X-IO has upgraded its ISE array line with 3rd generation technology
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January 28, 2015
Earlier today, X-IO said it has upgraded its hybrid ISE array line with its 3rd generation technology, and
given it a higher-end ISE 780 implementation with a faster overall processing speed.
Integrated Storage Elements (ISE) consist of sealed 3U rack enclosures containing SSDs
and Seagate disk drives with 'intelligent' Seagate diagnostic software enabling drive failures
that would cause replacement in other arrays to be recovered.
The new system features a five-year warranty. ISE models 710, 720, 730 and 740 all have 1.6 TB
of flash storage, with 7.2, 14.4, 21.6, and 28.8 TB respectively of 2.5-inch disk capacity, before
RAID 5 or 10 schemes are applied.
The new 780 has 28.8 TB of disk, like the 740, but four times more flash than that system, at 6.4 TB. This
makes it faster, in the sense that it can support more IOPS, and hence more virtual machines in virtualized
To be sure, data can be pinned in flash if desired, making the ISE box an all-flash array for that
data. Other data can be pinned in disk, or the system’s CADP data placement software can be used
to move data in real time as required between flash and disk to optimize high-priority data access times.
Accessing servers can use 10 GbitE as before and/or eight 8 Gbits/s Fibre Channel (not 16 Gbit/s). However,
40 GBitE access is now supported.
The generation 3 ISE systems get thin provisioning and quality of service features added to the
existing ResT Web Services API and optional active-active synchronous mirroring.
V3.1 of the ISE firmware version “provides more efficient management and control of storage resources
with added iSCSI support for heterogeneous connectivity.”
Bandwidth is up to 2GB/sec. The ISE Manager Suite 4.1 software includes better dashboards and storage
Performance of the 780 at full capacity is described as up to 120,000 OLTP real-world IOPs. Other
storage arrays, X-IO say, slow down once they reach the 65 to 70 percent capacity utilization treshold.
VMware integration features include vRealize Operations, VASA and vSphere Web Client, and there
is an OpenStack cinder driver.
X-IO worldwide marketing vice president Gavin McLaughlin’s public quote about the generation 3 technology
said it would “help enterprise customers resolve the 3 key issues of today's storage environment-- 100 percent
performance at 100 percent capacity utilization, reliability without operational overhead, and the
industry’s leading balance of cost, capacity, performance and risk.”
The third generation ISE boxes offer a 65 percent performance improvement. Basically, we have a go-faster
top-end ISE box with across-the-board improvements through new firmware and software.
These are new and improved elements which will help X-IO compete better against hybrid arrays
from mainstream storage suppliers.
These include upstarts like Nimble, Tegile and Tintri, and the revived NexGen, which launched
its updated N5 range in November.
The hybrid storage array segment is hotly contested these days and things like great supportability
through instrumentation (Nimble) and VMware admin-focussed management (Tintri), and app-aware QoS (NexGen)
meaning that X-IO’s channel has to fight for every dollar.
Bringing storage and computing technology closer together and being part of hyperconverged systems,
like Nutanix and Simplivity, are two other marketing challenges McLaughlin and his team is facing these days.
Global hybrid market warming is being seen as competitive pressures increase. Will X-IO's
strengthened third generation line bring on an ISE age as McLaughlin hopes? Gen 3 ISE 700 arrays
are available now through X-IO’s reseller channels.
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