How to set up a Red Hat Enterprise Linux NFS server with VDO data reduction

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), it’s now possible to configure and deploy a capacity-optimized NFS server – shared storage that costs less and stores more.  Using the new Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) module introduced in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5,  you can provide shared optimized storage for backups, virtual desktops, virtual servers, and for containers.

This post demonstrates how to create an advanced Network Attached Storage server that provides advanced capacity optimization services by combining VDO with many of the existing Red Hat features such as thin provisioning and snapshot capabilities.   Combined with the high performance NFS server implementation provided by Red Hat, you get a powerful solution that can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. For this example I’m using an industry-standard server with 10Gb Ethernet connectivity and SSD storage.  In later articles I’ll use the NFS server to store various types of data and look at the results in terms of efficiency and performance.

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Introducing Virtual Data Optimizer to Reduce Cloud and On-premise Storage Costs

New to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) is a device mapper module which adds data reduction capabilities to the Linux block storage stack. VDO uses inline compression and data deduplication techniques to transparently shrink data as it is being written to storage media.

VDO combines three techniques — zero-block elimination, data deduplication, and data compression — to reduce data footprint.  The first of these, zero-block elimination, works by eliminating blocks of data consisting entirely of zeros while the second technique, data deduplication, eliminates identical copies of blocks of data that have already been stored. Finally, data compression is applied, which reduces the size of the unique blocks of data stored. By utilizing these techniques, VDO can dramatically increase

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