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Vol. 3 No. 2 April 2004

Hashing Makes a Comeback

In the mainframe's heyday, disk was expensive, prompting systems vendors to use hashing algorithms to trim down their data stores. By transforming a string of characters into a shorter fixed-length value that represents the original string, hashing can ensure that a character string is only stored once. These days, storage is cheap, but data is plentiful, so storage vendors have once again turned to hashing to keep data capacities under control. The best-known example of this trend is EMC's archive solution, Centera, but several innovative startups have also resurrected the hash. Avamar uses a hash function to reduce the amount of data it stores in its Axion backup and recovery arrays, while Permabit uses it as the foundation of a software-based compliance repository. But Marc Duvoisin, national director of enterprise servers and storage for Dimension Data, in Reston, VA, thinks hashing's real promise lies in remote office consolidation. "Networking has gotten cheaper, but not that cheap," he says. And as of yet, no one has ...

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Features in this issue

  • IP storage delivers

    by  Johanna Ambrosio

    Despite all the FUD surrounding IP SANs, early users say IP-based storage isn't all that difficult to manage and that performance is sufficient. The key is knowing what applications IP SANs should be used for.

  • Disaster recovery relief

    The cost of disaster recovery tools can be even more than the value of the data that these very tools are supposed to be protecting. Fortunately, newer approaches to DR are restoring sanity to this high-pressure task.

  • Wrestling with regulations

    by  Bill O'Brien

    In the health care industry, complicated regulations such as HIPAA, combined with new technologies that require enormous amounts of storage, are driving storage managers to the emergency room.

  • Extreme backup

    by  Arun Taneja

    Newsflash: Conventional data protection has reached its limits and will be dramatically changing in the next couple of years. But all roads don't lead to the same result. Here's how to analyze which route is best for you.

  • Get control of capacity

    Although storage resource management tools can be complicated to implement, they're a better alternative to breaking the bank and rushing out to purchase more storage. Get precise with your vendors on what you need and you'll wind up with better results.

Columns in this issue