Rewritten title: The Impact of Deduplication on TrueNAS Backup Targets at

Unlocking the Power of TrueNAS: How Deduplication and Stronger Compression Won’t Slow Down Your Backup Performance

Delving into TrueNAS CORE 12 on our HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus, we put its hard drives and flash drives to the test over both SMB and iSCSI shares. In this comparison, we take a close look at the impact of stronger compression and deduplication on performance. While some may be concerned about the potential hit to performance, we demonstrate why it shouldn’t be a worry when it comes to TrueNAS backup targets.

TrueNAS Backup Target – Setting the Stage
As industry experts, our StorageReview Lab operates a wide array of servers and storage arrays for testing purposes. However, we also have a number of systems that require smooth operation in a production environment. Along with essential systems like DNS and vCenter VM, we also need to ensure that our test workloads are backed up in our VMware ESXi-heavy environment. To achieve this, we rely on Veeam v11 (watch our live upgrade video here) and an ExaGrid EX21000E backup target. Having these tools at our disposal allows for efficient and rapid restores. Recently, we have been evaluating our backup speeds and determining if an additional backup appliance is needed. This is where our upcoming TrueNAS CORE 12 NAS comes into play. As is common with backup targets, deduplication is necessary to prevent duplicate data from overwhelming the device’s storage capacity. Our concern, however, was whether our small HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus could keep up with the demands. This server is equipped with a Xeon E-2224 CPU and 32GB of RAM.

TrueNAS Backup Target – Measuring Deduplication Performance
Without delay, let’s dive into the results. It’s true that deduplication has a significant impact on write performance for SMB file transfers. We observed a drop from 2.62GB/s to 680MB/s, a reduction of 74%. At first glance, this may seem like a major concern, but it’s important to consider what level of performance is actually needed. Our HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus was being put to the test using a 100GbE NIC. However, in a typical production setting, a single or dual-port 10GbE NIC would suffice.

To put it into perspective, take a look at the chart below which shows the average backup job speeds in our lab. On any given night, we see transfer speeds between 400MB/s to 600MB/s to our ExaGrid backup appliance. Considering this data, even with deduplication and ZSTD compression enabled on the MicroServer, we were still able to easily maintain the transfer speeds to our Veeam environment without significantly extending the backup window.

Shifting our focus, with deduplication enabled, our MicroServer Gen10 Plus with four 5400RPM hard drives in RAID-Z2 achieved impressive read speeds of 1.1GB/s – surpassing the speed of 10GbE. Therefore, the drop from 1.38GB/s to 1.1GB/s is negligible in this scenario.

Final Thoughts
We understand that deciding when or if to enable deduplication on a TrueNAS CORE 12 deployment can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to using it as a backup target. While it may not be the best solution in every situation, our experience has shown that it is definitely worth considering for the space-saving benefits. Furthermore, we have found that there is no need for concern over usable performance after enabling deduplication. The drop in write speed will not significantly impact nightly backup jobs.

Unlock the Full Potential of TrueNAS
Get the Most out of Your TrueNAS with Deduplication and Stronger Compression

Discover how our in-depth analysis of TrueNAS CORE 12 running on the HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus reveals the truth about the impact of stronger compression and deduplication on performance. Don’t let concerns over potential performance hits hold you back from utilizing TrueNAS as your backup target. Trust in our expertise and uncover the power of TrueNAS today!

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