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BlueArc goes for deduplication

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Fast filer supplier BlueArc is going to embed Permabit's Albireo deduplication software into its products, enabling more data to be stored in the same disk capacity.

BlueArc's Titan and Mercury filers use hardware acceleration to deliver faster access to data. Permabit has developed its Albireo software to deduplicate data stored on disk outside the data read path so that there is no impact on performance. It was announced in June, followed by Ocarina developing its competing deduplication software for use by storage OEM suppliers.

With Ocarina having just been bought by Dell it's likely that Permabit now has the OEM supply field for deduplication software to itself.

BlueArc and Permabit claim that they "will provide the industry’s fastest primary storage solution with built-in data deduplication. This will allow VMware customers to dramatically increase performance and achieve enormous cost savings." The storage of VMware virtual server and desktop images is becoming more and more important, with storage suppliers looking to catch up with NetApp and its ASIS deduplication lead which has lead to success in the VMware market.

Up until recently it has been thought that deduplicating primary data, the most active data in an array, would cause access delays. Deduplicating VMware virtual machines has turned out to be a good use case because the virtual machine image data does not have such fast access needs as transaction data. For BlueArc, if it can now store twice as many such virtual machine images as before, or possibly even more, with no access penalty, and its cost per GB stored has just gone down, making it more competitive against NetApp and other suppliers.

BlueArc has also announced its JetCenter for vSphere, Jet Clone and JetMirror software suite for VMware. JetCenter provides enhanced management of snapshot-based backup and recovery operations by directly integrating into the vCenter interface. JetClone makes, BlueArc claims, "the industry’s most space-efficient, writable VMDK file snapshots".

JetMirror offers a high-speed replication feature which uses an object-based file system technology as an option to the existing file-based replication software. BlueArc says it provides the speed of block-based replication while replicating only data, not empty blocks.

VMworld is an opportunity for storage suppliers to preen themselves in front of the virtual machine faithful and BlueArc has donned its most fetching swimsuit yet, aiming to win the Miss VMworld beauty contest. ®

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