Copan Dives Into De-Duplication

Looks to slash users' storage footprints by marrying MAID and de-dupe

October 10, 2007

3 Min Read
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With CIOs and IT managers clamoring for ways to slash their data center power and cooling costs, MAID vendor Copan is now adding de-duplication to its storage systems.

Copan is one of a number of vendors, including Nexsan, NEC, and Fujtisu, that are touting MAID technology as a way for users to shrink their storage footprints.

MAID systems typically use a small number of spinning disks that serve as a cache for a set of non-spinning, passive disks. If a data request is not found in the cache, the appropriate passive disks are powered up.

The technology is gaining higher visibility at the moment, as users wrestle with spiraling power costs and space considerations, and HDS recently entered the market with its own take on MAID.

Copan has now added de-duplication to the MAID mix by extending its relationship with its partner FalconStor, which already offered its Single Instance Repository (SIR) de-duplication software on VTLs sold with Copan systems.De-duplication aims to reduce the bulk of backed-up data by ensuring that the same information is not stored in two places. The technology has prompted a slew of announcements from vendors such as Data Domain, FalconStor, Diligent, and Symantec in recent months.

Users are also starting to dip their toes into de-duplication. "Many of the customers that we're working with have a de-dupe project on tap for sometime in the next 12 months," says Jon Mellon, Copan's senior vice president of worldwide marketing and business development.

Today Copan took the wraps off its 672-Tbyte Revolution 300 device, which contains a MAID-based version of SIR called SIR-M. "This [de-duplication solution] will deliver over six petabytes of effective capacity," says Mellon, explaining that the 300 device takes up just 10 square feet of floorspace.

The exec says that less than a dozen of Copan's 100-plus customers are beta testing this technology, although he was unwilling to name any names.

Despite Copan's secrecy, at least one analyst believes that the marriage of MAID and de-dupe is a step in the right direction. "I believe that [Copan is] the only MAID vendor that can do de-dupe [in its own systems]," says Laura DuBois, research director at IDC, explaining that the two technologies are complementary. "De-dupe is about reducing the amount of data in storage and MAID is about using the storage more effectively from an energy perspective.""Most enterprises, most data centers, do not really dispose of data even if it has reached the end of its useful life," explains DuBois, adding that this makes the de-dupe/MAID combo all the more appealing. "It's addressing the issues of power, cooling, and space that data centers have to deal with today."

Other MAID vendors may also follow Copan's lead, according to DuBois. "There's a lot of positioning vis--vis what people have today," she says.

Rival Nexsan, for example, does not offer de-dupe on its SATABeast MAID systems, although it is offered on the vendor's Assureon devices, which function as file archives for the SATABeast.

Users and analysts at a recent event in New York sanctioned this approach, explaining that a mixture of different technologies, including MAID, data de-dupe, and compression are needed to solve data center power problems.

Pricing for a 672 Tbyte Revolution 300, which will be available next week, is $3 per Gbyte. By running de-dupe, the vendor says that users can push this price down to 25 cents per Gbyte.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • IDC

  • NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY; Tokyo: 6701)

  • Nexsan Technologies Inc.

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