Last month, we looked at "8 Deduplication Products You Must Check Out," which highlighted deduplication products from Quantum, HP, EMC (Avamar and Data Domain), Asigra, Symantec, Atempo and Commvault. But that only scratched the surface on what is a thriving areas of storage innovation.
Here are a few more:
1. NextGen Storage
NexGen recently came out of stealth mode with its Phased Data Reduction technology. The basic premise is that current dedupe tools were designed for the back-up process, and that may not be the best way forward.
"You hear a lot of new vendors talking about how dedupe can be implemented with no impact on performance, but that approach depends on solid state drives [SSDs]," said John Spiers, NexGen Storage CEO and Founder, NextGen. "Solid state is the most expensive type of storage so dedupe doesn't improve $ per GB."
NexGen's Phased Data Reduction is a primary storage system that consists of four phases:
- The data goes through a pattern matcher
- The system scans RAM and solid state to see if a dedupe candidate is available there and dedupes it, if not, it stores the data
- As data is moved from one tier to another, it passes back through RAM and solid state and is checked for duplicate blocks once again
- A background process ensures that dedupe doesn't impact front-end performance
"By implementing phased data reduction on low-cost disk drives, NexGen delivers a high level of capacity consolidation without impacting performance," said Spiers.
GreebBytes is another vendor taking the primary storage route. Its HA-3000 is a SAN appliance that combines SSD with SATA and deduplication. Xeon-based dual controllers are equipped with four 1GbE and two 10GbE network ports. The design promises the write-IOPS required for the extremes of boot, login and virus scanning storms in production Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments. GreenBytes' HA-3000 will be generally available in January 2012.
FalconStor File Interface Deduplication System (FDS) is aimed at SMBs and remote offices. It is LAN-based deduplication that works with most backup and archiving applications. It includes a global deduplication repository that is shared with FalconStor Virtual Tape Library (VTL). That company has also built deduplication into its various other product lines, such as FalconStor Continuous Data Protection and FalconStor Network Storage Server.
Exagrid, too, has built deduplication into its products. The EX13000E, for example, is said to allow users to store a 130TB full backup plus weeks of retention in a grid-based disk backup system plus byte-level data deduplication and compression.
5. Recover2Cloud for Vaulting
Best known for disaster recovery (DR) and hosted data centers, SunGard Availability Services offers deduplication in its Recover2Cloud for Vaulting product, which also includes cloud-based DR, vaulting and replication.
As opposed to block-based approaches, Copiun provides object-based data deduplication for laptop backups. This is said to provide bandwidth and storage savings, especially for enterprises with large numbers of remote and mobile employees who connect to the corporate network over a WAN.
"Object based deduplication offers compelling reduction in the storage and bandwidth needs for PC backup vs. traditional methodologies--making it easier to backup remote users over slow, intermittent networks," said Sheila Childs, research director in Gartner's Storage Strategies and Technologies group.
NetApp data deduplication and data compression features are built into the company's core operating architecture known as Data ONTAP, which is used by such products as the NetApp FAS and V-Series storage systems. They work in SAN and NAS environments, and are application- and storage-tier agnostic.
8. Oracle ZFS
Sun ZFS Storage Appliances include deduplication technology to remove redundant copies of information. It uses synchronous block-level deduplication in tandem with compression, snapshot and remote replication. Sun's ZFS system is also being employed in other Sun products, thereby providing them with built-in inline deduplication. The Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System product line is a recent example.
The NexentaStor Storage Appliance is an open source take on storage/dedupe that harnesses the ZFS files system. It comes with iSCSI support, unlimited incremental backups or snapshots, replication, block-level mirroring and integrated search.
Another open source candidate is FreeNAS. It is based on the FreeBSD platforms and supports sharing across Windows, Apple and UNIX systems. The latest version FreeNAS 8 includes ZFS, which supports higher storage capacities, deduplication and integrates file systems and volume management into a single piece of software.
QUADStor provides storage virtualization, thin provisioning, fast inline deduplication at the disk layer, as well as globally between different systems uses QUADStor. This is backed up by compression. It is available free of charge.
12. Pure Storage
Pure Storage has unveiled an all-flash storage array that the company says is more than 10 times faster and 10 times more space- and power-efficient, at a lower per-gigabyte price, than disk arrays. Its FlashArray FA-300 Series delivers hundreds of thousands of IOPS with less than 1 ms latency, and features inline deduplication and compression. It will be generally available at the end of the year.
Nimbus Data Systems has what it calls S-Class Flash Memory with unified storage management and data protection software built in. These new flash modules take advantage of 6 Gbps SAS connectivity and a higher-performance flash management processor. Advanced wear-leveling algorithms maximize flash durability in non-stop mission-critical installations. By upping the number of processor cores from 8 to 12, the company has enabled faster deduplication and other built in data management services. The Nimbus S-Class is available in three capacity models: 2.5 TB, 5.0 TB, and 10.0 TB.
Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).