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Deduplication just went ballistic with Aggregate Inline Deduplication

September 27, 2017

So with the release of ONTAP 9.2 came a long desired feature of being to deduplicate data at the aggregate level and not just volume level.

So why is this so key, well lets look at the historical view of how dedupe worked and its pitfalls. As a feature dedupe has always been a great feature but its biggest downfall was that if I sent an attachment to many colleagues there is a strong possibility that they will all want to save it for future use or reference. Now if your lucky they may all save the same file into the same volume in which case you win as dedupe will effectively reduce all instances to just one. Unfortunately we know that with IT we are never that lucky and as a result I may have some instances in a volume but more instances in other volumes in which case on a per volume basis I get the benefit but I still loose out. With ONTAP 9.2 this has been addressed so that you can now dedupe at the aggregate level, so you may have multiple copies of the file located in many volumes, if those volumes are located in the same aggregate then aggregate dedupe can take all instances and reduce them to a single instance. Now you really do win with Dedupe. From a simplified technical concept….If you’re not familiar with deduplication, it’s a feature that allows data blocks that are identical to rely on pointers to a single block instead of having multiple copies of the same blocks.

This is all currently done inline (as data is ingested) only, and currently  on All Flash FAS systems by default. The space savings really show with workloads such as ESXi datastores, where you may be applying OS patches across multiple VMs in multiple datastores hosted in multiple FlexVol volumes but all within an aggregate. Aggregate inline deduplication brings an average additional ~1.32:1 ratio of space savings for VMware workloads. Who doesn’t want to save some space?

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