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Atlantis joins the software-defined storage fray with USX

Atlantis ILIO USX software-defined storage allows customers to virtualise commodity to create flash, hybrid and hyperscale storage

Atlantis Computing has announced a software-defined storage product, Atlantis ILIO USX, that can pool different types of storage media to create “application-defined storage volumes”.

USX is a software product that is deployed into VMware hypervisors as a virtual machine and allows users to create pools of storage from almost any type of media, such as SAN, NAS and DAS, server-side PCIe flash and also server memory.

Chetan Venkatesh, CTO at Atlantis, said USX would allow users to pool and abstract any datacentre storage resources to create pools of storage. This would, he said, allow customers, “to build, for example, a hybrid flash array from commodity storage.”

“It allows the user to think of the datacentre only from the hardware perspective, buying only commodity hardware. Then, with software, they can create any kind of storage volume for any type of application.”

Atlantis bills USX as software-defined storage, which is the latest iteration of storage virtualisation. Such functionality provides the ability to create pools of capacity from heterogeneous storage resources.

Storage virtualisation products come as hardware, such as IBM’s Storage Volume Controller (SVC), NetApp’s V-series and EMC’s VPLEX and as software such as from DataCore, FalconStor and Nexenta.

Read more about software-defined storage virtualisation

More recently, EMC has launched its ViPR software-defined storage platform which aims to combine storage virtualisation functionality with big data analytics. Meanwhile, virtualisation giant VMware has its Virtual SAN (VSAN) initiative and also Virtual Volumes (VVOLS), which aim to bring similar policy-based allocation of storage as that planned by Atlantis.

Venkatesh said USX users could build storage hardware infrastructures to suit the applications they run, mixing media to meet varying demands for, for example, latency, IOPS and capacity.

“You no longer need to buy a Nimble or Nutanix,” said Venkatesh. “You can now buy servers and storage and use USX to build any kind of storage you want.”

In this first release, users can assemble different types of storage to meet capacity needs, but in a release planned for the next 12 months they will be able to configure USX to use different types of storage for different operations within the same app, for example, using shared storage for database transaction logs while temp files reside on memory.

The Atlantis software could allow users to create hybrid flash arrays, all-flash arrays or hyperscale-style combined server and storage clusters.

USX builds on the existing Atlantis ILIO product which enables server memory to be used as storage cache. By using compression and data deduplication, it allows virtual machines to be stored locally in server RAM to cut latency. It is not clear at this stage whether this release of USX will allow tiering between RAM and other storage media, but that is the plan further down the line.








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