Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Mike Wood, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Scott Davis

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
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
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 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 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 add...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...