News
1/19/2011
02:26 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
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
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
Managing the interdependency between software and infrastructure is a thorny challenge. Often, it’s a “developers are from Mars, systems engineers are from Venus” situation.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2227
Published: 2014-07-25
The default Flash cross-domain policy (crossdomain.xml) in Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Video (formerly AirVision aka AirVision Controller) before 3.0.1 does not restrict access to the application, which allows remote attackers to bypass the Same Origin Policy via a crafted SWF file.

CVE-2014-5027
Published: 2014-07-25
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Review Board 1.7.x before 1.7.27 and 2.0.x before 2.0.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a query parameter to a diff fragment page.

CVE-2014-5100
Published: 2014-07-25
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Omeka before 2.2.1 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that (1) add a new super user account via a request to admin/users/add, (2) insert cross-site scripting (XSS) sequences via the api_key_...

CVE-2014-5101
Published: 2014-07-25
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in WeBid 1.1.1 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) TPL_name, (2) TPL_nick, (3) TPL_email, (4) TPL_year, (5) TPL_address, (6) TPL_city, (7) TPL_prov, (8) TPL_zip, (9) TPL_phone, (10) TPL_pp_email, (11) TPL_authn...

CVE-2014-5102
Published: 2014-07-25
SQL injection vulnerability in vBulletin 5.0.4 through 5.1.3 Alpha 5 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the criteria[startswith] parameter to ajax/render/memberlist_items.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.