My Exagrid Road Map

I did a post a while ago about things I would like to see Veeam add to their road map, and I don’t think that any of them were added, but it’s always fun to speculate. So I obviously have no insight to the product road map at Exagrid, nor do I have any influence over what they implement. Therefore this post is just an “if I was important I would …” post.

Exagrid has pretty much mastered the deduplicated backup storage area; they provide backup application aware dedupe that is second to none and have also added in replication for easy offsite backups. In my road map they would expand upon their features and maybe continue to improve their dedupe and compression ratios if possible. However at some point you have to figure that you have reached the limit. So where do they go from there?

What I would suggest Exagrid add to its product offering is two things, neither of which I think would be too hard for them to do, but both of which would add great value to their product. These features are:

  1. Ability to create an NFS share for storing ISO images for VMware
  2. Ability to create an NFS share for use as a Datastore on which VM Templates could live

Right now Exagrid has the ability to create a “Utility” share and present it via NFS, which would actually allow you to do this now. However you would not get any compression or deduplication of the files stored on that share. A Utility share is a simple Linux based share for providing access to simple storage via NFS or CIFS. So the value add would be to add two share types… one for each of the items listed above. Then your ISO library could look at all the ISO images and dedupe across them, and if you are like most of the customers I have worked with, you probably store a bunch of Microsoft related ISO’s… and we all know there are probably some duplicate files in those things 🙂

The value of having a deduplicated VM Template repository is pretty obvious as well. If you have several Windows Server templates that are archived and only used when a new server is deployed, then you could save a decent amount of SAN space if you could put them on the Exagrid. I figure 10-15GB per Windows Template that would be the same for every 2008 R2 template, and if you had 10 templates that is 90GB of savings.

Now you might be thinking… why use a box purpose built for dedupe backup storage for something like this. My answer to that is that the Exagrid shines while the average IT admin is sleeping. If all goes well you could login the your Exagrid every morning at 8am and run ‘top’… my guess is that you would see something like this in the top line 0.05 or 0.02. Why? Well the Exagrid’s that I’ve worked with are Quad core CPU’s with Hyper Threading and 8GB of RAM. That is a lot of horse power to just sit and idle most of the day, so why not put it to use for something that you will most likely only use while you are there between 8am-5pm?

I guess time will only tell if this is something they have already thought of or if they like my idea and put it in place, if you have an Exagrid and like this idea I would encourage you to give your rep a call and tell them. As one of our sales guys always says … the squeaky wheel gets greased first …

As always thanks for reading!

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2 Responses to "My Exagrid Road Map"

  1. Justin:

    Good points about the NFS share. I can say that I too like the ExaGrid appliance, but if we could get a NFS share it would be a great low tier resource for ISO and template as you mention.

    I’ve even gone so far as to putting an NFS share on a competitor to ExaGrid into VMware for that very use case. Cheers.

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