Seagate invests $15m in Israeli disk management start-up

Seagate invests $15m in Israeli disk management start-up

Reduxio seeks to get hard drives of all stripes working together; storage giant signs on to bring products to market

Hard drive (Photo credit: David Monniaux/Wikipedia Commons)
Hard drive (Photo credit: David Monniaux/Wikipedia Commons)

Storage giant Seagate Technology is pumping $15 million into Israeli start-up Reduxio, which has found a way to blend hybrid disk systems comprising “traditional” optical disk drives, flash drives and others. Along with Seagate, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Carmel Ventures and Intel Capital participated in the funding round.

The funds will accelerate Reduxio’s product development and support its go-to-market plan, the company said. As part of the deal, Seagate will obtain a seat on Reduxio’s board of directors.

Solid-state flash drives (SSDs) have become more popular in recent years. They’re faster and more stable than the traditional spinning mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs) most computers use. SSDs have no moving parts, “they use less power, and they won’t die if you bump or drop them, like HDDs,” Reduxio CEO Mark Weiner told The Times of Israel.

But SSDs have problems of their own. “As you write, erase, and rewrite to an SSD, the ‘image’ of the data you are writing gets weaker, and eventually the thing wears out,” Wiener said, and as a result, corporations that need to save data for the long term are hedging their bets, retaining their HDD systems for backups, storage, and data processing.

These new hybrid disk systems require a new approach to disk management, because the management systems in use today are not optimized for SSD integration. “Often companies run specific applications on a server from a flash drive in order to speed things up, so now you are seeing more mixed systems, with HDDs and SSDs operating in a single array,” said Wiener. “In order to ensure maximum efficiency, you need a good disk array management system, and that’s where Reduxio comes in,” he said.

“Reduxio figures out which files are the most accessed and being worked on and keep them on the flash drive until they’re no longer needed, at which point they are off-loaded to the HDD components,” said Wiener. “The result – a hard drive system that gives users the speed advantage of flash, with the cost advantage of HDD. Other management systems are not optimized for hybrid disk systems,” Weiner said. “We are the first ones to develop this.”

With Reduxio, Seagate hopes to develop products that can cater to the hybrid market, said Rocky Pimentel, president of Global Markets and Customers at Seagate. “Reduxio has built an architecture that can truly leverage the capabilities of hard disk drives, solid state storage, and future non-volatile technologies together in a single system. We believe that systems that successfully integrate multiple media types can deliver compelling price/performance and reliability benefits and will have a unique position in the market.”

“We are very excited to close this funding round,” Weiner said. “We are thrilled to have Seagate as an investor. Seagate has the knowhow and the passion that has allowed them to continue to be the leader in the storage industry. Seagate’s investment validates our innovative architecture and our execution to date, and will help us to bring our products to customers earlier.”

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