Feeds

3PAR zeroes in on wasted space

Latest announcement is all for nought

Intelligent flash storage arrays

3PAR is thinking about nothing in particular with its latest announcement: targeting and removing zeroes from migrated-in volumes and getting rid of them in thin copies and snapshots.

Its idea is to use zero detection facilities in the third generation of the ASIC hardware in its InServ storage array, along with a so-called thin engine - a virtualisation mapping technology for space reclamation. Allocated but empty space in volumes or files is actually populated with zeroes, and when these are detected and removed - a form of compression - then 3PAR says its InServ Storage server array can be up to 75 per cent more efficient in its use of capacity than other arrays. In other words incoming "fat" volumes are compressed into "thin" volumes.

There are four parts to 3PARs announcement. Thin Conversion comes into play when data volumes are copied from other suppliers' arrays, such as EMC's, and pass through the ASIC and thin engine. Runs of zeroes are stripped out and a 100GB volume can be condensed down to a 25GB volume, assuming that 3PAR's claims run true. This happens inline and at wire-speed, because it's done by array hardware

Thin Persistence reclaims unused space when data is deleted. Thin Copy Reclamation reclaims unused space from virtual copy snapshots and remote copy volumes on the InServ. The fourth part of the announcement has Symantec using a 3PAR API to have its Storage Foundation product tell the InServ when a file is deleted. Space previously taken up in the file is then reclaimed and returned to the storage pool. It's likely that other system-level storage products that work with the InServ storage array will also take advantage of this API.

3PAR will be hoping that doing this with hardware will preserve its competitive advantage over vendors who are moving to Intel x86 server-based array controllers, as they will have to do thinning in software if they aim to match 3PAR's capabilities.

With this announcement, 3PAR now probably has the most mature thin provisioning technology amongst all the array vendors. Its CEO and president, David Scott, thinks users could save up to 60 per cent on their storage arrays' cost by using InServ and its thinning technologies, and suggests: "From a cost reduction standpoint, this could prove the ripest ‘low hanging fruit’ in the overall IT budget.”

That could be over-egging a pudding if we compare it to kicking out physical servers through virtualisation, but still, keeping your storage on a wasted capacity diet is a good idea. It should appeal to IT budget holders averse to paying for nothing, and not wanting zeroes in the IT budget paying for zeroes on the spinning platters. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
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
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
Cray heaves out even mightier, Lustre-ous Sonexion 2000
Met Office and Los Alamos bomb boffins are apparently among its fans
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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
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.