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Tuesday, 23 June 2015 13:27

Fujitsu accelerates remote file access


Fujitsu's research lab says it has found a way to increase the speed of SMB/CIFS file transfers by up to 20 times.

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a way to address latency issues associated with the SMB and CIFS protocols.

The company last year revealed a technology for deduplicating data during remote transfers, but reported "limited effectiveness" when used with SMB and CIFS due to specific features of these protocols. In particular, header information is attached to each chunk of data, and as the headers change even when the same file is retransmitted this works against deduplication.

Furthermore, when a folder containing a large number of files is copied, all of the file-attribute information is requested for each file, causing significant latency issues.

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a software-only proxy system that addresses both issues without the need for expensive hardware.

This proxy separates the header information from the data, allowing more effective deduplication, and uses a read-ahead approach to better cope with the transfer of multiple files (see diagram above).

Internal testing is said to show tenfold improvements when transferring folders containing 100 1KB files, and twentyfold improvements when transferring a single 10MB file.

While the technology was initially developed for file-sharing systems, it is also applicable for cloud, server virtualisation, and mobile environments, the company said.

Its first commercial appearance will be as part of a WAN optimisation product.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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