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Nexsan Greens Deduplication

While deduplication products slash storage consumption, they often waste energy in the data center. Nexsan has partnered with FalconStor Software to eliminate that tradeoff. Nexsan DeDupe SG 2.0, the company's newest deduplication appliance, gives storage administrators a range of choices to conserve energy when data aren't being written to disk. The SG 2.0 aims at mid-sized business (100 to 1000 employees or 20 Terabytes or more of data). The product uses FalconStor's File-interface Deduplication System (FDS).

With storage consumption continuing to grow, data deduplication has emerged a critical technology for reducing burgeoning storage costs. By comparing data streams from multiple sources, data deduplication software finds identical blocks or bytes of data and only writes a single block to disk, conserving primary and secondary storage in the process. However, many data deduplication products are built in such a way that the disk drives continue to spin and consume power even when they're not being used, says Bob Woolery, senior vice president of marketing for Nexsan.

DeDupe SG uses Nexsan's AutoMAID technology for conserving power. At AutoMAID level 1, the appliance parks the heads, which Nexsan says improves energy efficiency by 20 percent. At level 2, the RPMs of the drives are lowered from 7200 to 5400 RPMs, and at level 3, the drives stop altogether. Those choices will affect response times, so organizations will need to think carefully as to what's appropriate to their applications. "If you want to use the system and access data, at level 1 the heads are pushed out and the response time is in subseconds, and the second I/O is at full speed," says Woolery. "At level 2, the first I/O is in 15 seconds and at level 3, the first I/O response is in 30 seconds," he says.

Nexsan has also increased the number of remote sites it supports for data deduplication, from 30 to 150 sites. Those sites also have higher assurances that deduplication will actually get done. The 2.0 version works in High Availability (HA) mode where one appliance is active and a second appliance is in passive mode. Should a failure occur to the primary, the secondary appliance steps in. This is particularly important for database customers where missing a backup window can be like missing a day's backup.

The company also says performance has been increased by 100 percent with the use of Symantec's OpenStorage (OST) protocol reaching at up to 750 Mbytes/s or 1.5 Gbytes/s after post processing. The Nexsan DeDupe SG 2.0 comes in seven form factors, ranging from 4Tbytes of usable data to 68Tbytes. Appliances will be available in late February 2010. Prices start at $49,000.