EMC XtremIO storage array

The XtremIO storage array from EMC is an all-flash system that offers scalability and high performance.

XtremIO from EMC is a scale-out enterprise storage array created to work specifically with flash media. It is designed to improve application performance.

Common use cases for XtremIO storage arrays are virtual desktop infrastructures, server environments, or database and analytics tasks.

XtremIO storage arrays are built of X-Bricks, which are SAN appliances that offer high performance and availability. EMC claims each XtremIO X-Brick offers 150k read/write (mixed) IOPS at less than 1 millisecond latency. Each cluster of X-Bricks can expand to more than 590 TB logical capacity.

XtremIO storage arrays are built of X-Bricks, which are SAN appliances that offer high performance and availability.

The flash array is configured using the XIOS operating system. EMC says XIOS optimizes performance by ensuring all solid-state arrays are equally loaded.

To ensure data is balanced across the system, EMC offers a method for "content fingerprinting," which allows the array to choose where incoming blocks are placed. EMC says this speeds overall performance and allows for rapid in-line deduplication.

The XtremIO storage arrays can be managed in four different ways: GUI interface, VMware vCenter plug-in, command line interface or via REST API.

System features

The XtremIO storage array offers the following features, which are always available and do not require special licenses:

  • Thin provisioning: All volumes in the system are thin provisioned. XtremIO determines where to place unique data blocks physically inside the cluster without pre-allocating storage space before writing.
  • Inline data reduction (deduplication and compression): Inline data deduplication removes redundant data before it is written to the flash media. XtremIO storage compression is applied to deduped data before writing to flash. These features are designed to maximize capacity utilization.
  • XtremIO Data Protection: This is a "flash-native" alternative to RAID. The company says it offers the protection of RAID 6, the performance of RAID 1 and the capacity utilization of RAID 5.
  • Snapshots: Frequent snapshot creation (based on desired recovery point objective intervals) allows users to recover from any logical data corruption. Snapshots can also be used as part of the backup process.
  • Data-at-rest encryption: Prevents unauthorized access in the event of theft or loss during transport, and makes it possible to return or replace failed components containing sensitive data.
  • VMware VAAI integration: Allows the array to communicate directly with vSphere Storage vMotion and virtual machine provisioning.

XtremIO is available on a fixed-term monthly lease. It may also be possible to qualify for swaps/trade-ins and payment deferral.

EMC offers the Expect More program for support. Purchase an XtremIO storage array by December 31, 2015 with three years of premium support service and the contract can be renewed at the same price for up to four more years. Premium support is available as an upgrade and includes four-hour on-site service and 24/7 remote support.

EMC sells the XtremIO array via a network of partners, including OEMs, resellers and more through its vMotion EMC Store or partner network.

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