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SNW chatter: primary dedupe, scale-out NAS, cloud offerings expanding

Heard and overheard at SNW:

Get ready for a mini-wave of block-based primary deduplication/compression products.

Perhaps the most ambitious primary dedupe product is WhipTail Technologies new Racerunner solid state disk appliances, which will ship with Exar’s Hifn BitWackr deduplication and compression cards starting around the end of the year.

RaceRunner uses Samsung NAND MLC SSDs and will soon add Intel X25-M SSDs, WhipTail CTO James Candelaria said. “We slide Exar’s layer into our interface for inline-primary deduplication,” Candelaria said.

He says testing shows a dedupe ratio of about 4-1, with higher ratios for database data. WhipTail is also adding dedupe at the same price of its current products — $49,000 for a 1.5 TB appliance, $79,000 for 3 TB and $129,000 for 6 TB. Next up, Candelaria said, will be InfiniBand support for Racerunner appliances.

Two players who already shrink primary data are preparing to expand their product lines. Storwize is about to go into beta with a Fibre Channel version of its current file compression product with iSCSI to follow, Storwize CEO Ed Walsh said.

Permabit CEO Tom Cook says his company, which today sells file-based dedupe for “non-tier 1” primary storage, is working on an OEM deal for a block and file deduplication product.

NetApp is the only vendor today who offers block-based dedupe for primary storage. …

Hewlett-Packard is planning tweaks to its Ibrix NAS and data deduplication products around the end of the year or early next year, HP director of marketing for unified computing Lee Johns said.

Johns said HP so far has been selling Ibrix as software-only, just as Ibrix sold the product before HP acquired the scale-out NAS vendor in July. But he says HP will announce an HP-branded Ibrix product around the end of the year. “We’ll predominantly drive Ibrix as an appliance model,” he said. “We’ll focus on packaging it with other HP solutions.”

One of those other solutions is the LeftHand iSCSI SAN platform. Johns said Ibrix partner Dell had success selling Ibrix in front of its EqualLogic iSCSI SANs, and HP will probably do the same.

On the deduplication front, Johns says HP has been successful selling its Sepaton-driven Virtual Library Systems VTL in the enterprise but “in the midrange, we’ve been a little invisible. That’s an area we will be focusing on at the end of the year.” By the midrange, he was referring to the D2D platform that runs HP’s home-grown software as part of HP’s two-tier dedupe strategy. …

If cloud storage is such a hot new technology, how come it’s been around for a decade ore more?

“We’ve been doing what people today consider the cloud, since 2000,” said Bycast CEO Moe Kermani, whose company’s StorageGrid clustered NAS software is frequently mentioned as a building block for cloud providers. “I never knew anybody who got up in the morning and said, ‘I want to buy the cloud today.’”

Bycast customer Tony Langenstein, IT director of infrastructure at Iowa Health System, gave an SNW presentation called “Disaster Recovery in the Storage Cloud.” Langenstein said he’s been using Bycast software since 2005 but “we just started calling it the cloud at the beginning of this year. We had a cloud, I just didn’t know it.”

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