Welcome!

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Article

Preventing Performance Bottlenecks with Inline Deduplication

In a typical enterprise storage system the bottleneck to performance is in media bandwidth or computational overhead

Implementing high performance in enterprise storage is a constant battle to find and eliminate the next system bottleneck. Normally this alternates between limits of the underlying media and the computational overhead of metadata management, but choosing the wrong approach to deduplication can introduce a third performance challenge that can be impossible to overcome. Storage that implements a multi-pass approach to data optimization, such as staged or post-process deduplication, becomes inherently at a disadvantage for both computational and media overhead.

Common Performance Bottlenecks
In a typical enterprise storage system the bottleneck to performance is in one of two places: media bandwidth or computational overhead.

For the storage system designer, media overhead is the simplest to address - add more or faster media. In a hard disk-based storage system, this means adding faster drives, more drives, and larger drive sets. In a flash storage system bandwidth is increased by using SLC flash, adding more independent modules, allocating more over-provisioned space, and improving the flash translation layer.

Reducing computational overhead is a greater challenge. Once you have enough media bandwidth the problem becomes shuffling data to and from the storage initiators. Identifying the bottlenecks to performance here can be devilishly complex, as the designer must be concerned about matters such as system memory bandwidth, number of data copies and, especially in today's multi-core world, synchronization between multiple requests. There's no silver bullet here, so the only solution is having a very talented team of software engineers designing and optimizing the storage platform.

Adding deduplication introduces complexity directly into this most challenging area for performance improvement. Any deduplication implementation must interact directly with the storage metadata that is so critical to performance, since I/O requests are being redirected or eliminated based on the system's knowledge of duplicate data. Unless the deduplication technology has been designed and implemented in an inline, multi-core scalable, and low memory overhead way, system architects often try to separate deduplication into a separate layer and a second pass through the data. This is a mistake that harms storage performance in a way that cannot be repaired.

The Impossible Challenge of Multi-Pass Deduplication
This second pass through the data commonly occurs in two possible places: on the final storage media or when transferring data from a staging area to the final storage media.

The first case is always called post-process deduplication. Data are written to their resting media location and a separate process later reads them back, as time and bandwidth allow, determining if any portions are duplicates. If there are duplicates then storage metadata is updated to note this and space is freed for reuse. I've written extensively in the past about the risks of post-process deduplication; since it always requires additional media bandwidth and computational overhead it severely harms performance, and since there are no guarantees about when deduplication will occur it does not meet the requirements for high-change-rate use cases such as VDI.

Post-process Deduplication

The second case, where data is deduplicated as it is being moved from a staging location to a final media location, is often erroneously called inline - as it is inline with that destaging process - but is really just a modified form of post-process deduplication. As with conventional post-process deduplication, another round of data read and processing must occur. Additionally, now both the staging media and final media must provide the full system level of performance or either can become the bottleneck.

For example, some flash storage systems stage all data to a small arena of SLC flash prior to deduplication. This design doubles the number of possible performance bottlenecks in the architecture: performance writing to the staging area, front-end data ingestion, final media storage performance, and the deduplication and de-staging process itself. This sort of multi-pass deduplication process retains all of the negative performance aspects of a traditional post-process implementation.

Staged Post-process Deduplication

High Performance Requires Inline Deduplication
Any form of multi-pass deduplication introduces new bottlenecks that prevent an enterprise storage system from delivering the highest levels of performance. Post-process deduplication, whether on the final media or during a destaging process, creates additional overhead in both media access and data processing. For flash storage platforms requiring the highest levels of performance, only tightly integrated inline deduplication can meet all system requirements.

More Stories By Jered Floyd

Jered Floyd, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Permabit Technology Corporation, is responsible for exploring strategic future directions for Permabit’s products, and providing thought leadership to guide the company’s data optimization initiatives. He has previously deployed Permabit’s effective software development methodologies and was responsible for developing Permabit product’s core protocol and initial server and system architectures.

Prior to Permabit, Floyd was a Research Scientist on the Microbial Engineering project at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, working to bridge the gap between biological and computational systems. Earlier at Turbine, he developed a robust integration language for managing active objects in a massively distributed online virtual environment. Floyd holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
How will your company move to the cloud while ensuring a solid security posture? Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...