As an IBM Partner and OEM working in the Power and iSeries markets, the reason IBM probably does not have an integrated deduplication feature in the iSeries is probably that IBM sells a solution called ProtecTIER that is extremely expensive.
The real question should be do I really need deduplication?
Our company has had the ability to provide deduplication on iSeries for a number of years and find that when testing in the actual environment, many companies find they really don't need it, want it and the cost in performance is two great. Also many companies still have the need and want the ability to create tape.
IBM in 2012, announced LZ compression on most of the high end storage array's, which indicates that the performance and expandability of deduplication are issues versus compression. We have found on iSeries, LZ compression rates from 4X to 15X with no reduction in speed but actually increases the performance. Also the data is readily available for use.
There are solutions out there that can give you the best of all worlds, disk, deduplication, tape, replication or all or combinations of the above. Deduplication is great for certain data but unlike what many vendors want you to think, is not the answer to everything. Deduplication can severely impact operations in performance and there can be compliance issues, you may want to review before placing deduplication into the mix.
Data has unique characteristics and along with that, unique storage and compliance needs. It seems the best approach would be to look for a solution that provides the data protection needs required, your way not the vendors! I would think that the right solution, would looks exactly like an IBM solution, is IBM maintainable, run on all iSeries OS versions, that the iSeries will actually auto-configure it and iSeries utilities as well as BRMS, will run with no modifications. It should allow data to placed by individual volume policy on the proper storage medium. Reduce backup and restore windows. Provide AES256 encryption for data at rest and in transit. All while capable of providing native tape copies that can be loaded in a direct connected LTO tape drive and restored without the solution.
The answer should be solutions that provide data protection needs in a business savvy way, not the vendors way.
Director of Business Development
Tributary Systems, Inc.