— Storage Horizons Blog —

As I began to go down the path to describe the “50 Shades of Storage” in my last blog, I noticed a blog from David Black (see http:www.blackliszt.com/2013/03/in-storage-there-is-x-io-and-then-there-are-all-the-others.html). He talks about X-IO, in a unique way, which is ripe for me to talk about as we delve into the storage products that work well—and those that don’t work well—in today’s world of Cloud and IT datacenters, in general. What I mean by “work and don’t work” speaks to fundamentals like reliability, availability, capacity utilization, and performance—all key metrics in the mission to drive overall costs down, not just the acquisition cost.

David makes the point that “In storage, there is X-IO, and there are all the others . . . ” It is true because the X-IO ISE and open storage management with RESTful web services, application integration, etc., are the perfect complements for what has transpired in the industry. It is no longer about what your array can do for your system. It is what the system can already do with the fundamentals of a good array!

The big players, as David puts it, are just turning the crank, assuming that everyone is still wanting a general purpose array that has every feature on the planet in there. As a matter of fact, most of the start-ups are doing this, as well. These products work, but in a world that has seen the maturation of Windows and Linux, as well as all the applications and virtualization software, the NEED for features, in the array, is JUST GOING AWAY!

David’s note that “ISE is a simple building block” is to the point and very much what I was after when ISE was being developed at Seagate. The goal was to make a building block of storage that reduced the Total Cost of Operation (TCO), so significantly, that service would be the exception versus the norm. Performance is effectively delivered with efficiencies and consistency, availability is almost at five 9s, and all the capacity can be used instead of being stranded like most arrays.

When ISE is compared to the others within the industry, X-IO comes up short in some people’s minds because it does NOT have the features that storage analysts look for. But when one looks at the system (like David’s blog talks about the Cloud), features do NOT matter. A normal Cloud uses mass replication (RAID is not dead, it’s just RAID-1 on steroids!). ISE can eliminate the extra copies while making the overall solution work better and have a much longer, useful life.

The models of Cloud that are either private or new Clouds that are designed to run enterprise applications, need to do so with as low of TCO as possible, in order to make money. That’s why ISE is so important, in this world, because it raises the bar in all the pertinent areas: capacity utilization, reliability, availability, and performance. For backup or content retrieval, some of these points are not as important; but for virtualization, database/business intelligence, and VDI in the Cloud or private datacenter, ALL these points are important in order to make money.

I highly recommend that my readers take a look at David Black’s blog. It is not only spot-on about the point we make at X-IO, it speaks to the lack of system awareness in the world. Without system awareness, redundant features—in operating systems/applications and storage—are everywhere, and the efficiency of datacenter operations fall well-short of goals set by CIOs and CFOs, let alone Cloud providers that want to make money by selling Cloud-based services, other than backup.

X-IO is focused on TCO, from the ground up, by working on the fundamentals of storage. This “50 Shades of Storage” blog series will clearly define those things that really do matter and those which are, well . . . just SPIN! ISE is built from all commodity parts and is just put together in a different way to make the “whole greater than the sum of the parts,” as well as taking storage to its rightful place—the trustworthy depository of customer data!

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