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Get out of my way!

There’s one thing that has become apparent in the storage universe over the last several years. People don’t want their data messed with! Time and time again, some new vendor will come to market with a shiny new appliance that will promise to solve some major storage management challenge. However, the catch is that all the data must be routed through this nifty new appliance. This appliance does some voodoo magic and voila, the data has been fixed! We saw this with Continuous Data Protection (CDP), compression and data deduplication appliances.

You see, when the data gets ‘fixed,’ that really means it’s getting ‘altered.’ What this means is that for the user to retrieve their data, the altered data has to be brought back through the appliance to bring to its original state. Data is written and read through the appliance. This becomes a single point of failure. What if that appliance fails? All data that was written through it has now suddenly become inaccessible. Yes, you can argue that some have HA capabilities, but now you’re doubling your costs of implementation and adding more things to manage. Isn’t the goal to simplify storage management?

What happens if you don’t want to use that appliance in the future? What if that vendor ends up being acquired and the new company decides to EOL that product line? You can’t just simply pull it out of your infrastructure. All the data needs to be extracted back out, a very time consuming process, or you’ll never be able to access it again — an even more daunting prospect!

This was the fundamental challenge Permabit ran across when we met with our storage partners to discuss Albireo. They weren’t interested in adding any new piece of hardware between the servers and the storage. They wanted to own access to the data sitting on their boxes. This is where Albireo differs from any other data reduction solution on the planet. We do not alter data…ever! Albireo acts as an advisory service to the storage and the storage determines how the data gets written. The storage system does the extent management, not Albireo! This not only provides incredible write performance, but most importantly, it provides complete data safety because it does not change the data.  For read operations, Albireo is not in the read path so there is no rehydration performance penalty either.

Storage vendors already do extent mapping when they implement technologies such as snapshotting or thin provisioning. These mechanisms have been in place for years and are hardened vendor optimized technologies. The same way storage vendors write data for those features is the same way they write data when using Albireo. When it comes time to reading the data, they just simply read data off of disk like they would if our product wasn’t there. So, if you want to turn off Albireo or take it out of the storage system, there is absolutely NO risk to the data! Beautiful, isn’t it? We think so!

There’s one thing that has become apparent in the storage universe over the last several years. People don’t want their data messed with! Time and time again, some new vendor will come to market with a shiny new appliance that will promise to solve some major storage management challenge. However, the catch is that all the data must be routed through this nifty new appliance. This appliance does some voodoo magic and voila, the data has been fixed! We saw this with Continuous Data Protection (CDP), compression and data deduplication appliances.

You see, when the data gets ‘fixed,’ that really means it’s getting ‘altered.’ What this means is that for the user to retrieve their data, the altered data has to be brought back through the appliance to bring to its original state. Data is written and read through the appliance. This becomes a single point of failure. What if that appliance fails? All data that was written through it has now suddenly become inaccessible. Yes, you can argue that some have HA capabilities, but now you’re doubling your costs of implementation and adding more things to manage. Isn’t the goal to simplify storage management?

What happens if you don’t want to use that appliance in the future? What if that vendor ends up being acquired and the new company decides to EOL that product line? You can’t just simply pull it out of your infrastructure. All the data needs to be extracted back out, a very time consuming process, or you’ll never be able to access it again — an even more daunting prospect!

This was the fundamental challenge Permabit ran across when we met with our storage partners to discuss Albireo. They weren’t interested in adding any new piece of hardware between the servers and the storage. They wanted to own access to the data sitting on their boxes. This is where Albireo differs from any other data reduction solution on the planet. We do not alter data…ever! Albireo acts as an advisory service to the storage and the storage determines how the data gets written. The storage system does the extent management, not Albireo! This not only provides incredible write performance, but most importantly, it provides complete data safety because it does not change the data.  For read operations, Albireo is not in the read path so there is no rehydration performance penalty either.

Storage vendors already do extent mapping when they implement technologies such as snapshotting or thin provisioning. These mechanisms have been in place for years and are hardened vendor optimized technologies. The same way storage vendors write data for those features is the same way they write data when using Albireo. When it comes time to reading the data, they just simply read data off of disk like they would if our product wasn’t there. So, if you want to turn off Albireo or take it out of the storage system, there is absolutely NO risk to the data! Beautiful, isn’t it? We think so!

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