NXPowerLite vs Deduplication and Compression

How is NXPowerLite compression different to Deduplication or Compression?

NXPowerLite does not remove duplicate files. It works on pre-compressed files like JPEGs, MS Office files etc. that typically don't respond as well to deduplication. It looks for 'waste' within those files, which it strips out completely. This leaves you with smaller source files, which should then amplify the effect of your deduplication. It's also completely transparent - once we've removed the waste from the file, the file stays in its original format. There is no rehydration/decompression needed. The following two JPEGs are a good example of how the technology works:

Examples: Original (2.2 MB) | Optimized (724 KB)

NXPowerLite is complementary to deduplication and most people can benefit from using both to maximise their storage.

Deduplication and compression are not effective on image-heavy files

We've had many customers who had EMC storage and wanted to understand how NXPowerLite would work on it. We always point them at some useful information given by EMC themselves about the limitations of deduplication. Download the EMC manual (607KB), where the storage reduction features on a SAN/NAS device are explained in more detail.

In the PDF on page 6, they call out the Deduplication and Compression features of the hardware. In the Deduplication explanation they say that it can get modest space savings. On page 7 (3rd paragraph) they go on to explain that certain types of files don’t compress well. With the exception of video files, these are the exact files on which NXPowerLite performs well. It is also worth pointing out that these types of files are now much more common and make up large percentages of the user data stores. Although most IT/Network admins will already know this.

Tips for running NXPowerLite File reduction at the same time as deduplication

Identical files optimized by NXPowerLite are not always binary equal. So file-level de-duplication will not always see processed files as duplicates. However, if block-level de-duplication is used (e.g. Server 2012, NetApp), many of the blocks within each of the processed files will be the same, so these will be picked up by the de-duplication software. One thing for sure is that running NXPowerLite on your files will trigger a lot of activity from the deduplication software, especially for NXPowerLite’s first cycle. Subsequent cycles should see this activity decrease dramatically. Disabling deduplication for the file types that NXPowerLite works with is the best way to minimize the impact when running NXPowerLite in parallel with deduplication. 

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