Plagued by duplicate files that clog up your system? Quantum, a company once known mainly for hard drives, yesterday unveiled a new version of its StorNext File System that it says optimizes storage efficiency by implementing automatic data deduplication. It's part of StorNext 4.0, Quantum's high-performance sharing and data management platform, which now can also automate data tiering and retrieve partial files based on timecode, for the video editor in you.

Storage analyst Tom Coughlin, of Coughlin Associates, said that for media types, the benefits of deduping would be less significant than, say, those of time-based features. Deduping eliminates repetition of data in storage blocks, thereby reducing demand for storage capacity and network bandwidth for moving data around. "Media professionals are dealing mostly with original content, so there's not much duplication in that," he said. But retrieving just the 15 seconds you need from a 30-minute video? "That lets me move just the pieces of data I need, so I can save time as well as operating and capital expenses by making due with existing resources."

The ability of a file system itself to perform deduplication constitutes a form of data tiering, according to Chris Duffy, NextStor product marketing manager at Quantum. He said that by enabling a "dedupe repository," all files dropped in a particular folder are thereby optimized and can be accessed faster than those not using that folder. "You can call it tiering because you're actually optimizing your primary storage environment."

StorNext installs on Linux, Mac OS X, Unix and/or Windows hosts that share disks, arrays or SANs, and facilitates high-speed file sharing and simultaneous file access. A metadata controller monitors sharing of Linux and Windows client machines. StorNext 4.0 is set to begin shipping in mid-February; average pricing starts at around US$2000.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].

Clarification on the pricing:
A data deduplication license costs $1,000 per TB (physical usable capacity of the repository). Replication for the file server is priced at $15,000, while StorNext Storage Manager – part of the core product used to provide automated data movement – is priced at $35,000. The Distributed Data Mover is priced at $15,000, and Partial File Retrieval costs $36,000.