Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Johnnie Konstantas, Cloud Best Practices Network, Sarah Patrick, Ramesh Ganapathy

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.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, 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. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze 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. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Recognizing the need to identify and validate information security professionals’ competency in securing cloud services, the two leading membership organizations focused on cloud and information security, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)^2, joined together to develop an international cloud security credential that reflects the most current and comprehensive best practices for securing and optimizing cloud computing environments.
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.
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, 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. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, 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. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
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...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze 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. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...