Startup Axxana today announced its Phoenix Enterprise Data Recorder (EDR) product has passed EMC’s E-Lab and will be available in January 2010 through EMC’s Select ® program. This is a meaningful milestone for Axxana, which recently secured $9M in Series B funding from Carmel Ventures.
Axxana’s Phoenix targets higher-end CLARiiON customers looking for affordable zero-data-loss solutions as described below.
Figure 1 shows several application servers connected to the fibre channel network. The diagram shows an arrow to an EMC RecoverPoint component, which is software that performs synchronous or, in this case, asynchronous replication. RecoverPoint comprises: 1) a splitter that channels the data streams between CLARiiON and the RecoverPoint software and 2) the RecoverPoint software component itself.
Recover Point makes a synchronous copy to the Axxana system, which includes two components:
- The collector, which bunches the data streams in a single location, ensures consistency of data and deletes data when appropriate (i.e. it’s reached the other side); and
- The Phoenix Black Box, which holds the data in a “disaster proof” box until Recover Point’s asynch operation reaches the other side.
If something goes wrong, the data at the second site is incomplete because it’s written asynchronously, and data in flight is lost. That data in flight, which will be less than 70GBs, can be extracted from Axxana’s Phoenix using one of three techniques:
- Extraction using cellular technology over 3G wireless.
- If the Phoenix is accessible, connecting through a laptop and downloading the data, and then transferring the data from the laptop to a remote site.
- An Ethernet connection directly from Phoenix to the other side.
RecoverPoint then manages the re-synchronization of the data on the other side.
This milestone represents the continued maturity of Axxana’s Phoenix and the advancement of a concept the company introduced to the market last year — specifically, the use of an airplane black box metaphor as applied to data centers to eliminate data loss.
What Does this Milestone Mean?
Passing E-Lab means Axxana is enterprise-ready, which is obviously hugely important given the company's value proposition. In addition, a vendor partner can't get on EMC's Select list without passing E-Lab, and this gives Axxana a major channel to the market.
The challenge is that Axxana's technology, with EMC's RecoverPoint, is a candidate for a very narrow set of customers today — specifically, high-end CLARiiON clients who are enlightened to the point that they can envision how to apply zero-data-loss solutions at asynchronous distance.
Axxana is facing a classic market development challenge for a new firm. It needs to get enough clients to evaluate the technology and nail down its first 5-10 reference accounts within target industries like financial services, health care, manufacturing, and retail. Once the first few jump into the technology it will create a domino effect and the concept, we believe, will catch on broadly.
Action Item: Axxana's announcement that it passed EMC's E-Lab is another step in the steady progress of advancing the concept of asynchronous zero-data-loss solutions. Users should familiarize themselves with Axxana's innovation as an alternative to more expensive three-site data center approaches and less than adequate synchronous and asynchronous solutions.