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X-IO delivers a unique storage architecture that is a careful symphony of hardware and software refinements that don’t require hot-swapping drives. These include a novel method of laying data on disk with the patented Matrixed RAID feature, structural and mechanical elements in the DataPacs, and intelligent drive controllers that can communicated with, and repair, failing drives in-situ.


X-IO’s proprietary Matrixed RAID data architectures carves the available HDD spindles and SDD memory in an array into distributed disk segments called Books. Books are further sub-divided into Sheets; each Sheet is comprised of Cells of 30MB each. The unique attribute of the Matrixed RAID is that data movement to ensure 99.999% uptime can occur on a level much smaller than a whole disk. Thus, a suspect Cell will be remapped to spare capacity, ensuring reliability while avoiding failing the entire drive. This is but one component in a multi-faceted approach to delivering five 9s uptime in a sealed array.

Modern SSDs are not immune from failure either, although the data on the failure rate of SSDs in the enterprise is still developing.

However, NAND cells can fail and a sufficient number of failures will lead to the requirement to swap the drive. X-IO employs the same Matrixed RAID system in our SSD and SSD/HDD arrays to detect, correct and isolate NAND cell failures to ensure that we deliver rated 100% performance at 100% capacity at five years.

Each ISE has two DataPacs – prearranged, mounted disks on a shared backplane. These DataPacs are highly engineered to defeat the two greatest threats to drive longevity: heat and vibration. As a result of extensive research into limiting these environmental influences on drives in the DataPacs are uniquely mounted to minimize vibration, and arranged to enhance airflow. The addition of aluminum and steel structural elements provides additional heat sinking and vibrational tolerance. This sort of robust packaging is not possible in a hot-swap configuration. Rubber mounts further isolate drives from vibrational disturbance. Arrangement of HDDs within the DataPac is designed so that adjacent rotational vibrations cancel each other out.

Another contributor to ISE longevity is the ability of the Matrixed Reliability Controller (MRC) to collect data on, interrogate and troubleshoot individual drives.

Traditional array manufacturers will react to a disk error as a ‘failure’, meaning that the drive should be swapped out. ISE MRCs have the ability to react to failing sectors by employing Matrixed RAID to move Sheets and Cells to spare spindles.

Finally, the MRCs and other components in the ISE collect telemetry continuously, and forward this data to X-IO’s Support Center via our Active Watch application. Cautions, alerts, and alarms are prioritized and serviced remotely or via field engineers to ensure data availability at advertised speeds 24 x 7 x 365.

David Gustavsson, X-IO’s CTO, explains how X-IO’s DataPacs literally re-manufacture themselves in-situ.

X-IO’s Hybrid Arrays include Intelligent Adaptive Flash technology for the most efficient deployment for a particular environment.

Media Affinity allows customers to utilize the 700 Series Hybrid Storage Array as both an All-Flash Array and a performance disk storage array by “pinning” volumes to low-latency flash storage.  Alternatively, X-IO’s Continuous Adaptive Data Placement provides automated, real-time movement between flash and disk, ensuring high performance without the need for specialist storage skills.

Adding flash to a robust ISE architecture allows X-IO to deliver some impressive features and functions.  The All-Flash 820 received the SPC-1’s best price-performance rating, $0.32/SPC-1 IOPS in March 2015 CADP is applied in the flash array too, to ensure predictable life and even NAND-cell I/O functions.  CADP helps ensure that the All-Flash array delivers 100% of rated IOPS at 100% capacity. CADP operates much quicker, moving data in seconds vs. other storage architectures which can take hours, if not days, to move data.

CADP, Media Affinity and pinning combine to deliver the ISE Quality of Service (QoS) feature. The ISE’s QoS capability allows an administrator to isolate and give performance preference for each storage volume, eliminating the need to use dedicated storage systems for resource hungry “noisy neighbor” workloads (such as Virtual Desktop).

X-IO’s QoS settings can control storage performance by adjusting ISE resources dynamically, with no interruption to storage services. When these QoS settings from the storage system are used in conjunction with QoS settings from the host/hypervisor, administrators have a powerful method for ensuring that their applications run smoothly with the performance that each requires

X-IO’s ISE represents an intelligent evolution to the designs of current arrays you may be familiar with.  I encourage you to check out our offerings and inquire whether your data storage life can be enhanced with the deployment of ISE arrays for your applications.  Customers are frequently surprised to find our 5-year, hardware maintenance included pricing is significantly cheaper than their 3-year solution, and scandalously cheaper when additional years 4 and 5 hardware maintenance is included.  Who knows, maybe you can go do something more exciting with all of those hot swap man-hours!

Check out X-IO ISE storage at http://xiostorage.com/products/ise-storage-systems/

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