Minio

Nov 21, 2016

Reduxio, a new storage gem

Reduxio Systems (www.reduxio.com), alternative storage vendor founded in 2012, was one of the good surprises of the recent IT Press Tour in Israel. Reduxio offers a hybrid storage array with several innovations that shake the market palm.
Reduxio R&D in Petach Tikvah, Israel
The company has a strong team with deep track record: Mark Weiner is the CEO coming from Exanet, StoreAge Networking, NetApp and Auspex, John Williams, President, comes from F5 Networks but spent several years at NetApp and Auspex as well, Nir Peleg, CTO, comes from Montilio, Exanet and Digital Appliance, Amnon Strasser, VP Research, also from Exanet and Jacob Churian, CPO, was at Dell. We also find Eli Shapira in the board of directors, former CEO and co-founder of StoreAge Networking Technologies, later acquired by LSI. The company is backed by famous investors such Intel, Seagate, JVP and Carmel Ventures.
The main reason of the interest for this company resides in the approach they took several years ago to design a radical new networked storage architecture with same interfaces to hosts. Design principles were pretty classic with Scalability, Resiliency, Performance, Transparency and Mobility but architecture is very new. For instance, instead of having entire partitions to belong to volumes with start address and size, Reduxio considers a field of data blocks and each one has a special tag for volume association. Sequential blocks could belong to different volumes. And this philosophy is extended to use tag for everything.

Reduxio Volume philosophy and design
These ideas come from that fact that data services were built and layered on the storage OS without real native integration resulting in a lasagna with difficulties to deliver strong, fast and resilient services at scale. Reduxio TimeOS is the result of these original wishes with write optimization goal and the other consideration to avoid storage space or address management. The core idea relies on architecture and services built around the data so the tag approach. Then 3 strong data services are offered natively by the platform: BackDating, NoDup and Tier-X:
  • BackDating is the first important service making snapshots obsolete, it is always active and doesn't require any data copy. It helps to think about the platform like a Time Addressable Storage entity that can present a data view at any point from the last second up to 8 hours. It reminds me some solutions that have existed 10-15 years ago like Revivio CPS (Jan. 2006 in French), Kashya (Mar. 2006 in French again) or Topio (Dec. 2006 in French as well) but they were an additional/separate entity not natively integrated. With Reduxio, this capability is a core design element. A user/admin can revert a volume or build a new clone at any point in time in the past. By default, 8 hours is the limit of the history. This BackDating approach doesn't require any process, operation and doesn't generate any impact as all data views are immediately available.
  • NoDup is the second fundamental core feature, also always active. The process is in-line in-memory block level deduplication and compression working at 8kB with SHA-256 hashes. It's global meaning it's vertical from cache, volume, clones and history but not yet global across boxes.
  • Tier-X is the third core function serving as the dynamic data placement method across SSD and HDD within one storage pool. It works at the block level with an IO size of 1MB, is active all the time and fully automatic.
Reduxio HX550 - Hybrid Storage Array
HX-550 is a 2U appliance, dual controller, with a hierarchy of storage i.e 256GB of RAM, 8 x 800GB SSD (eMLC) and 16 x 2TB 7.2K SAS HDD for a total of 38.4TB of storage capacity offering a minimum of 150TB of effective capacity thanks to NoDup, with the external data protocol iSCSI based on 4 x 10GbE ports. The last element is StorSense, a SaaS support service for collecting information about usage of arrays. StorSense is agent based and is connected to the Reduxio Cloud Service to deliver deep analytics. It was a super session, we have met a great team that took the storage challenge to a new level to deliver an unique solution. I will write a new blog post in a few days exploring some future directions for Reduxio as the product is now ready for a new stage.

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