The coolest thing I saw at VMworld 2015

I’m finally mostly recovered from VMworld 2015 enough to write a post about it.  But the truth is, VMworld is so massive it would be incredibly difficult to encompass it all in one post.  23,000 people and the entire floor of Moscone South make for a lot of walking!  I averaged over 5 miles a day just walking the immediate area of San Fran.  For a fat engineer that was challenging :).  And I will admit I ended up 2 rows short of fully completing the vendor floor.  There just wasn’t enough time!  I actually had to buy a second suitcase to take home my garbage sized pile of swag.

All that aside, I wanted to talk about what I saw as the coolest thing on the floor.  I’m a pretty jaded guy, so vendor promises and snazzy demos don’t always get me excited.  And with what had to be 50 storage vendors there I was totally on storage overload when I finally wandered by the booth of a company called Reduxio.  “Meh, another hybrid flash” I thought to myself.  I was going to grab a t-shirt and go.  And then I saw their tagline… “Recover to any second.”  So that peaked my interest a bit and I actually paused to talk to them.  I’m glad I did.

Here’s their claim to fame… rather than using snapshots, they store changes in metadata and can rewind a VM to any second!  Then you fork it off to another working copy if you want to make changes.  That’s an amazing time saver, and so much easier than messing with a VM snapshot schedule.  Until you fork it no extra space is consumed so you don’t have all the debris that snapshots bring.  Wow!  I feel like it’s the first serious leap forward in storage technology in quite some time.

I saw the demos and loved it.  So did the judges, since they got a Best of VMware Gold award.  Have I touched it in my own lab?  Not yet 🙂  But soon I hope.  If they can make their claims stick and if it holds up to an Enterprise class workout, it could be a real winner.  I obviously still have questions about longevity of the metadata approach and how far back you can go.  How much overhead does that introduce?  And finally is this proprietary hardware or is it possible this data management could become more of a SDS layer and integrate with other things like say a hyperconverged appliance as opposed to the current iSCSI NAS form factor.

I sincerely hope Reduxio performs well and that they aren’t just swallowed by a bigger company.  They seem to have a novel and useful approach to the snapshot problem, and could provide a real change in that area.  It’s very early still and time will tell, but keep an eye on them.

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One Comment

  • Eyal Traitel says:

    Hi Paul!

    I was walking these rows myself, overwhelmed by the lights, sounds and vendor promises of a better world. We will be happy to work with you and others interested in testing our gear. Regarding metadata it was designed from the ground up to be lightweight – it’s representation of offsets, time ids, logical and physical blocks uses a very efficient bit stream, and it’s stored in compressed form. In addition, it’s hard to convey in a blog entry that the overhead is minimal. In addition, high performance multi-core processors and patent-pending algorithms allows us to sustain tens of thousands of IOPS for real workloads without having to disable dedupe or compression. In fact, we don’t have an option to disable dedupe or compression – our NoDup feature is always-on.

    The reason we delivered our capability in a storage array form factor, is that today, this is still the dominant customer choice. The unique customer capabilities available in the product is what sets us apart, and that was our focus – rather than the packaging method. It’s about time. Stay tuned for more news coming from us in the near future.

    Eyal Traitel
    Director of Technical Marketing at Reduxio
    eyal@reduxio.com
    @etraitel

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