#SFD4 – Vendor 9: Proximal Data

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This post is part of a series of 10 vendors that have presented their technology to the TechFieldDay attendees, gathered for this edition of Storage Field Day 4. You can find all background about the project here: http://techfieldday.com/event/sfd4/ – This series of blogposts were live notes, published at the end of the presentation but reviewed afterwards. Disclaimer: the attendees are not personally compensated other than our transport and lodging, nor are we obliged to write anything at all.

ProximalData

Company

  • Founded: 2011
  • Founders: Rory Bolt (CEO)
  • Financial Status: B-series
  • CEO: Rory Bolt

Technology

In essence Proximal Data has a caching software called AutoCache. It installs into the hypervisor through a VIB and supports all storage protocols used, from file to block and local attached. A reboot of VMs on NFS storage is however required before it works. Before the end of the year Proximal plans on supporting Hyper-V which will be managed through System Center. Although all flash hardware would work, there is a HCL (hardware compatibility list). 

Proximal 01

One of the main features is called “Adaptive Caching”. It will analyse used caching even with metadata that has no data anymore in the cache so it can change the cache sizes for the different workloads. It is a read-only cache without built-in replication so they will have to pre-heat the cache on another host when doing vMotion. If they wouldn’t preheat, the VMs storage performance would completely drop again and have to start from scratch. note: on a high dense host this could be an issue when going into maintenance mode.

Proximal preheat

My Take

I missed focus during a part of the presentation ‘cause I was too much mentally focussed on a marketing claim that was called <host VM density enhancement of 2x to 3x> which is in fact a false cause fallacy. The fact that you can run more VM’s is that you are running more VMs per backend storage, not per host.

Let’s forget for a second the marketing/messaging mistakes here. Proximal Data is a storage accelerator. In the last year I already encountered PernixData, AtlantisILIO and Infinio. Everyone solves the problem slightly different and truth to be told these guys impressed me the least. At the enf of the presentation we also had an off-camera frieNDA conversation about next year’s evolution and let’s say that if there is a fork in the street, the went left …

I could still be wrong so don;t forget to watch the video’s and tell me!

Links

Video

The 4 items from Storage Field Day 4 are here: Company Background / Introduction / Deep Dive / Administration & HyperV

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