Optimizing an Enterprise Flash Caching Appliance
When a leading provider of high performance SSDs began to look at entering the Enterprise Flash Appliance space, they knew they would have to address several challenges. First and foremost was competition. Not only were they concerned with differentiating this new product from others already out there, but they also became alarmed as, one by one, the established players in the enterprise storage industry each announced intentions to deliver competing solutions to market.
From a technology perspective, the vendor was concerned with extending the write cycle. With a finite amount of write operations available for flash devices, any technology that could aide in eliminating unnecessary writes would be a competitive differentiator.
From a cost perspective, the vendor knew that any flash-based technology would still have a large chasm to cross when compared to the cost of spinning disk. That gap is closing, but not fast enough.
The vendor determined that deduplication technology would allow them to best compete on both technology and cost, so they turned to Permabit. They had already decided to piggy-back off capabilities provided by the open source community and run their Enteprise Flash Appliance with an embedded Linux OS. Based on this, they were able to quickly evaluate and choose Albireo VDO as their deduplication solution. Albireo VDO provides complete, deduplication and thin-provisioning capabilities within a ready-to-run Linux device-mapper module. Once installed, they simply exported Albireo VDO as a normal block device to be used directly as deduplicating block storage. As an added benefit, Albireo VDO provided thin provisioning, an additional enterprise storage capability that the vendor had not even planned to deliver until much further down the product roadmap.
In the end, Albireo deduplication provided the competitive edge this vendor needed to extend the durability of their solution, while substantially driving down cost.