Data Deduplication in Windows Server 2016: Definition, Implementation & Monitoring

Instructor: Erik Rodriguez

Erik has experience working in Cybersecurity and has a Master's of Science in Information Systems.

In this lesson, we will learn about Data Deduplication in Windows Server 2016 and the steps needed to install and configure it. Additionally, we will discuss how to monitor Data Deduplication jobs and how to create and restore a backup.

Optimizing Data

Suppose that you're tasked with organizing a party at your university to be used as a fundraiser for scholarships. You allow any student from your school to submit suggestions for themes for the party. You plan to create a list of all the themes so you and your team can decide on a theme; however, hundreds of students have submitted suggestions with some themes being suggested multiple times. To save time and prevent redundancy, you create a spreadsheet which lists only one instance of each suggested theme. Data Deduplication in Windows Server 2016 utilizes this same concept to optimize data stored on servers.

Data Deduplication Defined

Data Deduplication (Dedup) is a feature in Windows Server 2016 that is used to optimize storage space on a server. Data Deduplication analyzes data on a server and looks for copies of the same data. If a duplicate is found, it keeps one copy and compresses the other. In turn, Data Deduplication is a great tool for managing data on a server and can help keep storage costs down. Furthermore, Data Deduplication optimizes storage space without affecting the integrity of the data.

Configuring Data Deduplication

Installing Data Deduplication

Data Deduplication is relatively easy to implement and can be installed via the Server Manager or by using Windows PowerShell. This lesson will go over the Server Manager method.

  1. Launch Server Manager.
  2. Select the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
  3. Click on Server Roles, then select Data Deduplication from the Roles list.
  4. Click Next. (You may need to do this multiple times.)
  5. Click Install.

Enabling Data Deduplication

Prior to enabling Data Deduplication, you must determine which usage type best describes your server system. According to Microsoft, Data Deduplication allows for the following three usage types:

Usage Type Description
Default Tuned for general purpose file servers
Hyper-V Tuned for VDI servers
Backup Tuned for virtualized backup applications

Once you have determined the usage type for your system, you can proceed to enabling Data Deduplication. To do this:

  1. In Server Manager, select File and Storage Services.
  2. Click on Volumes.
  3. Right click on the desired volume.
  4. Select Configure Data Deduplication. (It will be towards the bottom of the menu.)
  5. In the drop-down menu next to Data Deduplication, select the usage type.
  6. Click OK and you're done.

Monitoring in Data Deduplication

Due to Data Deduplication's handling of data on a server, it is important to perform regular monitoring to ensure everything is running as it should be. Data Deduplication utilizes different ''jobs'' that are used to examine data. These include the Optimization job, Garbage Collection job, and Integrity Scrubbing job.

Data Deduplication Job Types

Job Description
Optimization Duplicates, compresses, and stores chunks of data in a volume.
Garbage Collection Reclaims disk space by removing data that is no longer needed.
Integrity Scrubbing Detects when data has been corrupted due to disk failure.

Job Success Criteria

To monitor the status of jobs, use the Get-DedupStatus PowerShell cmdlet. Microsoft provides users with tips on what to look for in the PowerShell results to ensure a job has been successful.

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