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Will flash storage vendors add data protection features?

Not only will some flash storage vendors add data protection features to their flash storage systems, says expert Brien Posey, one is already doing it.

Flash storage vendors will begin building data protection capabilities into their products, and some have already done so.

Data is often stored in blocks. And the continuous data protection (CDP) mechanisms that are so common in commercial backup products protect data at the block level by using Changed Block Tracking and copy on-write. It would not be a big stretch to see flash storage vendors include similar mechanisms in data storage hardware.

In the past, the idea of implementing CDP or unlimited snapshots at the hardware level might have seemed implausible. After all, these types of mechanisms require a significant amount of memory and computing power. They also generate storage I/O, which would theoretically diminish overall storage array performance. However, today's enterprise-class storage hardware has plenty of resources to perform data protection at the hardware level.

One pixel Posey on CDP: Continuous data protection
catches on as backup strategy

One of the first flash storage vendors to offer this type of hardware-level data protection is Reduxio, whose flash hybrid storage system includes a protective feature called BackDating. The feature is similar to CDP, but offers a higher degree of granularity than what many CDP systems provide.

The product works by capturing all I/O transactions in a database. If a storage administrator needs to view the data as it existed at an earlier point in time, they can specify the desired date and time and then view the data as it existed in that instant. Data can be analyzed in one-second increments. Reduxio uses an 8 KB block size and leverages inline deduplication as a way of reducing physical storage space consumption.

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