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Quantum and NEC claim dedupe speed records

Speed records across entry-level, mid-range and high-end

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For sheer high-end deduplication grunt, no one comes close to NEC and its HYDRAstore, but Quantum is claiming the entry-level and mid-range dedupe speed laurels with its revamped DXi software.

Version two of this software, with a revamped inline data flow, is available for the DXi 4500 entry-level and 6500 mid-range systems. They dedupe at up to 1.7TB/hour and 4.6TB/hour respectively, using Symantec's OST. Quantum says these two products are faster than any other open protocol entry-level and mid-range appliances. So let's move straight straight on to Data Domain and look at its OST performance.

The DD610 entry-level system chugs along sluggardly by Quantum's latest software standards at 0.675TB/hour, the 630 at 1.1TB/hour and the 670 at 3.6TB/hour. The three are faster using Data Domain Boost – 1.3TB/hour, 2.1TB/hour and 5.4TB/hour – but this isn't what Quantum would call an open protocol.

Quantum says its high-end 6700 VTL (Virtual Tape Library) and 8500 enterprise system, currently ingesting data at up to 3.5TB/hour and 6.4TB/hour respectively, should do better when they get the version 2 DXi software in the summer. New chief operating officer and president John Gacek said, in Quantum's earnings call transcript, that he expects the 8500 using v2 DXi software to be on a par with the DD 890 OST performance (8.1TB/hour) or above it.

Customers with the latest generation DXi4500 and DXi6500 appliances will be able to upgrade them to DXi 2.0 software at no charge.

NEC's HYDRAstore is in a different dedupe ballpark altogether. The company has announced its third generation, the HYDRAstore HS8-3000 accelerator node, which is 50 per cent faster than the previous HS8-2000. Each HS8-3000 dedupes at 2.7TB/hour, which doesn't sound much but a HYDRAstore grid can cluster up to 55 of the little beggars, collectively deduping at up to 148.5TB/hour: that's more than three times faster than Sepaton's S2100-ES2 products announced a few days ago. These can have up to 16 nodes clustered.

Backup expert Curtis Preston ran a dedupe system comparison last November and rated the HYDRAstore (with HS8-2000 nodes) at 99TB/hour as the fastest deduplication system he could find. He compared systems that deduped globally across clustered nodes by the way. The HS8-3000 is faster still and still at the front of the pack.

We can't see Quantum's DXi 8500 high-end system reaching these heady heights, but then it's not clustered. If you need to deduplicate across massive backup data streams, then clustering would appear to be a necessity.

It must be the dedupe system upgrade season. In pretty short order we have had faster systems from Data Domain, NEC, Quantum and Sepaton, with the latter two improving their dedupe software. Hybrid solid state and hard disk drive storage enclosure and array vendor Xiotech has licensed Permabit's Albireo deduplication software. We have the pleasure of seeing what its tech developers can do dedupe speed-wise to come. Hopefully that will happen later this year. ®

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