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Hybrid Reduxio storage shifts gears to midrange enterprises

Reduxio's converged primary and secondary storage integrates native tools for data management and protection. Can the hybrid flash vendor turn a profit and pull off an IPO?

Reduxio Systems has weathered the storms that swamped many of its storage startup competitors. The 5-year-old vendor's flagship HX550 hybrid storage converges primary and secondary storage with integrated data management.

Based in San Francisco and Israel, Reduxio recently expanded to Western Europe, opening sales offices in Amsterdam, London and Paris. The Reduxio storage platform runs the TimeOS operating system based on its BackDating technology, enabling users to recover data from any historical point in time.

NoRestore copy data management and NoMigrate disaster recovery were added in 2017, rounding out previous capabilities of NoDup global inline deduplication, Tier-X hybrid pooling and StorSense performance analytics.

CEO Mark Weiner outlined how Reduxio storage is evolving to keep pace with user demands, with a special focus on midrange customers. Weiner said a Reduxio initial public offering (IPO) is "in the cards," and he downplayed investors' lukewarm interest in recent cloud array equities.

Weiner cited publicly traded Pure Storage as a paragon for Reduxio. "As a CEO, I monitor Pure, and it is a cash machine. I think it's an undervalued company. Pure attacked a very high-end part of the market. It was early, and it was fast. We want to be like Pure, except in the midrange," Weiner said.

First, Reduxio has to prove it can turn a consistent profit and begin returning liquidity to investors. Since its launch in 2012, Reduxio has received more than $58 million in venture funding, including a $22.5 million Series C round last March. Weiner outlined the Reduxio growth strategy in a conversation with SearchStorage, excerpted below.

Reduxio CEO Mark WeinerMark Weiner

Reduxio hit the market at a time when demand for hybrid flash arrays reached a peak. Now, there is debate on whether all-flash will replace hybrid arrays. How is Reduxio adapting to this dynamic?

Mark Weiner: We're targeting hybrid at the midmarket. There are two things we see. Flash [adoption] has grown quickly, which you'd expect, since flash was new and served a real requirement for high-performance devices.

On the other hand, even as flash prices have decreased dramatically over the last year, we see big business in the midmarket, with customers concerned about infrastructure costs. Everyone has been so focused on flash at the high end that there hasn't been much innovation in the last 10 years for the midmarket. But that's the largest part of the overall market.

You sell on appliances, but recent Reduxio storage updates concentrated on data management and data protection. Was the software-defined storage emphasis planned from the outset, or did you switch gears to address the changing market?

Weiner: The storage hardware is commodity these days, and it only provides a go-to-market model. In our view, it's just a matter of whether you decide to sell only software, or bundle it together on hardware. Most people, with the exception of very large public clouds, need to buy [and own] their infrastructure. So, the first question is: Do we sell them an integrated infrastructure, or do we sell something that the client will integrate?

The second question is one of scalability. We call ourselves a hybrid, but Reduxio storage is able to deal seamlessly with different media platforms underneath. As an example, we derive all our performance from the highest-performance media, usually the highest-cost media, and we derive all our cost from the capacity media or cloud. Our thinking when we started Reduxio was that if you could mix and match, you could build an infinitely scalable, infinitely fast storage system for an infinitely low price. That's our hope and that's our theory, based on an understanding of how efficiency works.

What is the Reduxio cloud storage strategy, and how does it differ from competitors?

Weiner: First, let me say that at Reduxio, we are not interested in speeds and feeds. We're more interested in adding disruptive functionality for use cases. Data center consolidation is a fact. Enterprises are going to rack-based environments, usually around 20% physical and 80% virtual servers to run many applications. That use case is gaining wide adoption in the midmarket.

Last year, we converged primary and secondary storage on a single, unified platform, and we added our copy data management and replication to our dedupe, tiering and analytics. The benefits to customers include lower cost of acquisition and, more importantly, a significant reduction in operational costs of infrastructure.

How will you build on those enhancements going forward?

At Reduxio, we are not interested in speeds and feeds. We're more interested in adding disruptive functionality for use cases.
Mark WeinerCEO, Reduxio

Weiner: Customers don't want to manage storage objects; they want to manage applications and the businesses those applications support. They want an infrastructure that is converged. Data management has to be built in to SLAs [service level agreements]; the user wants to set an SLA for an application, as opposed to the underlying storage.

Take a hospital that has lots and lots of data. X-ray data is very important, but keeping it in DRAM [dynamic RAM] is too expensive, so you archive it to a cloud or an object store. Reduxio automatically will decide which data needs to be on the fastest media and archive the other stuff to slower media.

That's the first axis we're working on. The second axis has to do with federation of data. We will turn out a product this year called Live NoMigrate, where you are able to drag and drop an application from one Reduxio storage instance to another.

How soon before Reduxio is profitable?

Weiner: Three years. We are heading in that direction. The average selling prices of our deals is increasing every quarter. We are managing closely the path to profitability. We understand how critical it is to our long-term sustainability.

What is the long game for Reduxio? Will it remain a private company, or is an IPO in the cards?

Weiner: We definitely think an IPO is in the cards. We think we can build a deep business that adds enormous functional [improvements] to help enterprises consolidate and simplify the management of infrastructure. The enterprise midmarket is very, very large, but yet few vendors have really delved into it.

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