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Reduxio redux: Vendor ditches arrays, eyes containers

Once an IPO hopeful, Reduxio had the 'wrong packaging' and needed to retrench. The vendor shed hybrid flash arrays. Reduxio Magellan container storage software is in early access.

Reduxio Systems is scaling back and shifting gears. The "systems" part of the name is gone, and the vendor soon will phase out sales of its flagship storage arrays.

The vendor's new product is Magellan Cloud Data Platform, a "microservices-based, container-native storage" software for deploying large-scale Kubernetes clusters, Reduxio chief marketing officer Jacob Cherian said.

Magellan is in early access with customers, with general availability expected later this year. Reduxio is phasing out its HX-550 hybrid flash arrays.

Despite the shift from storage hardware, Cherian said the company decided to retain the Reduxio name rather than rebrand.

"We have a good metadata architecture, but we definitely had the wrong packaging and go-to-market model. We just could not scale the hardware business fast enough" to turn a profit, Cherian said.

Challenges selling midrange array

Reduxio Systems launched in 2013 at a time when other startups also were pitching hybrid arrays as a less costly alternative to all-flash storage. It joins Kaminario as the latest flash array vendor to make a decided move away from its signature hardware product.

Other hybrid startups have undergone their own problems. Tintri veered into bankruptcy before it was acquired last year by DataDirect Networks. Tegile Systems was swallowed up by Western Digital Corp. in 2017.

Investors have provided nearly $60 million in funding to Reduxio Systems since its inception, including a $22.5 million Series C round in March 2017. Former Reduxio Systems CEO Mark Weiner outlined plans to pursue an initial public offering as an exit strategy, but Weiner left in 2018. Ori Bendori, a general partner at Reduxio investor Viola Partners, replaced Weiner.

HX-550 unified flash arrays converged primary and secondary storage on a commodity box. The key to Reduxio's storage is the TimeOS operating system, which includes BackDating technology for instant point-in-time recovery and instant restore for data mobility between cloud and physical targets.

Reduxio CMO Jacob CherianJacob Cherian

"We are bringing all our unique data management capabilities of the existing product into Magellan," Cherian said.

Persistent storage containers have matured over the last several years, although reliable figures on container adoption within enterprises remains elusive. To succeed, Reduxio will need Magellan to lure customers away from competitors with longer lead time in containers, including Portworx and Red Hat OpenShift.

Reduxio has turned its gaze from the midrange array market, said Tim Stammers, a senior analyst of storage at 451 Research Group in New York City.

"It's not just that they're software-only, but that their whole focus is on storage for Kubernetes and containers. They said they're going after big enterprises, because those are the ones that are adopting containers. So it's a completely new market focus," Stammers said.

Existing customers will be able to buy replacement HX-550 arrays for a limited time, Cherian said. "It's very important to keep supporting the customers we have."

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How sound is Reduxio's strategy to cease hardware sells and attack the container storage market? What does Reduxio need to do to reinvent itself?
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