The EMC Flash.Next launch was just 4 months ago. The March 2013 live webcast introduced the EMC Xtrem Family: XtremSF, XtremSW Cache and XtremIO. XtremSW Cache continues to combine the performance of server side flash with the protection of an enterprise storage array. I blogged then that the difference was in the “Software” and that’s even more evident after this morning’s acquisition of ScaleIO.
There was an interesting “Future Direction” slide provided in the content of the flash.next launch back in March. The Future included software for Caching (Shared Storage Cache Coherency) and Direct Attached Storage (High Availability and Pooling). As previously mentioned on this blog, Shared Storage Cache Coherency will be one of the many new features of XtremSW Cache 2.0 (GA Q3/13). I spent some time at EMC World reviewing some of the new features of XtremSW Cache 2.0.
What wasn’t addressed was the functionality promised for Local Storage (DAS), High Availability and Pooling. That was directly addressed with today’s acquisition.
ScaleIO ECS (Elastic Converged Storage) provides a software layer
to abstract local flash storage. That
abstracted storage can now be shared across standard ethernet interconnects to
“ECS Block” device. So having the ECS client installed on 10 servers, each with a 2.2TB local XtremSF card, would yield 22TB of capacity in the storage pool. Capacity in each node can differ and there is no tie to the hardware, providing a truly hardware agnostic approach. Data is protected against disk and node failures, and striped for maximum performance. The elasticity comes in as you add nodes to the pool; nodes can be added and removed on the fly during I/O operations. When new nodes are added, data is balanced across the new nodes, providing a scalable architecture. With Performance QoS controls, Encryption at Rest, Snapshots and Thin Provisioning, ScaleIO brings functionality to local flash devices. A perfect addition to the EMC XtremSW Suite.
Think about those racks of servers in your web farm, adding ScaleIO software will allow you to bring advanced functionality to those devices.
EMCs Flash Strategy is about Choice! Providing the right architecture for our customers based on the applications needs, ScaleIO provides another option for protecting and enabling your application architectures.
Follow me on twitter @SamMarraccini for all the latest, much more to come on wwww.insideflash.com