This is my introductory excerpt from my Dedeuplication Devices Are Backup Appliances, the Check is in the Mail, and Other Lies whitepaper. Download the full whitepaper for instant gratification.

Recently, I’ve run into some marketing material from deduplication device vendors that what they are selling are “backup appliances.”  This reminds me of the story of the car salesman selling a car and then later admitting that the engine, steering wheel and seats are “options” that will cost more.  By this logic, Seagate could sell their disk drives as “laptop computers” to school children to use in class.  I don’t know what offends me worse – the blatant lie or the assumption some marketing person made that their intended buyers are either too stupid or too bored to be able to tell the difference.

I don’t believe that the mistake is accidental.  The high technology business has a history of being more focused on delivering ever-decreasing incremental benefit to customers under the guise of pushing the technological envelope rather than being focused on delivering broad-based value to customers.  There’s often a push to develop the next set of intellectual property while pushing the tasks of integration, monitoring and management to the paying customer.  It’s up to the lonely marketing department of many of these companies to force fit the needs and desires of the customer to the technology-at-all-costs fanaticism of the research and development group.  Often, it’s the truth that suffers first – followed quickly by the customers.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts where I describe the fundamental characteristics of an appliance in general, a backup appliance in particular and a better backup appliance specifically.  To wrap the series up, I’ll end with a posting describing what is NOT a backup appliance.


  1. Hi Mark,

    I am looking forward to your future blogs on this topic.

    My examples on 100% true backup appliances.

    Symantec Backup Exec 3600
    Symantec NetBackup 5220

    Warm regards,


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