Feature

Dedupe and compression cut storage down to size

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A sampler of primary storage data reduction products
The following vendors currently offer primary storage data reduction products (listed in alphabetic order):

EMC Corp. EMC introduced file-level deduplication and compression of inactive files in its Celerra filer. Administrators can configure various settings, such as how old a file must be before it's a candidate for this process, and what file sizes the process should look for. While deduplication and compression of older data obviously won't generate as much data reduction as compressing or deduplicating everything, EMC customers have reported significant savings using this data reduction implementation.

Exar Corp. Exar gained data deduplication technology with its April 2009 acquisition of Hifn Inc. End users may be unfamiliar with Exar, but they may already be using their products. Many high-end virtual tape libraries (VTLs) and data deduplication systems for backups use Exar hardware compression cards for data compression. Exar now has released a card, designed to be placed into a Windows or Linux server, that will deduplicate data as it's being written to any hard drive. Exar's Hifn BitWackr B1605R is a hardware and software product that offloads data deduplication and compression from a server's CPU and makes adding data reduction to a Windows or Linux server a relatively easy process.

GreenBytes Inc. GreenBytes is in something of a unique position, as it's

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the first vendor attempting to make a single product to address the data reduction needs of both backup and primary data storage in its GB-X Series of network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area network (SAN) storage devices. The firm uses a hash-based data deduplication technology, but the hash algorithm is different from that used by all other vendors: Instead of the widely used SHA-1, GreenBytes uses Tiger, which it says is more suited to general-purpose processors than SHA-1 and, therefore, offers significant performance advantages while not decreasing data integrity. Tiger's key space (192 bits) is significantly larger than that of SHA-1 (160 bits), which further reduces the chances of a hash collision. GreenBytes is also making extensive use of solid-state disk as a cache in front of SATA disk so that it can better meet the performance needs of primary data storage users.

Click here to get a PDF of Primary Storage Data Reduction Vendors.

Microsoft Corp. With its Windows Storage Server 2008, Microsoft offers file-level single-instance deduplication built into the operating system. A number of storage systems vendors are taking advantage of the built-in SIS, including Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks X-series Network Storage Systems and Compellent's Storage Center with NAS. File-level deduplication alone will provide modest space savings for users of these systems.

This was first published in April 2010

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