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Permabit looks to reduce Linux storage in hybrid clouds

Permabit optimizes backup and chases enterprises that are building Linux storage clouds with its latest Virtual Data Optimizer deduplication software release.

Permabit is aiming the latest version of its host-based data reduction software at enterprises building hybrid clouds with Linux storage.

VDO 6 for Hybrid Cloud, which Permabit plans to ship in June, will be sold directly to large data centers building open source hybrid clouds. As in previous Permabit releases, version 6 includes inline deduplication, compression and thin provisioning.

Permabit launched its Albireo Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) deduplication suite in 2010, and pursued an OEM sales strategy. The vendor claims to have about a dozen OEM design wins with storage array vendors, although Hitachi Data Systems is the only vendor to publicly acknowledge integrating Permabit technology in its HNAS network-attached storage product.

Permabit: Linux storage customers give us alternate route to market

VDO 6 adds optimized archive and backup of nonaligned 4K data formats, including Oracle RMAN backup and recovery, tar and zip files. Permabit's latest edition is deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and supports various flavors of Linux storage.

Permabit VDO 6 can be installed in the Linux hypervisor or run in the kernel underneath virtual machines (VMs). It also can be deployed as a VM itself. When implemented, VDO 6 presents itself to the system as a block device driver. It supports block, file and object storage with OpenStack, Ceph and Gluster.

Permabit CEO Tom Cook acknowledged his company has struggled to gain traction with major storage OEMs. He said VDO 6 should appeal to hyperscale data centers that want to shrink their physical data footprint.

"The ecosystem of the cloud is built on efficiency," Cook said. "We're seeing Linux and other open source hybrid clouds starting to take hold. The real cost is not storage, compute or networking, but the cost of building out the data center. We wring out tremendous cost by increasing storage density through our deduplication and compression."

Will marketing VDO for Linux storage limit the product's appeal?

Louis Imershein, Permabit's vice president of product, said VDO 6 is mostly best for open source Ceph and Gluster that rely on direct-attached storage.

"You can use VDO in Fibre Channel and iSCSI deployments, but we're seeing a move away from those types of legacy storage environments. Customers want to bring the same economies of scale to their own data centers that they get from something like Amazon Web Services," Imershein said.

Permabit VDO 6 is offered with two forms of subscription-based pricing. A perpetual license costs $200 per system and capacity-based pricing is $3,000 for up to 256 TB. Perpetual right-to-use license subscriptions include annual maintenance, patches and updates.

Ashish Nadkarni, program director for enterprise server and storage at IDC, said Permabit is trying to distinguish itself by focusing broadly on open source environments.

"The differentiator for Permabit is that they can do data reduction for Linux storage across the board, rather than just one flavor. They offer a third-party software platform that works across all storage modules," Nadkarni said.

But Nadkarni said Permabit is narrowing its total addressable market by marketing VDO 6 for cloud storage.

"Permabit is talking about it for hybrid cloud storage, but there's no cloud issue here," Nadkarni said. "VDO is a data reduction module for software-defined, server-based storage. It can work in the cloud, but it can work in any noncloud environment, too. They limit themselves by calling it a cloud module."

Next Steps

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