Storage

Deduplication: a power-hungry way to streamline storage

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Executive Summary

Windows Server 8 is coming, and it is bringing storage enhancements with it. Data deduplication in particular has caught my eye: it is something I have wanted on my Windows file servers for a long time. This technology is nothing new; ZFS has had de-duplication for a while now, and this technology is (experimentally) available with Linux's Btrfs as well. Worth consideration too is Opendedup, bringing de-duplication to both Windows and Linux via SDFS. The quick and dirty on deduplication is that it is an umbrella term for a set of technologies that allow you to store only one copy of a given piece of data on your hard drive, thus saving space and potentially speeding file writes. Essentially, it is single instance storage. De-duplication can be done at the file level, the block level or the byte level. File and block level are the most common.

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