It's our primary storage array.
It's our primary storage array.
It has improved our backup and recovery window, because you can have two Reduxio machines linked up, so every block that changes on the primary storage array gets replicated to the secondary storage array. If one side or the other goes bad, you just recover from the other side.
We were also pleased to learn that Reduxio also has, beside dedup and compression that actually works, the "time machine" built in, which allows you to go back a few seconds or a few minutes before a ransomware attack gets you. For us, in the software business - I can see where some companies, their main concern is how many IOs per second it can do - but for us, it's recovering from ransomware. That's our number one characteristic that we look for. Then, the second one would be IOs per second. Everybody else does Snapshots, and that's just not workable, because if you're doing a Snapshot every minute and a half you run out of storage so fast, and you need four times the storage capacity to be able to take those Snapshots to recover from ransomware.
The most important feature to me is being able to recover from ransomware. Because of the "time machine" that's built into the product, you can go back to five seconds before the ransomware hits your company's data, and prevent the ransomware from ever happening, and in today's business climate where there are so many ransomware attacks going on, that's me the most important thing.
And one other feature that I think is unique to Reduxio that you should probably know about is, most storage arrays when you buy them, they call it a "forklift upgrade," where a forklift comes in there and pulls out the old storage, and brings in a new storage. But with Reduxio, it can use all your old storage arrays, whether they're NetApp, or IBM, or EMC, or HPE, as targets for doing backups.
In our situation, once we had all of our guests off of NetApp, we then used the NetApp storage array as our backup target. We would write backup copies of the guests to NetApp and also to the cloud. So we'd have a local copy for recovery purposes, and a cloud copy for disaster recovery if the whole datacenter disappeared. Reduxio does that for you. It can write a backup copy to any storage array and, at the same time, write another copy to just about any cloud provider.
The only thing that I'd like to see, at some point in time, is having the storage array being able to detect a ransomware attack. When you get hit by a ransomware it rewrites every block in your guest's virtual machine. So there should be a way for them to be able to detect that: "Hey, this is unusual, to see every block of this guest being rewritten all at one time," and then flag that as potential malware or ransomware.
No issues with stability at all.
Scalability is a little unusual. We came from the NetApp world where, if you needed more disk space, you just added more drives into the chassis, whereas with Reduxio, if you need more disk space, you have to buy a new chassis. We ended up buying two new chasses, and then we load-balance between the two of them, and then the third one is the secondary target.
The technical team was wonderful. They came up to Vegas, and they not only installed it for us, but they educated us on its use. My IT guy was up and running. As far as sales, I initially had a third-party vendor that was doing the sale. Then, somewhere along the line, I requested that I deal directly with Reduxio. The guy I dealt with, his name is Sam Eckhouse, and he's great. He was really good.
I've never personally used their tech support but my IT guy did, and he said it was great.
We previously used NetApp, but all our developers were complaining about the performance.
After our proof of concept with Reduxio was over, because the paperwork was taking awhile through our legal department, we had to move all of our guests off the Reduxio back to our NetApp storage. Within a week, every developer was calling, complaining about how horrible the performance was, and they needed more memory, and they needed more CPU. We had to explain this to every one of them that called and say, "No it's not that, it's the fact that we had to temporarily move off of Reduxio back onto NetApp, and that as soon as the paperwork was done we were going to move back to Reduxio."
That's a really good testimony to their performance capability.
In terms of the learning curve, our team was already using the iSCSI storage arrays, but the Reduxio people came out and helped us do the initial install in our Las Vegas datacenter. And the only thing I would say negative about Reduxio is the cabling was a little bit confusing at first, but now that we understand it, it's easy. It was just so different from what we've seen before. That was the only hard part to get used to.
The storage array is fully redundant, so there are some cross-connect cables that you have to run, from the A side to the B side, and the B side back to the A side, and we've just never seen anything like that before. But now that I understand the design, it makes complete sense. But initially it was confusing.
I think the pricing is good value, because you're not just buying a storage array, you're buying a backup solution and a DR solution and a "time machine" solution, all bundled in one storage array. When we had NetApp storage we had to then go out and buy a copy of Veeam which is a backup solution. With the Reduxio, you still need to do backups but you don't need that software product.
Unicom is a software development company, and as such we have a very unique storage workload. I spent a year and a half researching storage arrays, and I went through EMC, HPE; I talked to Datrium, I talked to Tintri. I think another one was called DataCore. All in all it was about a dozen of them, and they all pretty much are the same, to tell you the truth. Reduxio is one of the few unique ones in the market.
None of the others we tried met the performance characteristics we were looking at, and none of them met the dedup and compression characteristics we were looking for, until we accidentally stumbled upon Reduxio at a meeting in Irvine, California. They do everything they say they do, which is unusual in the storage business.
One of the problems with software development companies is, a normal production company could have, say, 100 Windows 10 machines, and all 100 of them will be almost identical. So the normal storage array only makes one copy, and then makes copies of the blocks that are different. But in the development business, every virtual machine is different from every other virtual machine. So the typical dedup and compression that you get from Tintri or Datrium or the HPE solutions just doesn't work for us.
I was quite blown away in Irvine when I first saw the presentation from Reduxio, because it was everything that I was looking for, and they lived up to everything they said they could do.
They don't strike me as just another storage vendor. To me they're revolutionary, because nobody else has this "time machine" capability. Everybody else uses a 20-year-old technology called Snapshots. Think of a Snapshot as taking a picture of the way things looked an hour ago, or three hours ago, or eight hours ago. Then, if something bad happens, you have to go back eight hours. With "time machine" you could literally go back a block at a time until you get to the point where the data is okay. It's very revolutionary.
We have actually replaced our storage and backup with Reduxio's converged primary and secondary platform. We're using Reduxio for our primary and secondary, and in addition to that, we use our old NetApp as a target for long term backups.
Of course, everything above is just my personal opinion, it does not represent the opinion of my company.