Are You Focusing on the Wrong Data Reduction Techniques?


Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Explosive data growth remains one of the biggest challenges facing CTOs, but where exactly are you going to store all that information? The obvious solutions are to throw more raw storage into the data center, or to offload to the cloud.

The importance of this issue cannot be overestimated. According to government estimates, duplicate data costs US tax payers more than $3 billion every year. Every business incurs costs by storing unnecessary copies of their data, albeit smaller than the federal equivalent.

The OEM solution: deduplication

To “help” customers better manage their data estate, OEMs have started bundling deduplication features into their arrays. Typically software-based, these tools assess whether information is being duplicated as it is written to disk.

Undeniably effective, there are two potential pitfalls to this approach. First, deduplication can have a significant effect on performance. Analyzing data as it is written to disk is relatively resource-intensive, consuming processor cycles that should be directed towards line-of-business operations.

Second, deduplication is not the only option available. Alternatives like thin provisioning, snapshots and compression all offer space-saving deduplication options.

Increasing the speed of deduplication

Speed is an increasingly important measure of performance, and every millisecond counts. For some businesses it may be more acceptable to store multiple copies of duplicate data than to incur a performance hit through the use of deduplication algorithms at the array level.

In the long term this is unsustainable – unless you can afford to buy, deploy and manage infinite storage on site. Deduplication is an operational necessity – but the way in which you apply it may need re-evaluation. The OEM-defined solution may not be the most appropriate for your operational needs.

Instead, you should seriously consider whether thin provisioning and snapshots offer a more sustainable long-term solution.

To learn more about optimizing your existing storage and managing the problem of duplicate data, please give us a call.

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