SOURCE: Xiotech


January 31, 2011 09:00 ET

Xiotech Introduces Hybrid ISE, Eliminating the Trade-Off Between Storage Capacity and Performance

HDD/SSD Hybrid and Tiering Innovations Enable Continuous Adaptive Data Placement Across Storage Media

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - January 31, 2011) - Xiotech Corporation, the ISE Company, today announced the newest member of its groundbreaking ISE technology family, Hybrid ISE. Hybrid ISE combines both hard disk drives (HDD) and solid state disks (SSD) into a hybrid storage pool that delivers consistent, high performance in the face of random and multi-tenant workloads, thanks to Continuous Adaptive Data Placement.

Housed in 3U (5.25 inches), Hybrid ISE delivers:

  • Massive Performance and Usable Capacity per Rack Unit -- More than 60,000 IOPS in 3U, with 14.4TB of usable capacity based on multi-drive groups of 2.5" SAS HDDs and SSDs
  • Linear Scalability to Nearly 900,000 IOPS in a Rack -- 8-10X the IOPS per rack unit than the rest of the traditional storage industry
  • Continuous Adaptive Data Placement -- Fully automated, with "set-and-forget" simplicity, Xiotech's Continuous Adaptive Data Placement brings intelligence to tiering. Based on Return on Investment calculations from weighted I/O counts, tiering begins within one minute of I/O and continues to manage the performance requirements of applications in real-time
  • Managed Reliability for SSDs -- Active and passive recovery-oriented storage methods deliver an unprecedented 5-year hardware warranty for a system containing SSDs. In addition, all drives utilize full T10-DIF end-to-end data protection with 520 byte sectors
  • No Added Software Fees -- Continuous Adaptive Data Placement is included in the price of Hybrid ISE

Unlike other enterprise hybrid approaches that simply collocate HDDs and SSDs in an array, Hybrid ISE is the first to integrate HDDs and SSDs into a combined storage pool that serves all volumes and continually improves overall performance to the applications. And, with a powerful blend of both useful performance and usable capacity, Hybrid ISE eliminates the all-too-common trade-off of incumbent storage architectures. Additionally, Hybrid ISE has the ability to profile application I/O patterns in order to eliminate storm patterns before they arise and achieve predictable performance regardless of application events.

"Although there are a myriad of ways to address today's storage performance challenges, reducing complexity is paramount. As a high-growth, fast-moving company operating in the current business climate, our objective as a lean IT organization is to achieve the IOPS required to speed and scale critical business applications," said Chris Schremser, CTO at ZirMed. "Hybrid ISE's automated 'set-and-forget' simplicity, combined with the tremendous usable capacity that has become a hallmark of ISE, represents a powerful proposition for fueling better application performance more efficiently and cost effectively. And most importantly, Hybrid ISE offers the promise of eliminating the costly, burdensome administrative overhead inherent in managing traditional storage, enabling us to strategically reinvest money, time and resources to better service our customers."

As organizations have struggled with the economics of balancing performance and capacity needs, developments in SSDs have provided new options for certain applications. However, while SSDs provide an ideal platform for high performance with no drag for certain applications, predictions of their broad applicability on their own across large enterprise environments is premature. Many organizations have tried -- as they did before with HDDs for capacity -- to overprovision SSDs for memory-hungry applications, but the approach is cost prohibitive for most. Additionally, SSD failure rates and utilization limitations do not offer enough of an advantage over HDDs to justify the cost. The creation of hybrid arrays have been a positive step toward negotiating the performance and capacity gap, but still lack the ability to automatically respond to rapid changes in highly dynamic applications.

"With Xiotech's Continuous Adaptive Data Placement, Hybrid ISE provides an advanced level of automation to greatly simplify the management of storage," said Randy Kerns, Senior Strategist at Evaluator Group. "Greater storage efficiency can be achieved with the intelligence designed into Hybrid ISE without additional management tasks."

"With Managed Reliability, we pioneered the concept of recovery-oriented storage, versus the common 'disposable' mindset, through head-level sparing, preventative drive maintenance, full internal telemetry and external environmental observation," said Steve Sicola, CTO at Xiotech. "We've now applied those innovations to SSD, extending their useful life and delivering orders-of-magnitude better reliability of the overall system. Combined with patented data tiering and performance visualization software innovations, Hybrid ISE senses and responds in real-time to 'I/O storms,' effectively changing the weather for business applications."

The Second ISE Age

Hybrid ISE is the first platform delivered on the ISE-2 architecture. In moving the architecture forward, Xiotech sought to keep the ISE form factor and footprint largely intact from a mechanical perspective, but greatly expand the flexibility and performance. The most significant areas of difference in Hybrid ISE are in the areas of:

  • Multi-Core Processors -- Move to multi-core Jasper Forest Intel chipset per controller
  • Media -- Pools of storage made up of SAS drives, 20 2.5" HDD and 20 2.5" MLC SSD
  • Ports -- From two 4GB to eight 8GB FC front-end ports per ISE
  • Interconnect -- Internal disk drive interface moves from a FC to a 6GB SAS interface, expanding from 8GB to 30GB backplane
  • Memory -- Expanded from 1GB total memory to 8GB per ISE
  • SafeCache -- Data protection in the face of power loss, replaced battery sub-assembly with more than 2800 farads super-capacitor that moves volatile cache to non-volatile SSD storage

"Tiering today, like reacting to weather reports, follows a chain of people, process and technology that often results in many actions happening when the storm is already at its peak," said Alan Atkinson, CEO of Xiotech. "Hybrid ISE has the ability to not only collapse that timeframe and lessen the impact of a building I/O storm that can hobble application response, but approach a level of almost 'precognitive performance.' Hybrid ISE has the ability to enable profile-based tiering driven directly by application I/O. We see this not only as the future of ISE, but as the future of storage as we know it."

About ISE
Representing a new way to acquire and scale storage, ISE is a revolutionary, high-performance 3U storage blade that can be deployed anywhere in the physical or virtual datacenter. Based on Xiotech's patented storage innovations, ISE sets new standards for data storage performance, reliability, scalability and value. Featuring a "zero-touch" design, ISE is backed by an unprecedented 5-year hardware warranty.

About Xiotech, The ISE Company
Xiotech, the ISE Company, is the world's leading provider of high-performance storage blades, purpose built for today's cloud and virtual desktop-to-data center initiatives. With more than 1,200 customers across all major industries, including 28 of the Fortune 50, ISE delivers storage that scales from the mid-market to the largest enterprise and government organization. The company's patented Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) storage blades provide the industry's best combination of performance, capacity and scale, filling the ever-widening gap between performance-limited traditional storage arrays and capacity-limited emerging memory solutions. The company is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado with an engineering and development center in Hyderabad, India. Field sales and system support teams are located in many other cities across the United States and United Kingdom. Visit Xiotech at, or follow us on Twitter @xiotech.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Bryan Grillo
    CHEN PR, for Xiotech Corporation
    Email Contact