Friday, November 15, 2013

Introducing the XtremIO All-Flash Array

 

Today EMC announced the general availability of XtremIO, the first all-flash array to provide consistent, predictable extreme performance to any application workload over any period of time.

To achieve this, XtremIO features several unique flash innovations: a scale-out multi-controller architecture with linear scalability; inline deduplication that is always on; data protection that is 6X more efficient and 4X faster than traditional RAID.

Under the covers, XtremIO is architected differently than any other all-flash array.

Four of key technologies that power XtremIO:
  • Content-Based Data Placement
  • Dual-Stage Metadata Engine
  • XtremIO Data Protection (XDP)
  • Shared In-Memory Metadata

IDC forecasts the all-flash array market to grow to $1.2 billion in revenue by 2015. XtremIO is already positioned as a leader in the all-flash array market, in high demand, with 10 Petabytes of effective deduplicated capacity already sold.

About the technology
Customers are looking to all-flash arrays to enable SLAs with constant predictable performance and low-latency. Including workloads that frequently change – such as VDI, virtual servers, massively consolidated databases and test/development environments. With XtremIO, these workloads achieve better performance, improved $/IOPS and management simplicity.

There are four key architectural differences that set XtremIO apart from other all-flash arrays:
  • Content-Based Data Placement keeps the array inherently balanced and optimized to within a fraction of a percent across all SSDs and array controllers and removes duplicate data inline in the data path.
     
  • Dual-Stage Metadata Engine allows the array to fully leverage the random access nature of flash and place data anywhere in the array without requiring system level back-end cleaning processes (also known as garbage collection). This enables XtremIO to avoid the up to a 50% performance hit in IOPS, up to 1000% increase in latency, and up to 10X reduction in flash endurance compared to other flash arrays that use system level garbage collection.
     
  • XtremIO Data Protection (XDP) is a flash-specific algorithm that guards against SSD failures while delivering up to 6X more usable capacity than traditional RAID. XDP allows end-users to utilize 100% of the capacity on XtremIO – while maintaining maximum levels of performance. Other all-flash arrays will begin to show degraded performance when they reach 60% to 80% of capacity. This means that XDP delivers up to 40% more usable capacity compared to other all-flash arrays. In addition, the efficient XDP algorithms deliver up to 4X better performance and flash endurance than RAID in long-term production data center conditions.
     
  • Shared In-Memory Metadata enables the array to deliver the widest range of performance, and to rapidly clone information already in the array to massively accelerate common tasks like deploying virtual machines. Virtual machine clones are created at up to 20X the network bandwidth between the host and the array, several times faster and with lower impact to production virtual machines than other all-flash arrays.

XtremIO is a scale-out array based on building blocks called X-Bricks. Each X-Brick is available with 10TB of capacity – with an additional option for 20TB of capacity expected to be available early next year. XtremIO arrays deliver up to one million fully random IOPS with over 250TB of effective capacity in a single XtremIO cluster with inline deduplication. A single XtremIO cluster scales from two to eight controllers and up to 128 cores, capable of handling any OLTP Database, virtual server and VDI workload – with all data services active.

In addition, XtremIO is integrated within the EMC ecosystem to provide additional capabilities, ease-of-use, and compatibility. A VCE Vblock Specialized System for Extreme Applications based on XtremIO all-flash arrays provides unparalleled VDI end-user computing performance at unprecedented cost per virtual desktop, which customers can begin ordering by the end of 2013. XtremIO array management is also integrated with VMware vSphere and accelerated with VMware's VAAI storage APIs.

In addition, XtremIO is supported with other EMC technologies including VPLEX, PowerPath and EMC Secure Remote Support (ESRS). Lastly, EMC Global Services has developed new service offerings to optimize VDI on XtremIO. The new service offerings provide customers with proven end-user computing strategy, comprehensive review of VDI design and configuration specifications, and migration guidance for optimal storage performance.

Analyst Quote
IDC - Laura Dubois, Research VP of Storage
“What I find most compelling about XtremIO is the unique architecture. Core functions such as granular metadata processing, shared in-memory metadata handling and content-based data placement are enablers to XtremIO's impressive sustained IOPS metrics while offering core services – including deduplication and copy data services. There are other all-flash arrays with impressive performance metrics – but not for a sustained basis. The other standout capabilities with this system are native inline deduplication, in-memory metadata only copy and a scale-out architecture. These are attributes not all of the ‘all-flash array’ solutions on the market offer.”

Customer Quotes
E*TRADE - Russ Norman, Senior Manager of Systems Engineering
“Performance, reliability, and speed are critical in our application environments. We require an infrastructure that provides very low latency, allowing orders to be processed quickly. We are deploying XtremIO to get us to the next level of performance – but even more than that provide us with new levels of usability for our applications. With these lower storage latencies, we can process higher numbers of IOPS and move larger amounts of data. We found on average writing to the XtremIO array to be between 0.25 to 0.3 millisecond response time, with reads being somewhere around 0.2 millisecond. This was, consistent with workloads between 100,000 to 200,000IOPS. In addition, XtremIO’s thin provisioning and inline deduplication were selling points for us also for cost and capacity efficiency.”

CMA Consulting Services - Brian Dougherty, Chief Technical Architect
“CMA is a leader in building very large scale technical platforms for healthcare applications. Our multi-tenant Oracle RAC environment generates a mixture of large sequential and random IO workloads simultaneously. We needed a specialized weapon that could handle the large mixed random and sequential workloads, while never degrading performance. We also needed a solution that was simple to manage and configure – configuring 10’s of terabytes of storage in a matter of minutes versus hours – with protection. We chose XtremIO because it delivers better performance, is simple to manage and configure and significantly lowers our total cost of ownership. It stood far apart from other solutions and reset our expectations for what we can do as an IT organization in our Oracle RAC environment.”

Partner Quotes
VCE - Todd Pavone, Executive Vice President, Product Development and Strategy
“The Vblock Specialized System for Extreme Applications with EMC XtremIO all flash-based arrays delivers exceptional performance for scalable, data-intensive virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions such as VMware Horizon View and Citrix XenDesktop. VCE’s best-of-breed converged infrastructure provides customers with rapid response times, unmatched ease of use and, best of all, proven scalability for up to hundreds of thousands of virtual desktops at an incredible price point.”

VMware - Erik Frieberg, Vice President, Product Marketing, End-User Computing
“XtremIO provides flash memory performance for unique and demanding workload requirements found in VDI environments. XtremIO all-flash arrays with VMware Horizon View™ will enable our joint customers to achieve high performance and efficiency, with the ability to lower costs.”

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