EMC Delivers on Promise of All-Flash Storage Array

Mike Vizard
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The Struggle to Manage the Complexity of Modern IT

After acquiring XtremIO well over a year ago to satisfy increasing demand for all-Flash storage arrays, EMC today announced that it has begun shipping EMC XtremIO storage systems as part of an overall expansion of its Flash memory product line. The new storage system can provide up to 250TB of Flash storage.

According to Josh Goldstein, vice president of marketing and product management for the XtremIO Business Unit, instead of viewing an all-Flash array as a replacement for all-magnetic primary storage, Flash arrays should be deployed where the cost and performance attributes of an all-Flash storage array make the most sense. Sometimes that decision may be driven by the performance attributes of the application; while other times the amount of physical space and energy being consumed in the data center may be a primary concern.

What makes the EMC XtremIO storage system unique, says Goldstein, is its ability to support in-line data deduplication, which means valuable Flash memory is not being wasted on redundant data. Other unique features, says Goldstein, include shared in-memory metadata, control over where content is placed in the array and a dual-stage metadata engine that eliminates the need for garbage collection within the Flash storage system. In addition, XtremIO storage systems are designed to support automatic failover in the event that a solid-state drive (SSD) fails. The end result, says Goldstein, is an ability to deliver a consistently high level of Flash memory over an extended period of time.

Goldstein adds that a scale-out approach to Flash memory that allows organizations to add capacity in 10TB “bricks” of Flash storage gives organizations a maximum amount of flexibility in terms of how and when they want to apply Flash technology. Next year, Goldstein says EMC will add 20TB Flash storage units.

Obviously, competition in the Flash memory space is fierce. With pricing continuing to fall it’s not a question of if most organizations should be making use of Flash storage, but rather whether to simply include it within a hybrid storage system or to deploy an all-Flash array. After that, it’s just a question of how to actually manage it.



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