Things Storage Admins Don't Have To Do Anymore [PART 1]



By Mike Grandinetti for Beyond The Blocks - Friday, June 23, 2017

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Part I of Things Storage Admins don't have to do anymore thanks to Reduxio.

Digital technologies, combined with user experience design, have had a huge positive impact in our daily lives. They’ve been responsible for the removal of countless inconveniences, from having to memorizing phone numbers, to getting lost while driving, to having to go to the supermarket for groceries, having to go to Blockbuster to rent a movie, or waiting forever in the rain for a taxi.  As consumers, we now have the benefit of far more satisfying and pleasant experiences in our lives as a result of this ubiquitous use of well-designed technology-based solutions.

Similar types of experiences are now being introduced into our business lives, it started when the “Bring Your Own Device to Work” movement began and Corporate IT teams began supporting the iPhone and Android device, leading to the rapid decline of the highly frustrating Blackberry as the standard for mobile business communications.

The fact that more data has been created in the past 18 months than in all of prior human history is a staggering fact, with huge consequences for organizations and their ability to store, manage, and protect data. Today, storage administrators and their IT colleagues are drowning in the data deluge. This is coupled with the fact that storage systems have evolved to become ridiculously complex, and time-consuming to manage and administer. Further, the wide collection of both primary and secondary storage system components has continued to expand with many components adding high levels of redundancy, overhead, and cost. Storage admins have become slaves to their systems, as opposed to having their systems work on their behalf.

As you know, data is increasingly important in the digital age.  Along with people, it’s the lifeblood of most businesses nowadays. At Reduxio, we believe Time is as important as Data. That’s why we have focused on turning what used to take days and hours of work, to minutes and seconds, to manage, protect and recover business data. IDC calls this the ‘race to zero’ (0 RPO, 0 RTO). At Reduxio, our founding vision has been to help our customer win this race to zero RPO and RTO and to bring control back to IT. With Reduxio V3, we further build on this vision.

What are some things Storage Administrators, IT Managers, and Systems Admins no longer need to do thanks to the rapidly changing IT Infrastructure technology landscape?

As we celebrate the release of Reduxio and our TimeOS V3 today, let's explore many of the burdensome and time-consuming tasks that used to be vitally important for Storage Admins that they no longer to think about, or do, courtesy of Reduxio.

1. Schedule and manage storage snapshots

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While Storage Snapshots were cutting-edge when they were introduced 20 years ago, this is no longer the case. Storage Snapshots require planning, scheduling, configuration, and they only let you recover data from specific points in time. In most cases, they also soak up system resources so that you have to balance performance and capacity versus how much data you can afford to lose in case of an incident.

With Reduxio’s BackDating technology, our customers have stopped scheduling snapshots – because we enable them to recover their data instantly with no upfront setup at one-second granularity. In addition, you can also forget about consistency groups - data is inherently consistent across volumes. So, the number one thing Systems Admins have stopped thinking about – and doing - is Scheduling and Managing Snapshots.

2. Try to Optimize Application Performance and Cost by moving Data between systems with different media types.

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There will always be different types of media for storing data since different applications have different needs. While we are consistently moving towards storing data in solid-state media vs disk, we will continue having multiple types of storage. Even among the existing solid-state media, there multiple ‘flavors’ of flash, each one with diverse properties and in a range of price categories. As technology evolves, there are new types of media such as 3D-XPoint emerging and there is no end in sight to this trend. The world of storage continues expanding and it’s quite certain that we will see primary tiers of storage in the future that are very different from Flash, maybe even something as “science fiction” like as DNA-based storage.

Traditionally storage admins have had to manage multiple systems to meet the requirement for multiple classes of storage.They have to constantly keep balancing the performance of their applications by optimizing where they store their most demanding environments. A storage architecture such as TimeOS that is able to tier data between the different types of media allows Systems Admins to stop worrying about which media they should use for their applications.

The Tier-X engine is a multi-level, media-aware, fine-grained tiering engine that continuously and independently moves data between tiers to ensure that data is always matched to the proper underlying media, given the customer’s performance and cost expectations.

Reduxio lets Systems admins stop manually balancing data tiering, by letting TimeOS optimize storage by storing (not caching!) hot data on flash, and the rest on disks.

3. Enable/disable data de-duplication and compression

If you need to read a 50+ page document from a vendor in order to determine whether you should enable or disable their data de-dup or compression features, you know something is already wrong.

