What’s the Difference Between Compression, Deduplication, and Single-Instance Storage?

Compression is old news, but it’s still relevant. Single-instance storage seems to have come and gone. Then there’s data deduplication. So what’s the difference?

Here’s  my own piece  from the IBM Storage Community blog comparing the three.

When I talk about the various state-of-the-art capacity optimization solutions that are now appearing in the market, the same comment usually arises: “Isn’t this the same as zip?” Or a long-tenured storage pro will remind me that, “Stacker died out a long time ago, so why is this any different?”

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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