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Hifn Announces Triple-Function De-Dupe Card

Hifn has introduced a set of PC-compatible cards it claims will help VTL and de-duplication vendors significantly speed up their wares.

The DR 250 is a 64-bit, full-height PCI-X card; and the DR 255 is PCI-e card made for that bus's four-lane technique. Both have the capabilities to perform either SHA-1 or MD5 hashing (user's choice) for de-duplication; LZS 2.5:1 (average) data compression; and AES 256-bit encryption. According to Hifn, the cards perform their functions at 250-Mbytes/second. Up to four cards can be loaded into a single system, and Hifn provides load-balancing algorithms to balance processing among them.

The catch? Hifn's cards don't do all three functions at once. Instead, while compression and encryption can be done together, hashing -- the process that chops up data streams to identify duplicate portions -- must be done separately.

Hifn says it is preparing a new card for release in the fourth quarter of 2008 that will enable all three functions to be done in one pass, while performing at 1 Gbyte/second.

There are other wee catches. The DR 255 contains a bridge that links PCI-e to PCI-X technologies, which Hifn acknowledges can introduce overhead. These factors make the vendor's performance figures seem highly subject to specific applications.

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