News
1/19/2011
02:26 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Backup Deduplication 2.0 - Density

As we continue our requirements for the next era of backup deduplication, the next important area for improvement is in the denseness of systems. This means more raw capacity in less physical space. While getting sufficient power to the data center is a problem for some data centers, the lack of available data center floor space is becoming a problem for even more of them. Backup deduplication systems need to help address that pain by increasing density.

As we continue our requirements for the next era of backup deduplication, the next important area for improvement is in the denseness of systems. This means more raw capacity in less physical space. While getting sufficient power to the data center is a problem for some data centers, the lack of available data center floor space is becoming a problem for even more of them. Backup deduplication systems need to help address that pain by increasing density.Running out or low on data center floorspace is often more painful than running out of power. As long as you can afford more power, in many areas of the world you can keep getting it and the cost for more is incremental. Space on the other hand is harder to come by. Even if you can get and afford new land, it takes time to build a new data center and the cost to build that data center is anything but incremental. The solution is to increase the density of all the technology in a data center. In storage this means more capacity and performance in less space. Backup deduplication vendors must be prepared to participate in this discussion.

The current answer to increasing density from backup deduplication system vendors is that they provide compression and deduplication so they are already space efficient. They may also be counting on ever increasing drive sizes to improve density. While these are fair claims, they are lacking as density becomes a bigger problem. As we discussed in our article The Storage Efficiency Triangle, building a dense storage system is more than just adding deduplication and compression. It requires the tighter packaging of the hard disks themselves. The standard 12 - 20 drive slot shelf is not going to meet the density demand. There is a lot of open space in the typical storage shelf and that space needs to be used.

Of course greater drive density is going to mean a build up in heat as well as vibration, both of which can be deadly to drives. Heat dispensation has to be handled by more than just bigger, faster spinning fans, which would just consume more power and increase noise levels. You don't want to loose power efficiency to gain space efficiency. Vendors will have to spend more engineering time working on proper airflow designs so that power efficient fans can be used. The way that drives are mounted in the storage system can help this. Also the drive mounting techniques can lower vibration issues as well. This means potentially not using off the shelf hardware but instead vendors are designing their own hardware that meets these goals.

Density could also be increased by using 2.5" form factor hard drives instead of the 3.5" form factor drives that are commonplace in backup deduplication. While you do give up some capacity per drive and the cost per GB increases slightly, 2.5" drives give you much better density and in most cases much better power efficiency. This also may give you something that we will discuss in detail in an upcoming entry; better rebuild times. Rebuild times on backup deduplication devices tend to be long and in some cases can dramatically impact performance. By using more drives at a smaller capacity, backup deduplication systems built on 2.5" drives should deliver more effective rebuild times and be less susceptible to a major performance loss during the rebuild process.

Data center floor space is at a premium and deduplication systems have to help address this challenge by moving beyond the denseness through technology that deduplication and compression provide. The hardware now needs to be looked at so that further improvements in GB per tile can be made.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8142
Published: 2014-12-20
Use-after-free vulnerability in the process_nested_data function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.re in PHP before 5.4.36, 5.5.x before 5.5.20, and 5.6.x before 5.6.4 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted unserialize call that leverages improper handling of duplicate keys w...

CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2013-7401
Published: 2014-12-19
The parse_request function in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a URI without a " " or "?" character in an ICAP request, as demonstrated by use of the OPTIONS method.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.