Feeds

Riverbed claims it will de-dupe primary storage

Dam that data flood

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

"Hey you storage vendors, listen up. We're gonna tell you how to deduplicate primary data." That's the message given out at Riverbed's Vision Day for financial analysts on Monday.

The startling premise of Riverbed's in-development Atlas appliances is that you can strip out up to 90 per cent of the data stored in data centres by using enhanced WAN acceleration appliances to find and deduplicate data flowing between servers and storage arrays. That would be up to 95 per cent of raw backup data, Riverbed says, because it is chock full of redundant information. Broadly speaking, storage capacity goes up ten times, twenty times in the case of backup data.

What the storage array vendors say is impossible, the deduplication of primary storage array data, is what Riverbed says is practicable. It's basing this on its Steelhead appliance, which deduplicates data sent across the WAN as a way of speeding communications to branch and remote offices. This is such that they have less local IT infrastructure with the central data centre having a consolidated and thus hopefully more efficient and cost-effective set-up.

The idea is, Eric Wolford, Riverbed's marketing and business development SVP, said: "With the Atlas appliance, we are doing for data at rest what we have always done for data in motion."

Riverbed's Atlas Appliance will sit along with Steelhead appliances in front of storage arrays. The Steelhead breaks up data coming to it into byte-level patterns. The Atlas maintains an index of master data patterns and will only send new data patterns on to the arrays. So, as servers send data to the arrays it is inspected by the in-band Steelhead & Atlas appliance combination, deduplicated, and sent on - with up to 90 per cent of it removed and replaced by pointers - to the storage array where it rests.

In an added twist, Atlas can be used to inspect an array's contents and deduplicate it, reclaiming redundant capacity. Initially Alas will support Windows servers and unstructured/semi-structured data with Unix servers and structured data coming along later. The first Atlas appliance should be announced next year and will come in a redundant cluster configuration for high availability.

Riverbed is certainly thinking big, with Wolford saying. "When IT infrastructure is overloaded with redundant data, there are efficiency and cost impacts across the organization. Our vision is to eliminate these inefficiencies through removing redundant data at every point between the data center and the end user. "

It's a bold idea. Riverbed isn't saying - yet - which server-storage interfaces will be supported. We might presume that the idea is to embrace all standard storage protocol comms lines: Fibre Channel; Ethernet, and all the main protocols: block-level SAN and NAS interfaces such as CIFS and NFS.

We might presume wrong. Riverbed's statement did say: "The Atlas appliance is designed to help scale existing file storage by enabling customers' existing file servers to serve more users and deliver a larger amount of data per device." Ah, files and file servers. Not quite "removing redundant data at every point between the data center and the end user".

Never mind, these are just details. Yesterday was the big picture day with big picture benefits: Lower costs; enhanced user experience; improved manageability; scalability; greater productivity; and enhanced Riverbed revenues and profits, the presentation being to financial analysts.

Riverbed, by the way, is in a legal dispute with Quantum over its deduplication technology which, Quantum claims, infringes its patents. The stakes just got higher.

Another note: NetApp has Storage Acceleration Appliances sitting in front of its arrays now and it has its ASIS deduplication technology. Perhaps NetApp could offer the same functionality as Atlas to its customers? It is already saying that deduplication applies to much more than backup data. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.