Thin Provisioning

Why it’s important

Thin provisioning is a method for optimizing utilization of available storage.  This technology relies on on-demand allocation of blocks of data versus the traditional method of allocating all the blocks up front.  The technique of over-allocation or over-subscription enables a storage system to view more storage capacity than is physically available.  This allows flexibility in how the storage volume is actually utilized.  Physical storage capacity is only dedicated when data is actually written by the allocation, not when the storage volume is initially allocated.

Permabit Albireo Advantage

Albireo Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) integrates dynamic thin provisioning services into the Linux data management stack. With Albireo thin provisioning, storage efficiency can be automatically improved by 100% requiring very little administrative overhead resulting in the following improvements:

  • Businesses can purchase less storage capacity up front and/or defer storage capacity upgrades in line with actual business usage
  • Businesses will save the operating costs (electricity and floor space) associated with keeping unused disk capacity spinning.

How it works

Albireo VDO dynamic thin provisioning allocates physical volume capacity as applications write data, rather than pre-allocating all physical capacity at the time of provisioning. This allows space savings to be realized from the storage process, effectively making more virtual space accessible than is physically available.  Should space be needed later on, it can be allocated dynamically as additional physical storage resources become available.

These technologies are important for maximizing storage efficiency on any system using deduplication. During deduplication not only are duplicate blocks of data found, but the information has to be recorded as metadata and stored virtually.  When duplicate blocks are found and that information is recorded, than additional space in physical storage can be reclaimed.  Thin provisioning and over allocation provides the space necessary to free duplicate blocks and make those blocks available for the storage of unique content.

Albireo thin provisioning used in conjunction with deduplication expands the capacity of the physical storage device and allows for maximum storage efficiency.

Albireo VDO provides data deduplication and thin provisioning capabilities for Linux while enabling OEMs to continue leveraging all of their storage solutions’ existing features, including existing file systems, virtualization features, and data protection capabilities. Because Albireo VDO uses Permabit’s patented Albireo deduplication technology it is able to avoid costs associated with today’s “Big Storage” deduplication solutions that typically require large amounts of system memory and proprietary PCI Express cards to achieve even a fraction of Albireo’s scalability and performance.