Nexsan, FalconStor team on data deduplication appliances

By Kevin Komiega

-- Nexsan Technologies and FalconStor Software are rolling out a new version of the Nexsan DeDupe SG data deduplication appliance this week based on version 2.0 of FalconStor's File-interface Deduplication System (FDS).

The Nexsan DeDupe SG 2.0 appliances combine FalconStor's FDS with Nexsan's SATABeast or SATABoy disk arrays, feature a performance increase of 200% over previous generations, support replication fan-in of 150 remote sites, and support Symantec's OpenStorage (OST) protocol. Options include 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) connections.

The system is also now available in a high availability (HA) configuration.

The Nexsan DeDupe SG 2.0's new speeds, feeds and software support are possible through integration with version 2.0 of FalconStor's FDS. The FDS block-level deduplication software engine presents a network share interface as a backup repository and works with all data sources, including disk-to-disk backup and archiving applications.

Fadi Albatal, senior director of marketing at FalconStor, says the performance enhancements found in FDS 2.0 are a result of support for Symantec's OST in conjunction with 10GbE connectivity.

The maximum data ingest rate of the system is now 1.5GBps, or 5.4TB per hour.

Albatal says the HA configuration – an active-passive pair of deduplication appliances – is an industry first and eliminates the potential for a hardware failure to interrupt the backup process.

Another feature in the Nexsan DeDupe SG is the company's AutoMAID technology. AutoMAID offers three levels of energy savings, each with its own performance metrics.

Level 1 parks the drive head for a power savings of 20% with data response times of less than 10 seconds, and once the first file is accessed the disks perform at full speed. At level 2, AutoMAID slows down the drives to 4,000rpm for energy savings of up to 40% and response times of 15 seconds or less. The third level puts drives into a "light sleep," yielding up to 60% energy savings. Once the drive comes out of its level-three nap, the first I/O transaction takes 30 seconds or less.

Bob Woolery, senior vice president of marketing for Nexsan, says power consumption issues are the "dirty little secret" of first generation data deduplication appliances.

"Dedupe appliances all have power and cooling issues because they consume full power when they aren't doing any I/O," says Woolery. "In many cases, they are only being used during the backup window."

Woolery says spinning down drives with AutoMAID technology has a ripple effect through the data center, resulting in significant energy savings.

"Every dollar you save in terms of power at the storage system level results in about three dollars of total savings because of cooling, UPS systems, etc.," he says.

Nexsan is set to ship a new model of the DeDupe SG 2.0 appliance as part of the launch. The new DDSG-72 houses 52TB of usable capacity, which translates to about 1.5PB of logical capacity assuming a deduplication ratio of 20:1.

The Nexsan DeDupe SG 2.0 family is offered in seven different configurations and will be available at the end of February through the company's channel network. Pricing starts at $49,000.

Related articles:
Nexsan, FalconStor debut data deduplication system
FalconStor speeds up backups
FalconStor extends virtual appliance line for VMware

This article was originally published on January 18, 2010