Data deduplication is a data compression method for the removal of duplicate files. The process reduces the amount of storage space required within an organisations server. Purchasing deduplication software and hardware can be expensive. Conveniently Windows Server 2012 R2 natively has built-in deduplication functionality. Windows Server 2012 R2 deduplication is only available on files on a file server, and the function is not supported for Exchange and SQL databases.
Results from Windows Server 2012 R2 testing include:
A 30-50 percent increase in storage efficiency when deduplicating home directory shares.
Up to a 50 percent increase in storage efficiency when deduplicating group file/collaboration shares.
Up to a 70 percent increase in storage efficiency when deduplicating software deployment shares. Up to a 90 percent increase in storage efficiency when deduplicating VHD libraries (Smashing Reader 2014).
Features of Windows Server 2012 R2 include:
Can be enabled on a per volume level.
File types can be excluded, such as MP3, ZIP etc,
Deduplication process can be scheduled outside of hours,
Deduplication process requires 1 x CPU core and 512MB RAM dedicated,
Can process about 100GB of data per hour.