments I have made before. So rather than arguing with Curtis about history or debating how to do this, let me state clearly which I think such an effort should achieve, with the hope that this can constructively advance the conversation.