The new feature enables enterprises and storage-hosting providers to transfer files over networks with far greater speed, throughput, and less time than before.
HELSINKI, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Tuxera, a world-leader in quality-assured storage management and networking software, announced that the company's SMB server implementation, Fusion File Share by Tuxera, now offers transparent compression to platforms outside of Microsoft Windows. Compression is being rapidly and widely adopted in the storage industry as a feature in memory hardware, file system implementations, and also networking protocols such as Microsoft's server messaging block technology (SMB). The ability to compress files inline during transfer can significantly reduce bandwidth and transfer time. Microsoft released the transparent compression feature to their SMB protocol specification in early 2019. However, Tuxera is the first to implement SMB compression outside of Microsoft Windows, bringing this highly in-demand feature to Linux environments in enterprises around the world.
Remote working, virtualization, and large datasets burden networks
SMB is a ubiquitously used protocol for sharing files over a network. Migrating or copying large or many files over networks, including virtual private networks (VPNs), can place serious strains on network performance, cause bottlenecks, and take valuable time to wait for the transfers to complete.
Remote working, data-driven applications with huge volumes of data, and the growing use of virtualization technologies are all placing enormous demands on networks around the globe. This is especially challenging for organizations or hosting-solution vendors that transfer data over long distances with many remote locations and in potentially high-latency conditions. The ability to do inline compression during data transfers using the SMB protocol will substantially alleviate these challenges. The feature is especially beneficial when moving large files or big data over networks – such as virtual machine images, raw media files, devops, engineering, and life science data, or other applications with large files.
Compression is a "game-changer" to SMB protocol development
In March 2020, Microsoft Principal Program Manager Ned Pyle called compression a "game changer" for SMB. Additionally, he presented the feature as "long-awaited" – with substantially less network congestion, low CPU usage, and drastically reduced file transfer time.
"We're really excited to be the first to deliver SMB compression to enterprise customers," says Heinrich von Keler, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Tuxera. "Windows is a dominant force in the market, though the enterprise world is heavily reliant on Linux as well and is adopting Linux at an exceeding rate. By bringing SMB compression to Linux, we can open up entirely new use cases for enterprise customers – especially for hosted storage and software-defined storage vendors. Operations that were typically done through other protocols can now be done in a cost-saving, time-saving manner using the widely-adopted SMB protocol instead."
Optimization and virtualization are two main use cases for compression
"SMB compression is best put to use when network conditions are not optimal, or higher overall system efficiency is required, or hardware and power cost saving is a major factor. If the network is a bottleneck, then compression can speed up file transfers and reduce waiting time. After compression, there is less data during the transfer over the network," says Szabolcs Szakacsits, CTO of Tuxera.
"This feature is also highly useful in Microsoft Hyper-V or virtual environments, where there are large disk images containing lots of repeated byte patterns. Those repeating bytes are easy to compress and can be moved rapidly over the network. So very large containers or disk images used by virtual machines can be migrated to another server with minimal downtime in between."
Tests reveal that Fusion File Share by Tuxera performs compression on par with Microsoft's implementation, with transfer speed-ups between 30 – 300% and network bandwidth savings between 20 – 70%, depending on the data pattern.
More data, more Microsoft, and more virtualization bring SMB to center stage
Tuxera's implementation of the SMB compression feature comes in context of a recent report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) on the state of the Global Datasphere. IDC estimates the world will create, capture, copy, and consume 59 zettabytes (ZB) of data in 2020. This number will continue to grow rapidly, as the world will create more than three times the data over the next five years than in the previous five. Moreover, the IDC notes that the growth of the Global DataSphere is driven more by data consumed and analyzed, rather than data created. This particular insight ties in closely with the sharing of data and files over networks for multiple users and applications, which is the main use for the SMB protocol.
Concurrently, Microsoft solutions – where the SMB protocol has its roots – are becoming more dominant in the enterprise market as a whole. A recent survey by leading IT-marketplace Spiceworks revealed that 79% of respondents said their business primarily runs both Windows client and server operating systems. Moreover, Spiceworks indicates that business adoption of server virtualization will grow to 97% until 2022, with an impressive 60% of businesses using or considering using Microsoft Hyper-V as their preferred solution.
Tuxera's SMB roadmap focused on performance, scalability, and advanced features
Tuxera's roadmap for its Fusion File Share SMB implementation is to keep pace with Microsoft's latest features, including advanced enterprise-grade ones such as compression. The company has a long-standing technical, business, and legal relationship with Microsoft and are part of their licensing program for the exFAT file system and SMB technology.
Fusion File Share's transparent SMB compression feature has been built based on Microsoft's documentation, ensuring seamless compatibility between Windows, Mac, and Linux environments. The "transparent" aspect of this feature is especially beneficial to end users, as no interaction is required on their part to compress or decompress files. Transparent compression is ready for immediate deployment with Fusion File Share to any interested parties.
Tuxera is the leading provider of quality-assured embedded storage management software and networking technologies. Helping people and businesses store and do more with their data, our software is at the core of phones, tablets, cars, TV sets, cameras, drones, external storage, routers, spacecraft, IoT devices, and more. We help you store your data reliably, while making file transfers fast and content easily accessible. Tuxera is also an active member of multiple industry organizations, including JEDEC, SNIA, AGL, SD Association, The Linux Foundation, and many others. Founded in 2008, Tuxera's headquarters are located in Finland, with regional offices in China, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US.
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- Microsoft, 2020, "SMB Compression: Deflate your IO": https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/itops-talk-blog/smb-compression-deflate-your-io/ba-p/1183552
- IDC, 2020, "IDC's Global DataSphere Forecast Shows Continued Steady Growth in the Creation and Consumption of Data": https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46286020
- Spiceworks, 2020, "Data Storage Trends in 2020 and Beyond": https://www.spiceworks.com/marketing/reports/storage-trends-in-2020-and-beyond
- Spiceworks, 2020 "The 2020 State of Virtualization Technology": https://www.spiceworks.com/marketing/reports/state-of-virtualization
Fusion File Share SMB by Tuxera featuring SMB compression