BridgeSTOR Releases Free Data Reduction Analyzer

When talking to people who don't have a strong technical background, I find that their reactions prove that Arthur C. Clarke was right when he said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." To them, any technology that lets them store 10TBytes of data on a 1TByte drive is magic. Then I start to explain to them that I can't really predict how much their data will dedupe because it depends on the data and that "your mileage may vary," and they start wondering if it's

Howard Marks

February 28, 2011

2 Min Read
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When talking to people who don't have a strong technicalbackground, I find that their reactions prove that Arthur C. Clarke was rightwhen he said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable frommagic." To them, any technology that lets them store 10TBytes of data on a 1TByte driveis magic. Then I start to explain tothem that I can't really predict how much their data will dedupe because itdepends on the data and that "your mileage may vary," and they start wondering if it'smagic or snake oil. With BridgeStor'snew deduplication simulator, we can finally predict how much reduction you canget with your data.

BridgeSTOR's VS-ADR (virtual storage-advanced datareduction) simulator will scan your real production data and determine how muchit would shrink if you stored it on one of BridgeSTOR's appliances. At the end, it creates a report showing howmuch data reduction you can expect to see on your data and how much of thereduction is due to deduplication and compression. It even comes with an Excel spreadsheet thatgenerates pretty graphs that you can show your management to convince them that thismagic stuff is worth having.

Of course BrideSTOR is giving the simulator away to helpit sell its deduplicating storage appliances. BridgeSTOR founder John Matze also founded iSCSIvendor Siafu, and he was a key player in the development and marketing of HiFn'shardware assist technology for deduplication, compression and encryption. AtBridgeSTOR, he's combining those technologies into HP server-based appliances that are preconfiguredand optimized for Windows Storage Server, Data Protection Manager and BackupExec.

The VS-ADR simulator installs on a Windows system and willanalyze the data in a SCRATCH folder on whatever drive you point it at. BridgeSTOR says it will process about 28GBytes ofdata an hour on a modern server and about half that on a laptop. As always, your mileage will vary based on theprocessor and storage system you choose. Since it's running in software, and since it's free, we have to assumethat it's not terribly optimized software, and since the real BridgeSTOR appliances usehardware assist, the simulator's performance shouldn't be used as an indicationof how fast a real appliance will reduce data.

While I'd have preferred to be able to point the simulatorat my production data, I'd probably be upset when it took five days to processseveral terabytes of data and loaded my production systems with all thatI/O. All in all, I'm grateful to have atool that will help me estimate the data reduction I can get on real-world dataand will have to stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.

About the Author(s)

Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger

Howard Marks</strong>&nbsp;is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage systems, networks, management systems and Internet strategies at organizations including American Express, J.P. Morgan, Borden Foods, U.S. Tobacco, BBDO Worldwide, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the State University of New York at Purchase. The testing at DeepStorage Labs is informed by that real world experience.</p><p>He has been a frequent contributor to <em>Network Computing</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>InformationWeek</em>&nbsp;since 1999 and a speaker at industry conferences including Comnet, PC Expo, Interop and Microsoft's TechEd since 1990. He is the author of&nbsp;<em>Networking Windows</em>&nbsp;and co-author of&nbsp;<em>Windows NT Unleashed</em>&nbsp;(Sams).</p><p>He is co-host, with Ray Lucchesi of the monthly Greybeards on Storage podcast where the voices of experience discuss the latest issues in the storage world with industry leaders.&nbsp; You can find the podcast at: http://www.deepstorage.net/NEW/GBoS

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