Nexenta Adds Dedupe To Open-Source ZFS Storage


Nexenta Systems this week added data deduplication capabilities to the storage appliance software it develops using the open-source ZFS file system.

Nexenta's new NexentaStor 3.0 is the first commercial storage appliance software to incorporate in-line data dedupe with open-source ZFS, said Evan Powell, CEO of the Portland, Ore.-based storage vendor.

NexentaStor is software used by open-source system builders to build storage appliances based on the open source ZFS file system, Powell said.

NexentaStor 3.0 is the first software to include in-line dedupe, which eliminates duplicate data as it is being written to the storage array, Powell said. It also dedupes data as it is being sent over a network for replication purposes, he said.

"Ninety to 95 percent of new data, including virtual machines, is redundant information like operating systems, and we can dedupe it massively," he said. "Especially in virtual environments, customers need to dedupe data in their primary storage tier."

ZFS is the most widely-deployed enterprise-class file system in the world thanks to its adoption by Sun Microsystems for Solaris and Open Solaris, Powell said.

For that reason, he said Oracle's acquisition of Sun could mean a boost for open-source ZFS companies like Nexenta.

"People may be getting more aware of ZFS now that Oracle has rebranded its storage line as ZFS Storage Appliance. The critical mass is there in terms of the ZFS community. Oracle cannot un-Open Source it. A long as the community is strong, ZFS will progress."

Erik Logan, president of Pogo Linux, a Redmond, Wash.-based builder of custom servers and storage appliances for Linux and Unix users, said his company has been working with Nexenta for about one-and-a-half years because of its ZFS distribution.

"Over the years, we've tried a lot of different software-based storage solutions," Logan said. "This is the one we are most comfortable with. We use Nexenta because of the management capabilities. Managing storage is complicated ... Nexenta takes ZFS, and adds ease-of-use features."

Dedupe is a huge deal for Pogo Linux's customers, Logan said.

"It's one of those features that many tier-one storage vendors had for some time. This makes it easier for us to sell against the larger vendors. We have a lot of customers chomping at the bit for this."