Filling the Linux Data Reduction Gap – Permabit Briefing Note

Most data centers consider data reduction a “must have” feature for storage. The data reduction software should be able to deliver its capabilities without compromising performance. While many storage systems and a few operating systems now include data reduction as a default, Linux has been curiously absent. While some data reduction solutions exist in the open source community they typically either don’t perform well or don’t provide the level of reduction of proprietary solutions. In short, Linux has a data reduction gap. Permabit is moving rapidly fill this gap by bringing its data reduction solutions to Linux.

About Permabit

Permabit is a leader in the data reduction market. Their software Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) is used by many traditional storage vendors to speed their time to market with a data reduction capability. The company’s VDO software provides software based deduplication, compression and thin provisioning. It has been used by a variety of vendors ranging from all-flash array suppliers to disk backup solutions. The primary focus of the Permabit solution has always been to provide data reduction with no noticeable impact on performance.

Widespread Linux Support

The first step into Linux for Permabit was to release VDO with support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. That release was followed up by the additional support of Ubuntu Linux from Canonical. Recently, as Storage Switzerland covered in its briefing note “Open Software Defined Storage needs Data Reduction“, the VDO solution was certified for use with Red Hat CEPH and Gluster. In addition, Linux open source high availability and geo-clustering replication vendor, LINBIT announced that the two companies worked together to ensure that VDO, works with LINBIT’s DRBD to minimize bandwidth requirements for HA and DR.

Enhanced Business Model

Permabit’s traditional go to market strategy with VDO was through Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Before standardizing on VDO, these OEMs heavily tested the product, making it potentially the most well vetted data reduction solution on the market today. But the solution was only available to OEMs, not directly to end-user data centers and cloud providers. Linux customers wanting Permabit’s data reduction required an easy way to get to the software. As a result Permabit’s most recent announcement is an expansion of their go to market strategy to include direct access to the solution.

StorageSwiss Take

Data reduction is table stakes for the modern storage infrastructure. At the same time Linux based software defined storage solutions are seeing a rapid increase in adoption, even in non-Linux data centers. Permabit’s VDO fills the data reduction gap and now gives these storage solutions a competitive advantage.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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