Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Cameron Van Orman, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Pat Romanski

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.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
DevSecOps – a trend around transformation in process, people and technology – is about breaking down silos and waste along the software development lifecycle and using agile methodologies, automation and insights to help get apps to market faster. This leads to higher quality apps, greater trust in organizations, less organizational friction, and ultimately a five-star customer experience. These apps are the new competitive currency in this digital economy and they’re powered by data. Without ...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
With the modern notion of digital transformation, enterprises are chipping away at the fundamental organizational and operational structures that have been with us since the nineteenth century or earlier. One remarkable casualty: the business process. Business processes have become so ingrained in how we envision large organizations operating and the roles people play within them that relegating them to the scrap heap is almost unimaginable, and unquestionably transformative. In the Digital ...
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
‘Trend’ is a pretty common business term, but its definition tends to vary by industry. In performance monitoring, trend, or trend shift, is a key metric that is used to indicate change. Change is inevitable. Today’s websites must frequently update and change to keep up with competition and attract new users, but such changes can have a negative impact on the user experience if not managed properly. The dynamic nature of the Internet makes it necessary to constantly monitor different metrics. O...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...