Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Nexenta Deduplicates ZFS

Nexenta Systems Inc. has enhanced its NexentaStor 3.0 product to include in-line deduplication for Zettabyte File System (ZFS). The company also used NexentaStor 3.0 as the basis for its Nexenta Virtual Machine Datacenter (VMDC)  3.0 product, which adds support for Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization environment.

In-line deduplication means duplicate data is eliminated as it is being written the first time, rather than offline or post-process, says Evan Powell, CEO of the Mountain View, Calif., company. This is particularly important in virtualization, where 95 percent of the storage in the virtual machines is identical, he says. The deduplication is done at the storage layer so it is transparent to the hypervisor software that manages the virtual systems, according to Powell.

Support for ZFS makes it easier for users to migrate to larger storage devices and to mix storage devices from multiple vendors, because it is an open file system, Powell said. "All legacy enterprise storage systems today write the data in proprietary format," he said. The data is then in a machine to which users don't have access without that vendor's technology, and a time-consuming conversion process is required to move to a different vendor's hardware, he said.

ZFS also lets users build files that are bigger than what could actually fit on a disk. "The maximum file system in a proprietary storage system is 16 terabytes," Powell reports. "Ours is 16 exabytes."

Jefferson Nunn, IT Director for GoWireless Inc., a Las Vegas Verizon reseller with 300 stores across the country, uses a previous version of NexentaStor and is deploying a pilot version of NexentaStor 3.0. He is particularly interested in the support for Microsoft Hyper-V, which he said is weak in the current version.  His  company originally started using NexentaStor when he found he could get "50 percent more storage for 60 percent less cost," he said.

  • 1