Enabling Data Deduplication on Server 2012 R2


Data deduplication (or dedupe for short) is a process which by the system responsible for the deduplication scans the files in one or more specific locations for duplicates, and where duplicates are found it replaces all the duplicate data with a reference to the “original” data. This in essence is a data compression technique designed to save space by reducing the data actually stored, as well as aiming to provide single-instance data storage (storing only one copy of the data, no matter how many places its located in).

The way this is achieved is dependent on the system used, it can be done but it can be done on block level, file level or other levels, again depending on the system and how it is implemented.

What we are going to do in this article is we are going to enable deduplication on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Server. Keep in mind this is changing data and quite possibly going to cause data damage or loss, as such make sure you have a working backup BEFORE continuing.

Firstly we need to access the server that you are planning to configure deduplication on, I will leave it up to you how you achieve that. Once you have access to the server we can begin.

On the server open “Server Manager” if it is not already open

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If it gives you the default splash page, simply click next (and I suggest telling it to skip that page in future by use of the checkbox) Once we are in the “Installation Type” page we need to select “Role-based or feature-based installation” and click “Next”

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In the “Server Selection” page select the server you want to install the service on (commonly the one your using), Click “Next”

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Next up is the “Server Roles” page, here is where the configuration changes need to take place. In the right had list of checkboxes (titled “Roles”) scroll down till you see “File And Storage Services” then open “File and iSCSI Services” then further down the page check the “Data Duplication” checkbox. Click “Next”, accepting any additional features it wants to install.

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In the “Features” page simply click “Next”

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On the “Confirmation” page check you are installing what is required and click “Install”

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Wait for the system to install, and exit the installer control panel, restart if your server requires it.

Upon completion of the install and any tasks associated with the installation re-open “Server Manager” and in the left hand column select “File and Storage Services”

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This will change the screen in “Server Manager” to a three column layout, in the middle column select “Volumes”

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With the volumes now displaying in the right hand of the three columns, right click on the volume you want to configure deduplication on and select “Configure Data Deduplication”

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This will bring up the “Deduplication Settings” screen for the volume you right clicked on. Unless Data Deduplication has been configured before, the “Data deduplication” will be “Disabled”.

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As I am configuring this on a file server, I am going to select the “General purpose file server” option, and leave the rest as defaults. I am then going to click on the “Set Deduplciation Schedule” button

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The “Deduplication Schedule” will now open. I suggest checking the “Enable background optimization” checkbox as this will allow the server to optimise data in the background. I also elected to create schedules to allow for more aggressive use of system resources, the first one allows for it to be done after most people have left for the day, and before the servers scheduled backup, the second one allows it to run all weekend but again stops for backups. Please note that these settings are SYSTEM settings and apply to all data deduplication jobs on the system, and are not unique to each individual deduplication job

Click “Apply” on the “Deduplication Schedule” screen, and then “Apply” on the “Deduplication Settings” screen, this will drop you back to the “File and Storage Services > Volumes” screen, and you are now done, Data deduplication is configured.

Have fun, and don’t forget that backup

Justin

Slimming Down (of my power adapters)

Recently I have been trying to reduce what I carry, and where I cannot eliminate it I am trying to reduce the size and weight of the items. To this end I have been fascinated by the new FINsix DART, power charger. Now there is plenty of material available out there on the web about this device, but the run down of the device is it was first shown at CES this year and its a small, yet powerful 65 Watt laptop charger. This is possible by the use of VHF (Very High Frequency) switching, thereby delivering smaller packets per switch (on/off) and thereby saving energy, and allowing the components to be smaller as they do have to use deal with as much energy at one time, but this means very little to most people.

What this essentially boils down to is a much smaller, sleeker and less bulky charger, supplying the same amount of power to your laptop (or other device).


Coin

 

Looking at this device, the size and weight reduction it offers are most certainly a good thing, and provide what I am looking for, that is not to say however there are not issues with this device.

First and foremost is the devices 65 Watts of power (which as most laptops charge at between 16V and 19V would indicate the amperage throughput is someone in the neighbourhood of 3.25 to 4.0 amps), this is however not enough for either my current laptop, which uses 165 Watts, but I am not too concerned about that as I am replacing it early next year, but it is not powerful enough to power the replacement even, which by comparison to my current power hungry beast uses only 85 Watts. This power gap I am sure will be narrowed with time, and I will undoubtedly be able to get one to power my laptop soon enough.

What is a little harder to deal with is the power plug pins. Yes I know it seems minor, and prehaps it is to others, but the bags I use for work are nice leather bags from Saddleback Leather, Pad and Quill or Kent (depends on how and what I am doing as to which I grab) all of these bags apart from being more expensive than most have leather on the interior, which the pins can scratch up and damage.

Many US adapters, including the one from Apple have a solution to this problem, retractable pins, and whilst this works for the “straight” American style pins, I have yet to see one for Australian style pins, check out the pictures below to see what I mean

 

 

PlugDifferences

 

To this end, FINsix could at least for the US make the plugs retract, but this may not be possible due to the design.

So what the fix I hear you ask, simple a cap, same as that pen that’s in your bag now, a simple cap over the pins, in the same colour as your device, that you can place over the pins when its not in use. I do have another idea, but I am unable to draw it as such currently, I will give it a shot on paper at some point in the near future and do another post about it

 

Have Fun

 

Justin