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Posted on 2008-10-07
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hi,

We just upgraded our file server to 7T of space. It holds nothing but pdf files, currectly, we have about 800G of pdf files, my question is, is there a solution for this kind of problem, because we are going to run out of sapce in a few month.....thx
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Question by:mcrmg
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18 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:blamethenetwork
ID: 22665289
can you zip and archive older files?
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Author Comment

by:mcrmg
ID: 22665341
zipping pdf files is not going to shrink much, plus, we still need to access those files...thx
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 22665388
An archiving prodcut such as Symantec Enterprise Vault: (http://www.symantec.com/business/enterprise-vault), CommVault Archive (http://www.commvault.com/products/archive.asp) Zantaz archiving (http://www.zantaz.com/products/archiving/index.htm) and many others allow you to automatically move move data from primary storage to secondary based on policies that you define. The advantages are that you only need back up your archive store after an archive run - say, once a week, and that can massively reduce the amount of data you need to back up on a daily basis.

Other things to look at include EMC's Centera platform, NetApp's FAS range of filers for on-array data de-duplication, and Data Domain and Quantum's de-duplication appliances.
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Author Comment

by:mcrmg
ID: 22665418
i will look more into this, here is a little bit background on how we deal the those files, we have a online app, while new files keep coming in, we still ned to access those pdf via this app online, doing archive, I still need to increase hdd size on the archive side, correct?  thx
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Author Comment

by:mcrmg
ID: 22665424
what would be the best way to have a scalable storage system..?thx
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 22665441
Yes, although de-duplication will almost certainly help with that as it will reduce the amount of raw storage you'll need.

For a scalable storage system, Network Appliance (NetApp) offers a NAS/SAN array that includes de-duplication out of the box which sounds perfect for you. http://www.netapp.com - take a look at the FAS 2020 as an entry level appliance.
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Author Comment

by:mcrmg
ID: 22665482
I read the pages briefly, the main point is de-duplication , each of our file is unique, do u think it will still help us?  thx
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

by:
Duncan Meyers earned 672 total points
ID: 22665610
Absolutely - each file may be unique, but de-dupe operates at a block level and will find commonality in the files. You may get de-duplication ratios of anywhere between 2:1 to 15:1. These links give a pretty good explanation of the technology: http://www.quantum.com/Solutions/datadeduplication/Index.aspx# and http://www.quantum.com/dxioverview/DXiSeries.html.

Different file types give different de-duplication ratios. Medical images for example usually have little commonality as you'd expect. Text documents (which includes pdf files), spreadsheets, databases and so on usually de-dupe very well indeed. YMMV.

I'm working with a Quantum DXi de-dupe appliance at the moment. The site's backups (a mix of file server, Exchange, SQL) de-dupe from 9TB down to 550GB. That's pretty impressive.
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Author Comment

by:mcrmg
ID: 22665675
9t to 550g........wow

now, let's say I have this Quantum DXi de-dupe appliance, will I be still access those files real time?
because those files still active in our app...thx
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 22665812
Yes - but slower than if they came off fast disc.

Remember that the Quantum DXi is primarily intended as a backup appliance, but it has NAS functionality built-in with CIFS/Windows file shares. You'd really need to test it in this application to see if it's suitable. Speak to these guys: http://www.cmsperipherals.com/, (Tel: +353 (0) 94 937 4000), the Irish distributors  of Quantum kit to see if they can arrange a demo unit for you
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 22669267
Wouldn't it be cheaper to just add an enclosure of SATA disks to the server? It sounds like you don't need high performance/throughput.
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Author Comment

by:mcrmg
ID: 22669438
it is cheaper just adding hdd to it, but we have 800G data now and is growing daily
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Assisted Solution

by:eXistinZ
eXistinZ earned 664 total points
ID: 22670861
For the amount of data that you currently have and the importance of the data availability you really need to purchase a san. You can easily add more space at a later time.

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/disk_storage/eva_diskarrays/eva_arrays/index.html
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:rjordine
rjordine earned 664 total points
ID: 22675238
Check out Dells New PowerVault DL2000 - it's a direct to disk appliance coupled with commvault - which includes deduplication. The appliance is a head unit attached to a SATA array and gives decent amount of storage space.

I don't think it's to market yet but here's the link

http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/storage-dl2000-commvault?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz

i'm thinking much less expensive than some of the solutions offered :)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:IncisiveOne
ID: 22676253
I do not agree that you need a SAN or NAS.  For online app-accessible storage, there are many options, most of which will fit in the cabinet.  800g is not that much really, you just have to get your head around it.  Use fibre for the app-database; use hdd or scsi for the pdf files (hopefully linked from the db).  That's where you run into the big decision: independent file-organiser with de-dupe xor db-linked access path.  It is not just about where and how to store the images; it is about when and how you want to access them.  Get a db that can handle 800gb to 7tb with ease, xor maintain the link but not the image itself in the db.  Also consider backup requirements: since the PDFs do not change, you do not need to keep backing them up.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 22680648
I must agee about no need for a SAN at any stage. Considering you can put multiple RAID controllers in servers and hang a more than a hundred disks on each of them now we have SAS disks and enclosures the capacity and performance of DAS is enough for any application except when you need to share the storage between more than on computer. Take www.tpc.org/results/FDR/TPCC/HP_ProLiant_DL580G5_2.67GHz_fdr.pdf for example, over 1000 disks and not a SAN in sight.
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