Sometimes innovation isn’t necessary (don't fix what isn’t broken), but in the technology sector, innovation propels us forward and almost always improves upon the original design. A lack of innovation isn’t because of a shortage of original ideas and effort; innovation is very difficult and sometimes it takes years, decades and even longer to really come to fruition. A true industry breakthrough is difficult to achieve and not for the faint of heart.
The founders of Reduxio, with the perspective gained through decades in the storage industry, each brought our own ideas and experience, and, yes, even failures, to the table when we started Reduxio over four years ago. One thing that we could all agree on was the fact that the state of primary storage was largely an accumulation of bolt-on solutions and incremental advancements. Point solutions to specific problems were being introduced, but technology was not well integrated and processes were becoming unnecessarily complex. With this recognition, we concluded that the only way to fix the problem was to disrupt the status quo—to architect a whole new system from the ground up to fix the real problems of today and tomorrow, rather than just patch existing technology.
Once we realized that we would have to start from scratch, it freed us from many of the design and architectural conventions that had been common in the storage industry for decades. Most architectures used today evolved from those that were originally designed with the inherent I/O complications of spinning disk drives. Starting with the assumption that storage in the future will primarily have to deal with solid-state media (flash today and others in the future), we created a completely new approach to metadata representation, which takes advantage of the primary characteristic of solid state memory: low-latency random access to large amounts of metadata that would have been impractical and cost-prohibitive to store in RAM.
This approach coherently and holistically enables a set of features, such as inline deduplication and transparent relocation of data. Moreover, this approach enables BackDating™, a reliable and foolproof way to reduce recovery time by being able to get back to any point-in-time in the past. Any volume can be recovered in one-second increments with no impact to performance. BackDating eliminates the management and scheduling complexity associated with traditional snapshots. Our architecture today supports BackDating, real-time in-line in-memory dedupe and compression, and a fine-grained, highly reactive data tiering engine that continuously and autonomously moves data between multiple tiers, such that application data is always optimally placed.
Such fine grained, real-time metadata processing has not been possible in the past; it is currently enabled by, and would not have been possible without, recent advancements in processor and memory technologies. Among these advancements:
Reduxio’s Tier-X™ continuous tiering capability is ideally positioned to benefit from new media types, such as Intel® OptaneTM SSDs based on the 3D XPointTM memory technology. This new media provides breakthrough performance and efficiency, and new data management capabilities beyond what is available today.
- Faster processors and memory subsystems in Intel® Xeon® processors, enable:
- Wire-speed compression, which requires high-bandwidth memory operations
- Deduplication, which requires high-speed secure hashing of data blocks (using SSE2 and SHA instructions)
- Quick updates to the ample amounts of metadata accesses required for deduplication, tiering, and BackDating.
- Multi-core processors enable parallel, independent processing of multiple ingest streams, as well as handling disjoint sets of metadata in parallel.
- 64-bit addressing enables caching of large amounts of metadata in RAM, as well as the shared memory-based architecture.
- Solid state storage technologies enable quick random access to large amounts of metadata.
At the heart of every Reduxio storage system is the Reduxio TimeOS, which embodies our thinking and architectural approach to storage. It allows us to deliver BackDating and the most cost-effective primary storage solution in the market today. But the power of the new architecture is that it allows us to deliver more capabilities that can redefine data storage, management, and protection well into the future. It’s about time.