Sepaton Thinks Small to Dedupe Big Oracle Databases

Posted on June 06, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez

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Sepaton Wednesday is claiming an industry first in database backups. The company's new DeltaStor DBeXstream software brings the full capacity-saving benefits of deduplication to large multistreamed, multiplexed Oracle databases.

With its new S2100 Data Protection 6.1 release -- storage operating software that governs its S2100 virtual tape library (VTL) -- the company is taking the sting out of backing up large, complex databases. It's a business-as-usual approach that should win it fans among DBAs, according to Storage Strategies NOW founding analyst, Deni Connor.

Connor tells InfoStor, "SEPATON's DeltaStor DBeXstream allows database administrators to backup large databases and use multi-streaming and multiplexing without making changes to backup scripts or policies, something inline hash-based deduplication and backup appliances can't do."

Another problem with traditional approaches to deduplicating large databases is one of granularity, or the lack thereof, said Peter Quirk, director of product management for Sepaton. That can have a big impact on not only the size of a backup, but also on the time it takes to create it and restore from it.

Using traditional approaches, "if you backed up the same Oracle database twice in a row with no changes, the actual backup files were different," said Quirk. The issue lies with inline hashing techniques that processes data in 16 KB blocks, a problem for Oracle databases where data is written in 8 KB blocks.

Therefore, even if underlying data is the same, subtle changes in metadata, for example, can result in backups that are inconsistently sized. This gaping blind spot also means database backups take up more space, resulting in slow ingest rates.

DeltaStor DBeXstream alleviates this by employing byte-level differential deduplication. The software's adaptive algorithms allows deduplication of sub-8 KB blocks and apply a byte differential to further maximize storage and reduce data in transit.

The results, according to Joe Forgione, senior vice president of product operations and business development for Sepaton, are dedupe ratios and transfer rates rarely seen in large database backups. "The net benefit is that you can do it fast and get good ratios," stated Forgione.

Systems that dedupe databases at sizes greater than 8 KB can expect ratios of 2:1 or 3:1, informed Forgione. He said Sepaton's approach unlocks the technology's true storage capacity saving potential by delivering ratios of 20:1, 30:1 and in some cases 40:1.

Those backups are sped up accordingly. With the new software and hardware acceleration built into the company's S2100, backups fly by at 43.2 TB per hour, twice the rate of EMC Boost for Oracle RMAN, the company said.

Sepaton's spin on database deduplication is a boon for infrastructures that handle large database backups -- and their administrators -- said Deni Connor.

"The software also allows database administrators to set more granular backup -- of sub-8K blocks -- with no backup and recovery performance or capacity penalty. These differentiations between Sepaton's DeltaStor and that of the hash-based deduplication vendors is important because it lets database admins backup and restore data as they can traditionally do it with tape-based systems," she stated.

Sepaton S2100 Data Protection 6.1 software is available now. Current customers under maintenance agreements receive the update at no charge. S2100 systems start at $115,500.

For users of Symantec's backup platform, the company Wednesday announced another bonus. Sepaton S2100 Data Protection 6.1 now supports NetBackup OST A.I.R. and Accelerator, which help optimize and speed up Symantec backups.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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