A closer look at EMC Isilon SmartDedupe and the Isilon OneFS 7.1 Job Engine

We recently learned that our blog readers are most interested in the new EMC Isilon SmartDedupe software offering and the Job Engine enhancements incorporated into in the recently released EMC Isilon OneFS 7.1.

In this video, we take a closer look at these features. First, we cover basic concepts about SmartDedupe and Job Engine performance enhancements in OneFS 7.1. Next, we provide brief demonstrations of how to use these features in the OneFS web administration interface. This video also highlights details about data at rest encryption in OneFS 7.1.

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Download the EMC Isilon OneFS 7.1 release notes for more information. You can also review the video transcript below.

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m André Morrissen, a Senior Technical Writer with the Information Development team.

Version 7.1 of OneFS contains numerous enhancements that will improve the performance of your Isilon cluster.

In this video, we’ll take a look at a SmartDedupe, job engine improvements, and data at rest encryption and find out how they can improve your workflow.

SmartDedupe is a new licensed feature of OneFS which enables you to save storage space on your cluster by reducing redundant data—in other words, by deduplicating that data.

SmartDedupe is most beneficial for workflows that incorporate large amounts of duplicate data, such as archiving or when a large amount of virtual machines are stored on a cluster.

As you write files to the cluster, some of those files or blocks of data in the files might be duplicates. You can run a deduplication job that scans the file system to see if that data already exists. If it does, OneFS moves that data to a hidden file called a shadow store and replaces the duplicate data in the files with a pointer to the shadow store.

Deduplication is applied at the subdirectory level and targets all files and directories underneath one or more root directories.

The deduplication job is set to run at low priority by default, so impact to your workflow should be minimal. However, it’s a good idea to wait until users have finished modifying their files on the cluster before you run the job.

You can perform the following deduplication tasks from the OneFS web administration interface.

Assign specific subdirectories for deduplication.

Run an assessment job to determine how much space you might save in a given directory.

And view detailed reports of deduplication jobs.

OneFS 7.1 includes major improvements to the job engine, the system that helps you schedule and manage maintenance jobs on your cluster.

As with previous versions of OneFS, the job engine can adjust jobs based on the amount of cluster resources available. For example, if clients require more system resources, threads allocated to the job engine are decreased.

However, now you can run up to three jobs simultaneously, with a few exceptions that keep similar types of jobs from colliding. For example, you can run an AutoBalance, IntegrityScan, and DedupeAssessment job all at the same time.

OneFS 7.1 also introduces support for Data at Rest Encryption.  With this feature, you’ll be able to create a cluster of nodes that contain self-encrypting drives or SEDs. Data at Rest Encryption provides data security that meets specific regulatory requirements for financial and governmental workflows.

Isilon’s use of hardware-based encryption provides the following benefits:

Less consumption of system resources.

Removed drives remain encrypted, which prevents data theft.

The data encryption is performed at the drive level using special processors on each SED that provide 256-bit AES encryption protection. The encryption has less than 1% impact on the performance of the drives themselves.

If you’re interested in creating a cluster with SEDs and using Data at Rest Encryption, contact your account representative.

For more information about the features in this videos, see the OneFS Web Administration.

For a full list of new features, see the OneFS 7.1 Release Notes.

Thanks for watching.

About the Author: Kirsten Gantenbein