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Permabit aims its primary dedupe at low-end NAS market

Permabit is expanding its Albireo primary data deduplication application with the Albireo Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO), which can bring dedupe to Linux-based SMB NAS systems.

Albireo, launched by Permabit last year, lets storage vendors embed inline post-process deduplication in their systems. OEM partners BlueArc, Xiotech, and LSI Engenio have signed on to use Albireo for enterprise storage systems. VDO is aimed at products on the other end of the storage market.

Permabit CTO Jered Floyd said the original Albireo is a software library that vendors can integrate with their file systems or block storage systems. It sits out of the data path, and lets the storage system control the data. VDO is a plug-in that sits in the data path between the file server and disk infrastructure. Floyd said that lets VDO add compression if its OEM partners choose to.

“It’s different from the Albireo deduplication library, because now we do own the data,” he said. “It’s not a concern for these OEMs, who are already depending on [open source] third party software for data placement and other capabilities.”

NAS vendors such as Overland Storage’s Snap platform, Buffalo Technology, NetGear, and Cisco Linksys would be candidates for VDO. Permabit CEO Tom Cook said there are at least 25 vendors who would fit the bill, and they make up about 18% of the NAS market. VDO can also be used in block and unified storage systems.

“They could do their own development, but they have other priorities,” Cook said of these NAS vendors. “Their other option would be a standalone dedupe appliance that sits in front of their system, and that drives dedupe right out of the market from a price standpoint.”

He expects VDO to be available to OEMs in the second half of the year.

Cook also confirmed what had been a poorly kept secret in the storage industry – LSI is working to add Albireo to its SAN platform. And he said he doesn’t expect NetApp’s pending purchase of LSI’s Engenio storage division to change that. NetApp has its own primary dedupe for its FAS storage platform, which is one of the main competitors for Albireo.

“The NetApp [Engenio] deal presents interesting business options for us,” Cook said. “I can’t comment beyond that.”

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