Had a chance to go to an EMC XtremIo briefing this week. XtremIO is EMC’ss entry into the all flash array vertical. The presenter made and interesting point right off the start, which was that it as not about the flash in the array, but about the software. XtremIO takes all the data coming in and hash’s it into 4k bits, and the writes data to flash when it has a full stripe. It also does in-line de-duplication. The performance numbers for one X brick are 150,000 iops with random reads and writes on an array that is 50% full. These numbers were also given when the array is getting data that is greater than 4k blocks, so these appear to be real world numbers. Performance will go up (essentially double with each x brick) as you add X bricks, right now the max  will be 8 X bricks, but the software has been designed where there is no limit on the amount of x bricks that could be in a XtremIO flash array. The files system is not a traditional raid it is n+2 and was built specifically to handle an all flash array. Native replication for this array will be out next year and it will only offer asynchronous replication , as synchronous would affect the overall performance of the array. If you need replication now you can use vplex, and native support for Recover point will be coming and the end of this year.

I like the scalability, the fact you can use all off the array (some vendors recommend not to use more than 80% capacity on their flash array’s). They only other flash array I can compare this too is the IBM flash systems with IBM seems to recommend deploying behind SVC , which I understand since the FlashSystems are not scalable and do not have any replication natively.  With XtremIO you will not need a second device for replication and if you need more space you can just add another x brick and get more performance at the same time. XremeIO looks very interesting to me and it will be interesting to see how it is adopted in the market place and what other Flash Arrays are coming from other vendors.



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