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Space Saver

ProtecTIER deduplication saves more data on less disk

ProtecTIER deduplication saves more data on less disk
Illustration by James Yang

Hashing It Out

A main difference between the ProtecTIER solution and similar products in the marketplace is IBM’s HyperFactor technology. This unique and patented deduplication algorithm is quite different from the standard off-the-shelf hashing algorithms that exist in today’s marketplace.

Hashing is an old technology that eats up space and often incorrectly stores data—causing data corruption, integrity problems and possible data loss. For every chunk of data it stores, hash-based methods must store hash information to track the data. While a burden, this method is workable if clients are only storing a small data amount. As data swells, hash tables slow performance and require extra capacity.

That’s not the case with the IBM ProtecTIER solution. HyperFactor technology tracks up to a petabyte of storage with only 4 GB of RAM in what IBM calls an index file. “A very small index file is all we need to keep track of a huge amount of storage. This avoids the problem that the hash-based solutions have,” Nemechek says. “Their hash tables can be tens of terabytes in size, which can be very unmanageable and slow down the systems. But no matter how much data you send the ProtecTIER solution, we won’t have a growing hash table, which enables us to have high performance and to scale the solution to large amounts of data.”

Native Replication

Another valuable storage solution that the ProtecTIER solution provides is native replication. By shrinking the data, it’s compact enough to electronically transfer it to an off-site location. This can replace the time-intensive, costly and risky practice of backing up to tape or disk and manually shipping the media.

“Backup tapes usually have a company’s most critical data about their customers and their finances. It’s really valuable information,” Nemechek says. “Native replication provides not only cost savings, but also limits risk. The solution automatically replicates. It’s more reliable, gets it done faster and really helps if you have a disaster scenario or a whole data center goes down.”

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



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