Hedvig Overview

I was part of the Storage Field Day 10 group last week and had a chance to visit Hedvig at their new offices in Santa Clara, CA. Lots of space to grow into here and they have a nice friendly atmosphere like most places we visited.

The founder and CEO (Avinash Lakshman), spent 6-8 years building large scale, distributed systems. He was one of the co-inventors of Amazon Dynamo and was part of the Apache Cassandra project at Facebook. He believes that the state of traditional storage will disappear and from what I’ve seen at this presentation, they are building that next generation storage platform for tomorrow’s workload.

SFD10 Hedvig Welcome

Founded in 2012 and with a product launch in April of this year, you can see that they have had some time to adjust their product for what the market is demanding. The operational model is focused on a policy based engine that is defined by the infrastructure.

Hedvig is software that is decoupled and residing on commodity servers equaling their distributed storage platform.

One thing that was talked about early in the presentation was the fact that most of their customers don’t even use the user interface since Hedvig’s platform is architected to be API driven. That should give you a good idea what type company is looking at this deployment model.

If you look atHedvig_reception the way they are scaling out their storage architecture (through the multi-site architecture), you can see that they have regional protection in mind from the start. This is accomplished through their “container” based storage model and it’s not the containers that you’re thinking of (read part two).

The software can be deployed within a private datacenter or in a public cloud location or together that would classify it as a hybrid architecture.

High Level Overview:

  1. I found it very interesting that they have prepared the platform for both x86 and ARM based processors. They noted that they have had some interest from some large customers that low power ARM-based deployments are being looked at for some deployments.
  2. They have support for any hypervisor that is out on the market today as well as native storage provisioning to containers.
  3. Block (iSCSI), file (NFSv3 and v4) and object (S3 & Swift) protocol support.
  4. Deduplication, compression, tiering, caching and snaps/clones.
  5. Policy driven storage that provides HA or DR on a per-application basis.

How its Deployed: 

  • The storage service itself is deployed on bare-metal servers or cloud based infrastructure (as mentioned above).
  • It is then presented as file and block storage through a VM/Container/Bare-Metal mechanism called a storage proxy. They have a proprietary “network optimized” protocol that talks to the underlying storage service.
  • For object based storage, it talks natively to the service through the RESTful API’s via S3 or Swift and does not go through the storage proxy converter.

What happens at the Storage Service Layer:

  • When the writes reach the cluster, the data is distributed based on a policy that is pre-configured for that application. (This also contains a replication element)
  • In addition to this, there are background tasks that balance the data across all nodes in the cluster and caches the data for reads.
  • The data is then replicated to multiple datacenters or cloud nodes for DR purposes through synchronous and asynchronous replication.

Look for part two that goes a bit deeper on the intricacies of the Hedvig platform.

 

Post Disclaimer: I was invited to attend Storage Field Day 10 as an independent participant. My accommodations, travel and meals were covered by the Tech Field Day group but I was not compensated for my time spent attending this presentation. My post is not influenced in any way by Gestalt IT or Hedvig and I am under no obligation to write this article. The companies mentioned above did not review or edit this content and it is written from purely an independent perspective.

 

Leave a Reply