Why would a data storage system have the capability to reduce the amount of data it writes, but then have so many caveats that make it practically unusable for production? It doesn’t make sense. Data Deduplication and compression should be inherently built into the system in order to translate this feature into savings for its users.

Reduxio provides In-line, In-memory,  Data Deduplication and compression. We call it NoDup. It’s performed before the data gets written to media, increasing the effective cache size and usable capacity. All data is deduped and compressed on the fly. It’s always fast and always-on.

Reduxio lets IT admins stop worrying about trading off between data reduction and system performance. Instead of making a compromise for performance, Reduxio lets you both have your cake and eat it too.

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4. Wait for [Uncertain] Recovery Times before putting servers back online

Incidents happen in IT. Sometimes they are caused by Ransomware. Other times, by human error. Whatever the case, IT professionals usually have a strategy in place to recover from such incidents. Depending on the size of the organization and the IT environment, the recovery strategy might involve a backup & DR system that’s already in place with a secondary location for storing the backup data.

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Every once in a while, an incident triggers the “panic mode” for SysAdmins. Wasting time for the restoration to take place is part of the work. Hopefully, once the backup is mounted and the server connected everything goes back to normal. But you probably spent considerable time and energy time worrying over whether you could recover or not. IT teams have noticed that not all failover mechanisms work the first time. You thought you would spend just a few minutes, but in most cases, it takes many hours.

With Reduxio NoRestoreTM you don’t have to wait. It enables users to recover or transfer large data sets in little to no time. Let’s say you have more than a 100 TB. If data is stored within a Reduxio system, you gain an almost immediate restore ability (within seconds or minutes). You can do the same by backing up volumes to either a 3rd-party iSCSI system or even an object store - a private or a public cloud.

5. Wait for large amount of Data to be copied for Application Migration.

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One of our customers’ favorites. Reduxio NoMigrateTM lets you instantly move volumes without waiting for the actual data copy.

Traditional Data migration has to be carried out with lots of attention to detail. It requires planning, configuring and scheduling migration tasks. In many cases it requires the purchasing of additional hardware and software. Typically, sysadmins spend massive amounts of time dedicated to carrying out and meticulously planning the process.

It’s a project on its own.

It shouldn’t be.

Here’s what you need to know: It works with any iSCSI storage (not just Reduxio!). Once you’ve chosen which volumes to transfer, the volumes are simply and immediately imported into the Reduxio system. Connect the host and voila! Start working.

Actual data copy occurs in the background. New writes are sent locally, while ‘old’ reads are copied over from the source system.

6. Stress over Primary, Secondary and DR

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Traditional Data Protection architectures have an approach for high availability (HA), backup/recovery and DR as separate endeavors. Often, DR Infrastructure is separated from primary storage, which leads to costly duplicated infrastructure plus having to plan and test multiple workloads from one place to the other. IT teams have told us that not all DR failovers work perfectly well the first time. On many occasions, teams have to make multiple attempts until all the components of their infrastructure are synced, so that failover is successful and they can reach their agreed-upon SLAs.

Reduxio’s approach is to combine enterprise primary storage with the rich functionality of data protection, DR and copy data management. These functions are typically supplied today using additional hardware and software solutions that are purchased, installed, configured and managed separately from the storage itself. This is both complex and expensive. By consolidating it into a single platform, our customers benefit from a much simpler and easier to administer environment. One console, one UI, one reporting system, one learning curve- a single unified, software-defined platform across primary and secondary storage. IDC calls it a Unified Data Storage, Management, and Protection Platform.

 

This is Part I of Things Storage Admins Don't Have to do anymore Thanks to ReduxioIn the next part, we'll share with you a few more.

Which tasks do you wish you could stop doing thanks to Enterprise IT? 

 

Mike Grandinetti

Written by Mike Grandinetti

Mike Grandinetti is Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy officer at Reduxio. He has a unique cross-disciplinary background. He has deep operating experience as a serial venture capital – backed entrepreneur across five very successful ventures, was involved as an early team member in the launch of several successful new businesses within Hewlett-Packard, holds long-standing faculty appointments at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Hult International Business School. He also served as a senior management consultant with McKinsey. As a serial entrepreneur, Mike was involved in the formation of 7 advanced technology start-ups and has helped lead five venture-backed start-up companies to successful exits (twice a multiple exit) for his VC investors, inlcuding 2 NASDAQ IPOs and 5 high multiple trade sales to strategics. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor to numerous global start-ups and VC firms across the IT, and is Managing Director of StartupNEXT Boston and a Community Impact Fellow with OpenIDEO.



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