One of the first meetings I had was with Arun Agarwal of Infinio who showed me their new implementation of a cache accelerator using VAIO, the vSphere APIs for I/O Filters. Basically, using SPBM, you can associate a policy with a VM and utilize cache acceleration (basically directing I/O to a faster medium such as local flash, and later destaging to persistent storage such as your array). This all plays into VMware’s Software Defined Storage vision where data services can be attached to a VM through a policy setting. Arun talked us through their deployment and configuration steps, and then showed us the numbers they were able to achieve. Very impressive. Right now, the filter only allows for read cache acceleration, there is no acceleration on the writes. However Infinio are also able to leverage memory as well as flash devices, which accounts for the great figures that they are able to achieve. Worth checking out if you are in the market for a cache acceleration product.
Last, but not least, I got an opportunity to catch up with my friends at Rubrik, namely Julia Lee (head of marketing) and Chris Wahl (Chief Evangelist). Rubrik are another company that I follow with great interest, and I have also written about them in the past. I first met them at our partner exchange last year, and earlier this year Chris and I wrote a joint VSAN/Rubrik white paper. What I really like about Rubrik is, just like VSAN, they have a very nice Software Defined Storage offering where the availability of your data is policy and/or SLA driven. Have a peak at the whitepaper if you wish to learn more. I caught up with Chris and Julia, and got a demo of the new features that they have recently introduced in Rubrik Firefly 3.0. The main items of interest is support for backing up of physical workloads, such as SQL server and Linux machines (a big ask from their customers). The other big-ticket item is the extension of “cloud” use cases. First, you can use the “cloud” for a backup destination (think AWS S3 or Azure). Now, depending on the policy/SLA, you can back up locally, or backup remotely to the cloud. The other new feature of interest was the introduction of an edge appliance, which is essentially a virtualized version of Rubrik’s appliance. This is ideal for remote office/branch offices (ROBO) with just a few VMs or servers, as it will allow backup data to be sent to your main DC running physical Rubrik appliances, while maintaining some local cached data in the ROBO for fast restores.
For those of you waiting to attend VMworld 2016 in Barcelona later this year, I would strongly recommend checking out these companies in the Solutions Exchange.