XtremIO @ The ASC

So this week our XtremIO all flash array finally arrived! We were excited to see for ourselves what this little powerhouse can do so we got it racked up the very same day it arrived, couldn't wait! Here is Darren, aka "FLASH" sliding the last controller into place...


photo 2.JPG.jpg


So what is the XtremIO storage platform all about? Well, this is an all flash array bundled in very compact (6U) and low power "X-bricks." Each X-brick contains 25 x 2.5" eMLC SSD drives. These are the type of SSD drives that have similar performance and reliability of SLC drives, however at a lower cost. The X-brick also contains two fully active/active controllers that provide 4 x 8GB FC and 4 x 10GigE iSCSI connections that can all be accessed concurrently at full throughput for host connectivity. We only have one X-brick, however it can be installed in scale out configurations up to 4 X-bricks for even greater performance and capacity.

Here is our new X-brick, notice it's labelled "Project-X," this was the original project code name for XtremIO. Ours is a hardware build for testing, so customer units will look different.

photo 1.JPG.jpg

Also, notice underneath is a Cisco UCS-420 rack mount server. Cisco was kind enough to provide some powerful compute for testing with our X-brick. Thanks Cisco! This is a very appropriate high end server for an all flash storage platform, it has 32 cores and 512GB of RAM :-)

The XtremIO was racked up in no time, management IPs configured, and management server interface brought online. All a very straight forward process. The management GUI is super easy to use and very quick and simple to setup. How easy? Well since there are no RAID types to choose or pools to configure, you simply just create a LUN and choose it's size. Attach it to a host and that's it! Here is a snapshot of the version we have, again the final versions will be slightly different.

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 9.46.55 AM.png

Awesome view of the hardware health (lower right) and the LIVE performance of the array in IOPs or MB/s (upper right). There's only a small amount of IO right now (It can do a whole LOT more) as David was just getting started getting virtual desktops started up on the array. The performance view even shows read/write ratios and top performing LUNs.

Now this is an all flash array, so we all obviously expect it to go fast, however what really differentiates this from other all flash platforms?

Inline deduplication...

XtremIO deduplicates data as it is written to the array in real time, no setup, no tuning required. And it can not be turned off and does not impact performance, it actually improves it. You can see in the upper left that we are already getting a 3.3:1 deduplication ratio (with just a little data) and a massive thin provisioning savings as well. Having easy to use, high performance, space saving technologies like these are essential for an all flash platform.

David and I are working hard to get some cool demos for Microsoft Tech Ed next week. He is working on VDI at scale demos, we are hoping to get LOTS of desktops on our X-brick. It should support around 2500 full clone desktops, and this is a capacity, not performance limitation. Now we just need to find enough compute!

I'm working on getting SQL 2012 up and running to show some real world high performance OLTP workload numbers. I'll also create some Always On availability group copies, why not when you have inline dedupe?

Please provide comments if you would like to see anything specific. Also stay tuned and we will post some of our demos.