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EMC eyes primary dedupe for NAS

EMC is preparing an upgrade to its Celerra NAS platform, including built-in deduplication for file systems. Internally, at least, EMC refers to this as primary deduplication although it is obviously limited to files and best suited for shared folders and home directories.

EMC hasn’t yet disclosed the upgrade and refused comment, but industry sources and EMC briefing materials obtained by SeachStorage indicate four new Celerra NS models are coming soon. Two of the new models will support solid state drives (SSDs). The dedupe is based on EMC’s Avamar host-based software with RecoverPoint compression.

The only major vendor offering dedupe for primary data is NetApp, which is also EMC’s main NAS competitor. NetApp Deduplication handles block-based data as well as files, although NetApp executives indicate it is used frequently for home directories. EMC documents claim a 30% to 40% primary storage savings is possible for “typical unstructured file share datasets” in primary and archive storage with the dedupe.

The Celerra dedupe will compress files with low usage activity, and single instance files to remove duplicates. EMC is also adding a compliance option to its Celerra File-Level Retention WORM software as a competitor to NetApp SnapLock. FLR-C, as EMC calls its new option, locks files to prevent file system deletions and has a non-spoofable clock to honor file retention time. To avoid competing with its Centera archiving system, EMC will recommend Celerra for archiving and locking files on its NAS systems and Centera for application data and fixed content.

The new models include two enterprise systems – the NS G8 gateway and NS-960 – and two midrange systems – the NS-480 and NS-120. The NS G8 replaces the NSX and NS80G, and the NS-960 replaces the NS80. The NS-480 will replace the NS40 and the NS-240 will replace the NS20. All of the systems support higher capacities than their predecessors, and the NS-480 and NS-960 will support flash SSDs.

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