Server 2012 Deduplication Use Cases



  • I'm pretty green when it comes to using Server 2012 for all it is worth, so I wanted to throw another question out to the gurus among us. My usage of Server 2012 (either R2 or not R2) will be only as a VM on ESXi with all local storage in OBR. You can assume IOPs, processor, and RAM allocation should not be an issue for the most part.

    I was reading up on the built-in deduplication capabilities, wondering how many folks actually use it and in what instances it makes sense because I would really like to use it. What's your environment's read / write ratio? How beefy are the VMs you are using for this?

    We may be talking about file servers for users or file servers that are more backup-to-disk targets. How much of a performance hit does the server itself take if you are using deduplication on the file server / backup target?

    Any experiences you have had will be useful.



  • We never use dedupe outside of the backup system. Good file system management gives you most if that value.

    And for a VM you'll get more from dedupe at the storage layer than inside a single VM.

    2012 dedupe works well. It is a good product. It probably makes the most sense on a very large file server.



  • @scottalanmiller Absolutely agree. Dedupe @ storage is beneficial. Dedupe on a single VM? What is there really to dedupe?



  • In the client environments where we've deployed it, we've seen upwards of 40% savings for a manufacturing firm and 31% for a financial services firm. it's a little bit RAM hungry, but a file server with 8GB of RAM is sufficient. Because it uses that extra RAM, IOPS haven't been noticably impacted. I also set it to wait for files to have not been modified for 2 weeks prior to deduping them.

    There has been one bizarre interaction between Vipre antivirus and 2012 deduplication at a couple of our clients. It changes a couple of registry keys that prevents Windows XP or OS X clients from accessing the deduplicated data. In those cases, I wound up taking out deduplication. Otherwise, it's worked great.



  • Side note: If you're considering this, make sure that you have a separate data partition. You can't dedupe the system drive.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    We never use dedupe outside of the backup system. Good file system management gives you most if that value.

    And for a VM you'll get more from dedupe at the storage layer than inside a single VM.

    2012 dedupe works well. It is a good product. It probably makes the most sense on a very large file server.

    Storage-level deduplication can be quite useful. However, with the modern push toward local storage, shared deduplicating storage isn't really seen except for in rather large environments.


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