For the most part, hybrid storage arrays are based on the same legacy approach to managing I/O that was applied to hard disk drives (HDDs) before solid-state drives (SSDs) came along. As a result, most hybrid storage arrays are not as fast as they could be if they were built assuming the first tier of storage was actually based on Flash Memory.
With that relatively simple concept in mind, Reduxio Systems this week unveiled a Reduxio HX 550 Flash Hybrid storage system designed from the ground up to assume that the first tier of storage in a hybrid array that data will be written to, not just read from, is based on SSDs.
Launched at the VMworld 2015 conference, Jacob Cherian, vice president of product management and strategy for Reduxio, says the company’s Reduxio TimeOS writes everything first to SSDs and then pushes data as it gets colder out to HDDs. A major benefit of that approach, says Cherian, is that it eliminates the need to rely on snapshots to recover data. Instead, IT organizations can make use of a backdating capability embedded in Reduxio TimeOS in much the same way that end users now recover files on their PCs using, for example, the Time Machine tools that come inside the Macintosh operating system.
Factoring in how much storage vendors tend to charge for data tiering and snapshot software, Cherian notes that, by definition, Reduxio TimeOS lowers the total cost of data management and protection in the enterprise.
Given the number of applications running on virtual machines that contend for I/O resources, it’s only a matter of time before most organizations embrace SSDs in one form or another for primary storage. Of course, some organizations may prefer to rely on Flash cards or all-Flash arrays to achieve that goal. But eventually, that data still needs to be moved to an HDD. The real challenge facing many organizations is distinguishing between how much they want to rely on those SSDs for writing data versus just reading it and then figuring out how to, as seamlessly as possible, move data between SSDs and HDDs.
In the case of Reduxio Systems, Cherian is essentially contending that rather than wasting time figuring all that data management complexity out and then trying to manually manage the process, it’s going to be a lot simpler to rely on the underlying storage operating system to automate the entire process.