Data can grow at an alarming rate and there are large amounts of redundant data stored on the world’s file servers. Software manufactures have seen the need for data deduplication and have created systems that reduce the space used on disk arrays while maintaining the integrity of the data. Starting with Windows Server 2012, Microsoft includes data deduplication with its server operating system. Data Deduplication can save a ton of storage space in the right environment. Let’s look at how to set it up and monitor the results.
Like many things in Server 2012, setting up data deduplication starts with Server Manager.
Open Server Manger by clicking on the Server Manager icon on the task bar.
On the Welcome Tile, under Quick Start, click on Add roles and features to start the Add Roles and Features Wizard. If there's no Welcome Tile, it might be hidden. Click View on the menu bar and click Show Welcome Tile.
Read and click Next.
Select Roll-based or feature-based installation and click Next.
Select Select a server from the server pool and select the server on which you want to install Hyper-V. Click Next.
Under Roles, drill down through File and Storage Services, File and iSCSI Services, and check the box for Data Deduplication. Click Next.
If you have not already installed the features required for Data Deduplication, the following box will pop up explaining which features and roles will be installed along with Data Deduplication.
Click Add Features.
After adding the required features... back in the Select server roles dialog... it should now show Data Deduplication as checked.
The Select features dialog shows the features, if any, that will be added along with the Data Deduplication role. Click Next.
Review what's being installed and click Install
Click Close when the installation completes.
Return to Server Manger.
Click on File and Storage Services in the left hand column.
Click Volumes in the left hand column.
Right click on the volume you want to enable data deduplication on...
...and select Configure Data Deduplication.
Select General purpose file server from the Data deduplication drop down box and add any file type or folder exclusions needed. These can be updated later if necessary.
Click the Set Deduplication Schedule... to configure when deduplication occurs.
Set the deduplication schedule to the needs of your environment and click OK.
Back at the deduplication settings dialog, click OK.
Back in Server Manager, the volume chosen to deduplicate will show the Deduplication Rate and Deduplication Savings.
That's it! Microsoft Data Deduplication is configured and running.
You can see some statistics on data deduplication with the ddpeval command in the command prompt.
ddpeval \\servername\sharename returns the following...