News
6/8/2010
10:25 AM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Does Deduplication Make Storage Capacity Planning Difficult?

With all the technologies out now, and it not just deduplication, to optimize the use of primary storage capacity, the guidelines for how you estimate how much capacity you need in a given year needs to change. In some ways storage capacity planning is more difficult than it has been in the past. It has to change to keep up with the new capabilities of storage systems like thin provisioning, compression and deduplication.

With all the technologies out now, and it not just deduplication, to optimize the use of primary storage capacity, the guidelines for how you estimate how much capacity you need in a given year needs to change. In some ways storage capacity planning is more difficult than it has been in the past. It has to change to keep up with the new capabilities of storage systems like thin provisioning, compression and deduplication.Storage capacity planning of a few years ago seems like a relatively simple task compared with the capacity planning of today. You estimated the amount of capacity that you were going to need based on organic growth and new application needs, then doubled that number and ordered the storage. In many cases no one batted an eye to the process. If you apply that same logic today you may end of with 50% or more of your capacity purchase never being used. In fact several vendors are claiming, and even guaranteeing, that you will need less storage if you replace your current storage solution with theirs.

You could continue to use the old math when calculating storage capacity needs and enjoy all the extra free capacity. It is important to remember though that storage is not wine, it does not get more expensive with age, unused capacity is wasted budget dollars as well as power and cooling. The time has come to factor all these techniques into your next capacity or even storage system upgrade. Of these capabilities deduplication, compression and thin provisioning probably will have the most impact.

Primary storage deduplication has been discounted by some in the industry. There are concerns about performance impact and data integrity; both those concerns are technology issues and either are or will be overcome. Some solutions are now claiming micro seconds of latency and not altering the data format. The other and more legitimate concern is how much duplicate data do you really have on primary storage. In the past I would say this is a valid concern, until server and desktop virtualization. Now there can be TB's and TB's of redundant data on the system. Deduplication can address that problem and result in massive savings. Estimating how much deduplication should factor into your capacity planning is difficult. If the environment is going to be heavy on the virtualization side, I would suggest at least a 3:1 reduction in the amount of storage you were going to purchase maybe more.

Compression is another optimization technique to consider. Compression gains optimization across almost all files, it does not require duplicate data. The data does need to be compressible of course but in almost every case the net is at least a 2:1 gain. In most cases compression is not an inhibitor to deduplication, most of the solutions work together, some are even integrated.

Thin provisioning helps in an area that deduplication and compression do not, capacity that is allocated but not in use. Essentially storage that is captive to a particular server. You can't compress or deduplicate something that is not there. The only way to optimize this capacity is to free it from being bound to a particular server. As we discuss in our Thin Provisioning White Paper, the technology is no longer limited to optimizing new application deployment but also to ongoing application use. Modern thin provisioning technology can reclaim deleted space from volumes as well.

In our next entry we will discuss how to roll all this information together to plan your next capacity upgrade or to plan a new storage system purchase.

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 December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
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-2014-4807
Published: 2014-11-22
Sterling Order Management in IBM Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite 9.3.0 before FP8 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption) via a '\0' character.

CVE-2014-6183
Published: 2014-11-22
IBM Security Network Protection 5.1 before 5.1.0.0 FP13, 5.1.1 before 5.1.1.0 FP8, 5.1.2 before 5.1.2.0 FP9, 5.1.2.1 before FP5, 5.2 before 5.2.0.0 FP5, and 5.3 before 5.3.0.0 FP1 on XGS devices allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-8626
Published: 2014-11-22
Stack-based buffer overflow in the date_from_ISO8601 function in ext/xmlrpc/libxmlrpc/xmlrpc.c in PHP before 5.2.7 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code by including a timezone field in a date, leading to improper XML-RPC encoding...

CVE-2014-8710
Published: 2014-11-22
The decompress_sigcomp_message function in epan/sigcomp-udvm.c in the SigComp UDVM dissector in Wireshark 1.10.x before 1.10.11 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (buffer over-read and application crash) via a crafted packet.

CVE-2014-8711
Published: 2014-11-22
Multiple integer overflows in epan/dissectors/packet-amqp.c in the AMQP dissector in Wireshark 1.10.x before 1.10.11 and 1.12.x before 1.12.2 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) via a crafted amqp_0_10 PDU in a packet.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?