Hifn debuts triple-function de-dupe cards

By Ann Silverthorn

—Hifn this week announced the addition of two members in its Express DR family—the Express DR 250 and DR 255. Besides encryption and compression, the cards include hardware-accelerated data de-duplication.

"Today, most de-duplication products are software-based, which is slow," says John Matze, Hifn's vice president of business development. "If a company is already using encryption along with compression, adding de-duplication to the mix throws a lot of work onto the CPU."

The cards include two key functions for reducing the amount of redundant data: SHA-1 or MD5 hashing algorithms and single-pass LZS data compression, which provides a 2.5:1 compression ratio on average, according to Hifn officials. An optional encryption engine is also available.

The full-height DR 250 is for 64-bit PCI-X systems and the low-profile DR 255 is for PCI-Express (PCI-e) systems. Hifn claims a throughput rate to 250MBps, which meets the performance requirements of IP SAN and NAS appliances running data de-duplication.

The Express DR 250/255 cards also support a variety of hardware-based data security and authentication functions combined with AES256 encryption, which is considered to be the strongest non-military cryptography technology. The cards also provide a hardware-based ANSI X9.17 random number generator.

MSRP for the Express DR 250/255 accelerator cards is $1,195.

The cards are targeted primarily at ISVs that want to optimize performance of their software-only algorithms, and at end users that need performance acceleration.

For more information on data de-duplication, see

"Data de-duplication: Questions and answers"
"User survey: Data-protection trends"
"Survey shows rapid adoption of data de-dupe"
"Evaluation criteria for data de-dupe"

This article was originally published on March 13, 2008