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Read a collection of my updates from two days at Storage Networking World. The focus this year was on using new technologies to allow the IT staff to become more

By George Crump, April 9, 2009

10:30 AM -- The final afternoon and the final push at Storage Networking World in Orlando on Wednesday started off with a meeting with Data Domain. The company was mostly highlighting its already announce OS upgrade and its new mid-range de-duplication product. The new OS, available to all current customers, accelerates performance anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent, depending on the platforms, the company says. Using Data Domain's Stream Informed Segment Layout, they can achieve continuous improvement in throughput without the use of additional controllers, compression, or high-speed disk caches.

What I still find fascinating is how much the support of Symantec's OST helps in performance. On a DD690, they can achieve backup throughput of 2.7 TB per hour with 10 Gigabit Ethernet. This is an interesting combination compared to CommVault's strategy. While it remains to be seen which method users choose, it is a compelling alternative.

Next up was HiFn, and they certainly get the award for best new product name at the show -- the Bitwakr. This is essentially a de-duplication card that inserts into any Windows server (more platforms are coming) and provides de-duplication and compression. The company is being realistic with how much de-duplication you can expect, citing 3x for de-dupe and then another 3x for compression.

The software component runs above the dynamic disk driver and intercepts calls to specific disks that you select for de-duplication. As is often the case, there is a performance hit -- the card today can perform at about 30 Mbit/s. That speed will increase in the future, but even now -- for the right workloads -- it is certainly acceptable, and many users may not even notice a performance impact. HiFn has priced the card at only $995, so dipping your toe in the waters is not painful at all.

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