With the latest release of its ZFS-based NexentaStor software, Nexenta Systems has combined in-line data deduplication for primary and virtualized storage with commodity hardware.

NexentaStor is an open-source unified storage system based on the ZFS file system that virtualizes underlying storage and can present logical capacity to virtual servers via NFS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel in Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware virtual machine (VM) environments.

The software runs on standard x86 servers and provides NAS and SAN capabilities, including support for CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel storage access.

The 3.0 release, which will be available by the end of the month, includes bi-directional replication with data compression and deduplication, and accelerated I/O through the native use of solid-state disk (SSD) drives and hardware accelerators.

Evan Powell, Nexenta’s CEO, says the capabilities of NexentaStor 3.0 are best used in VM environments with the optional Nexenta Virtual Machine Datacenter (VMDC) module.

“Users get better performance because the software crunches data down to get through the real bottleneck, which is disk I/O, especially if the data is prone to be deduplicated, like Hyper-V images, home directories or archives,” says Powell.

The VMDC module allows storage administrators to view their VM environment, provision storage and set storage policies, including backup, replication and retention policies from a single interface.

NexentaStor 3.0 includes new support for Microsoft Hyper-V, in addition to existing support for VMware and Citrix Xen.

NexentaStor 3.0 has an entry-level price tag of $1,100 for a 4TB perpetual software license. Powell says pricing for the software drops to pennies per GB as the system nears 100TB capacities.

Existing Nexenta customers can upgrade to NexentaStor 3.0 at no additional cost. A free trial version of NexentaStor is available for download from Nexenta’s website.

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