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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Craig Nunes Talks Datrium DVX 4.0

interview-datrium-dvx4

VMblog was able to catch up with Datrium's VP of Marketing, Craig Nunes, to get the early scoop on what's in the latest release of Datrium DVX. 

VMblog:  In a nutshell, what does the customer get from Datrium DVX 4.0?

Craig Nunes:  With this third major release of DVX software in less than a year, Datrium completes the convergence of three innovative products: Tier 1 hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), scale-out backup and cloud disaster recovery (DR).  DVX 4.0 Software delivers the cloud features promised for the platform, as well as extends our Tier 1 features further in the areas of security and resilience.

VMblog:  Wow, that sounds too good to be true.  How does Datrium do that?

Nunes:  First, our founders had the benefit of developing the architecture after HCI was in market, observing what they believed to be limitations of that approach for larger scale environments. However, delivering low latency performance at-scale as well as cost-effective scale-out backup and cloud DR create a number of opposing architectural requirements. For example, achieving the lowest possible latency often comes with costs that are unacceptable for a scale-out backup store. 

The Datrium founders and architects developed key foundational technologies which compatibly serve all three product vectors-tier 1 HCI, scale-out backup and cloud DR. These include a log-structured file system which turns random writes into large sequential writes, global deduplication which shrinks the data footprint by 4-6X and provides a basis for frequent data integrity checks, a searchable backup-class catalog capable of storing millions of objects, and a key value store which maintains architectural compatibility between on-prem and cloud systems.

VMblog:  The technology seems very innovative, but how fast are customers adopting it?

Nunes: Datrium is growing rapidly and has added several hundred customer deployments since shipping DVX 1.0 two years ago. Given all the positive feedback from existing customers and a desire to further accelerate growth, Datrium now offers a customer satisfaction guarantee with every DVX system shipped. The guarantee provides for a no-questions-asked refund if a customer is unhappy for any reason within 30 days after receiving the product. This guarantee has been implicit in the product since its debut, but today we are formalizing it in an effort to demonstrate just how confident we are that new customers will absolutely love their new DVX.

VMblog:  What new features in DVX 4.0 help Tier 1 mission critical applications?

Nunes: Datrium DVX 4.0 extends Tier 1 capabilities with full support for Oracle RAC on a 4-node vSphere cluster. With a unique software-defined yet stateless host set-up, DVX performance is ultra-fast with 100% local flash reads, and can support losing three out of four nodes without impacting data availability. Adding Datrium All-Flash Data Nodes makes any read operation, even those under extreme failure conditions, remain super fast.

Peer Cache Mode is also new with DVX 4.0 Software and provides VM fault tolerance. In the case of the failure of all host SSD drives or the host's RAID controller, all VMs on the affected host stay online. Peer Cache allows VMs on the affected host to use the SSDs on a neighboring host until the SSD or RAID controller failure can be addressed.

VMblog:  Security is an even bigger concern for most data center managers today than ever before.  What is Datrium doing to help customers improve data security?

Nunes: Last year we introduced Blanket Encryption, data security which encrypts data as it is written in host RAM and remains encrypted in host flash, in-flight over the network, at-rest on DVX Data Nodes and well as in the cloud-all with the benefit of full data reduction, a first in the industry. DVX 4.0 Software enhances Blanket Encryption with FIPS 140-2 validated mode-one of the first HCI-like vendors to do so-as well as the ability for organizations to set two decryption passphrases. With a single decryption passphrase, if an administrator with sole knowledge of it forgets the passphrase or leaves the organization unexpectedly, recovery can be a challenge. By providing the ability to set two passphrases, the chances of losing access to data due to unavailability of the passphrase is minimized. 

DVX 4.0 Software also provides built-in auditing. HIPAA, PCI, SOX all have compliance controls which must be audited. With the new 4.0 Software, administrators can continuously log any actions taken across the system and view events within the DVX console. This new auditing capability will track user actions whether or not they have authenticated through vCenter, a standalone user interface, API or CLI. The auditing also monitors API actions, simplifying security analysis, change tracking, and troubleshooting.

VMblog:  Management is always a concern in the data center, so how does DVX 4.0 address this challenge?

Nunes:  Datrium DVX has been written and architected to provide a common management interface across primary, secondary, and cloud. Managing a DVX is a lot like watching a Corona Beer commercial--there is little to do but sit back and watch it. For service providers and certain IT operators who want to incorporate DVX into their orchestration and automation environment, DVX 4.0 Software now provides a set of RESTful APIs and a Python-based Software Development Kit (SDK). Customers can use the SDK to further automate key functions of their DVX system such as virtual machine Get, Snapshot, Clone and Replication.

VMblog:  It sounds like Cloud DVX is a major part of 4.0.  How do customers use it today?

Nunes: You are right--DVX 4.0 includes Cloud DVX, a cloud-native instance of Datrium DVX that offers backup and recovery services for VMs running in DVX systems on-premises. There are a few really cool aspects to Cloud DVX.

First, it is effectively a DVX SaaS-it is super simple and hides all the complexity of AWS infrastructure. There is no need to learn Lamda functions, Dynamo DB, handle EC2 failures and so on. Our customers provide their account credentials and the software does the rest.

Second, Cloud DVX dramatically reduces the costs of backup to cloud with global cloud deduplication and forever incremental backups. The cost of capacity and network bandwidth are significantly reduced, and AWS costs are typically 10x lower than other AWS S3 backup products.

Third, granular, dedupe-aware recovery direct-to-host provides accelerated Recovery-Time-Objectives (RTO).

Other Cloud DVX benefits include avoidance of dedicated backup infrastructure on-prem to connect to cloud.  And like all DVX software, all data written and transferred between sites is validated upon receipt and then continuously validated every 6 hours.

Datrium also announced that all new systems running DVX 4.0 or later now include a complimentary one-year subscription to Cloud DVX.  The free subscription includes up to one terabyte (TB) of AWS capacity, which can protect up to 6 TBs of effective data in the cloud after Datrium's cloud-based data reduction.  This program will be available through September 30, 2018 and does not include the AWS subscription fees. 

VMblog:  And how much does DVX 4.0 cost?

Nunes: DVX 4.0 is available immediately for U.S. list pricing of $12,000 per server/Compute Node. Upgrades to DVX 4.0 are available at no charge for customers with a valid support agreement.

Datrium Cloud DVX backup and recovery services are also available immediately for U.S. list pricing of $6,000 per 5 TB of S3 capacity per year, good for approximately 20TB to 30TB of effective data capacity.

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Published Wednesday, April 04, 2018 7:46 AM by David Marshall
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