Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, John Basso, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac

Blog Feed Post

EMC announces XtremIO General Availability (Part I)

EMC announces XtremIO General Availability (Part I)

By Greg Schulz

Storage I/O trends

EMC announces XtremIO flash SSD General Availability

EMC announced today the general availability (GA) if the all flash Solid State Device (SSD) XtremIO that they acquired a little over a year ago. Earlier this year EMC announced directed availability (DA) of the EMC version of XtremIO as part of other SSD hardware and software updates (here and here). The XtremIO GA announcement also follows that of the VNX2 or MCx released in September of this year that also has flash SSD enhancements along with doing more with available resources.

EMC XtremIO flash SSD boosting storage I/O performance

As an industry trend, the question is not if SSD is in your future, rather where, when, how much, what to use along with coexistence to complement Hard Disk Drive (HDD) based solutions in some environments. This also means that SSD is like real estate where location matters, not to mention having different types of technologies, packaging, solutions to meet various needs (and price points). This all ties back to the best server and storage I/O or IOP is the one that you do know have to do, the second best is the one with the least impact and best application benefit.

From industry adoption to customer deployment

EMC has evolved the XtremIO platform from a pre-acquisition solution to an first EMC version that was offered to an early set of customers e.g. DA.

I suspect that the DA was as much a focus on getting early customer feedback, addressing immediate needs or opportunities as wells as getting the EMC sales and marketing teams messaging, marching orders aligned and deployed. The latter would be rather important to decrease or avoid the temptation to cannibalize existing product sales with the shiny new technology (SNT). Likewise, it would be important for EMC to not create isolated pockets or fenced off products as some other vendors often do.

EMC XtremIO X-Brick
25 SSD drive X-Brick

What is being announced?

  • General availability vs. directed or limited availability
  • Version 2.2 of the XIOS platform software
  • Integrating with EMC support and service tools

Let us get back go this announcement and XtremIO of which EMC has indicated that they have several customers who have now done either $1M or $5M USD deals. EMC has claimed over 1.5 PBytes have been booked and deployed, or with data footprint reduction (DFR) including dedupe over 10PB effective capacity. Note that for those who are focused on dedupe or DFR reduction ratios 10:1.5 may not be as impressive as seen with some backup solutions, however keep in mind that this is for primary high performance storage vs. secondary or tertiary storage devices.

As part of this announcement, EMC has also release V2.2 of the XtremIO platform software (XIOS). Hence a normal new product should start with a version 1.0 at launch, however as explained this is both a new version of the technology as well as the initial GA by EMC.

Also as part of this announcement, EMC is making available XtremIO 10TB X-Bricks with 25 eMLC SSD drives each, along with dual controllers (storage processors). EMC has indicated that it will make available a 20TB X-Brick using larger capacity SSD drives in January 2014. Note that the same type of SSD drives must be used in the systems. Currently there can be up to four X-Bricks per XtremIO cluster or instance that are interconnected using a dedicated InfiniBand Fabric. Application servers access the XtremIO X-Bricks using standard Fibre Channel or Ethernet and IP based iSCSI. In addition to the hardware platform items, the XtremIO platform software (XIOS) includes built-in on the fly data footprint reduction (DFR) using global dedupe during data ingestion and placement. Other features include thin provisioning, VMware VAII, data protection and self-balancing data placement.

Storage I/O trends

Who or what applications are XtremIO being positioned for?

Some of XtremIO industry sectors include:

  • Financial and insurance services
  • Medical, healthcare and life sciences
  • Manufacturing, retail and warehouse management
  • Government and defense
  • Media and entertainment
Application and workload focus:

  • VDI including replacing linked clones with ability to do full clone without overhead
  • Server virtualization where aggregation causes aggravation with many mixed IOPs
  • Database for reducing latency, boosting IOPs as well as improving software license costs.

Databases such as IBM DB2, Oracle RAC, Microsoft SQLserver and MySQL among others have traditionally for decades been a prime opportunity for SSD (DRAM and flash). This also includes newer NoSQL or key value stores and meta data repositories for object such as Mongo, Hbase, Cassandra, Riak among others. Typical focus includes placing entire instances, or specific files and objects such as indices, journals and redo logs, import/export temp or scratch space, message queries and high activity tables among others.

What about overlap with other EMC products?

If you simply looked at the above list of sectors (among others) or applications, you could easily come to a conclusion that there is or would be overlap. Granted in some environments there will be which means XtremIO (or other vendors solutions) may be the primary storage solution. On the other hand since everything is not the same in most data centers or information factories, there will be a mix of storage systems handling various tasks. This is where EMC will need to be careful learning what they did during DA on where to place XtremIO and how to positing to complement when and where needed other solutions, or as applicable being a replacement.

XtremIO Announcement Summary

  • All flash SSD storage solution with iSCSI and Fibre Channel server attachment
  • Scale out and scale up performance while keeping latency low and deterministic
  • Enhanced flash duty cycle (wear leveling) to increase program / erase (P/E) cycles durability
  • Can complement other storage systems, arrays or appliances or function as a standalone
  • Coexists and complements host side caching hardware and software
  • Inline always on data footprint reduction (DFR) including dedupe (global dedupe without performance compromise), space saving snapshots and copies along with thin provisioning

Storage I/O trends

Some General Comment and Perspectives

Overall, XtremIO gives EMC and their customers, partners and prospects a new technology to use and add to their toolbox for addressing various challenges. SSD is in your future, when, where, with what and how are questions not to mention how much. After all, a bit of flash SSD in the right location used effectively can have a large impact. On the other hand, a lot of flash SSD in the wrong place or not used effectively will cost you lots of cash. Key for EMC and their partners will be to articulate clearly, where XtremIO fits vs. other solutions without adding complexity.

Checkout part II of this series to learn more about XtremIO including what it is, how it works, competition and added perspectives.

Ok, nuff said (for now).

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2013 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...