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Reduxio Systems' storage has gone from curiosity to mainstay at human resources software firm CPP Inc.
The maker of personality-assessment software initially installed Reduxio HX550 hybrid arrays to support standard systems for development, quality assurance and testing. Impressed by the performance, CPP has promoted the Reduxio SAN to handle mission-critical applications and a select number of primary workloads.
The plan is to eventually move most tier-one storage from existing SAN environments to Reduxio to take advantage of its capacity, native data protection and performance scaling, said Mike Johnson, director of global infrastructure and desktop support at CPP, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.
"I've always figured there isn't one storage device that gives you all three of those things, but it's looking like Reduxio Systems has the potential," Johnson said.
CPP has two Reduxio HX550 hybrid arrays at its main data center in Sunnyvale and two others at a newly opened facility in the U.K.
Reduxio hybrid flash augments all-flash IBM V9000 primary SAN
The Reduxio HX550 Enterprise Flash Storage hybrid flagship is a dual-controller system housed in a 2U Seagate server chassis. The system accommodates 24 disk drives or SAS-connected SSDs, with enterprise multi-level cell NAND flash SSDs for 40 TB of raw block storage. Effective capacity scales to 150 TB of usable storage with Reduxio NoDup global inline data deduplication.
Reduxio Systems deduplicates data in 8K blocks in a pre-memory buffer. A unique timestamp is applied to each block in the databases. A separate database for metadata includes log data that identifies which blocks received writes and when the writes occurred.
Until 2002, CPP was known as Corporate Psychologists Press Inc. The firm sells human resources software to corporations and career-minded individuals, and it's best known for its flagship Myers-Briggs Type Indicator-certified assessment.
Over the years, CPP has used storage appliances from Dell EMC, NetApp, Hitachi Vantara and other vendors. CPP still uses an all-flash IBM V9000 SAN to support a Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning system and related production systems, as well as a scale-out Coho Data DataStream SAN to increase capacity or performance on the fly.
Although the IBM V9000 is "one of the highest-performing SANs I've ever seen," Johnson said it has limited capacity for all of CPP's primary storage. The Coho Data storage is "plug-and-play," but requires the upfront expense of customized Arista network switches.
Compounding the challenge is the demise of Coho Data, which went out of business in September.
Johnson credited a reseller with introducing him to Reduxio Systems. CPP had already purchased the IBM and Coho Data gear by that time, but Johnson was intrigued enough by Reduxio to give it a test run.
"I was willing to put it in as our tier-three storage device, but I didn't know how it would perform," he said. "Once we saw the performance was pretty good, we promoted it to our mission-critical workloads."
Reduxio BackDating aids faster disaster recovery
Johnson's IT team did further testing and research designed to answer a key question: Could Reduxio storage reliably support CPP's moneymaking activities? Johnson said he was pleased at Reduxio's ability to deliver primary storage performance without relying exclusively on flash.
Johnson said he also likes the native data protection in Reduxio's TimeOS operating system, especially the BackDating that allows recovery to any-point-in-time snapshot. Reduxio Systems recently added NoMigrate replication and NoRestore copy data management.
"We decided our revenue-generating systems could reside on the Reduxio storage device," Johnson said. "Our plan going forward is to put all our revenue-generating systems on Reduxio and reduce our recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives from hours to days to seconds to minutes."