Open Source Deduplication: Ready for Enterprises? Page 2


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Zmanda, which is based on Amanda open source backup and recovery software, has likewise begun to include deduplication in its software.

"We are pursuing both source-level [on the backup client] and target-level [on the storage media] deduplication," said Chander Kant, the CEO of Zmanda, who noted that Amanda has already been tested and certified with several target-level deduplication technologies, including EMC's Data Domain and Oracle/Sun ZFS.

"Deduplication potentially saves a lot of system resources for Zmanda customers," he said. "And we are seeing very good compression ratios." Moreover, the deduplication is transparent to end users.

As with Opendedup and Bacula, the response to the inclusion of open source deduplication on the target side in Amanda has been positive, said Kant — and he sees more businesses, especially small and medium-sized companies, jumping on open source deduplication solutions "that can stretch their limited IT budgets by saving on storage costs."


As for open source storage solution vendor Nexenta Systems, it incorporated ZFS-based inline deduplication in the latest version of its storage solution, NexentaStor 3.0, which was released at the end of March. And Nexenta claims that not only is NexentaStor 3.0 the first storage solution to offer inline deduplication for primary storage, but that open source solutions like ZFS are technically superior to proprietary ones.

"We were extremely impressed with ZFS inline deduplication — and convinced that it is the best deduplication technology available on the market," said Evan Powell, the CEO of Nexenta Systems.

Indeed, when asked to compare how NexentaStor stacked up against the competition, Nexenta claimed that customers that used NexentaStor typically experienced a 75 percent cost savings versus proprietary solutions, in large part because of the increased efficiency through compression.

As for NexentaStor's target market, that would be enterprises with large virtual environments such as Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Xen and VMware, including hosting and cloud service providers, research and development organizations and businesses with virtual desktop environments.

Standards Favor Open Source

So putting the hype aside for a minute, are open source deduplication solutions really as good or as reliable and scalable as proprietary solutions?

"Proprietary solutions are expensive and the source code is not available, so it is not easy to check or compare their performance," said Bacula's Sibbald. "From the deduplication statistics that I have seen from proprietary vendors and those given by open source projects such as lessfs, I would say that the open source solutions stack up very well against the proprietary solutions."

Added Zmanda’s Kant: "Over time, deduplication will become standard. Just like we have standard algorithms for compression today, there will be standard algorithms and formats for deduplication. And open source shines with standardization. So the future of deduplication is squarely with open source."

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