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X-IO debuts in all-flash array market with ISE 800 series

X-IO – known for self-healing, long-life spinning disk hard drives – makes debut in the all-flash array market with the ISE 800 series

Array maker X-IO has for the first time added an all-flash array to its product range, the ISE 800 series all-flash family, which is aimed at the online transaction processing (OLTP) market, in particular Microsoft SQL Server workloads.

X-IO’s first all-flash arrays are the ISE 820, 840 and 860. All offer a maximum input/output (I/O) of 400,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), with 260,000 IOPS for OLTP workloads. The differentiator between them is capacity, with the three models offering 6.4TB, 25.6TB and 51.2TB respectively.

Hitherto, X-IO has made a name for itself as a supplier of arrays built with its proprietary sealed drive DataPacs, which are in part a result of intellectual property acquired from Seagate’s Advanced Storage Architecture group in 2007.

DataPacs claims reliability and utilisation beyond what is possible from commodity drives by incorporating low-vibration, self-healing and granular failure-repair characteristics, such as the ability to lock off a single platter surface rather than fail a whole drive.

So, X-IO’s foray into all-flash is quite a departure for a company that has built its marketing on the uniqueness of its spinning disk drives. Now, its all-flash arrays use commodity SanDisk flash drives.

Read more about all-flash arrays

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Marketing vice-president Gavin McLaughlin said X-IO is looking to develop a closer relationship with a drive supplier that would allow it to bake its own IP into drive software as part of “a renewed campaign to have more innovation coming out of X-IO”.

“The drives in the ISE 800 series are not custom drives, but we looking to run our own firmware on drives and are in the process of getting a tighter relationship with drive manufacturers to bring that about,” he said.

“We wanted an all flash array that didn’t trash the core tenets of X-IO, namely no servicing required for five years, no storage experience required to maintain them, and the ability to fill drives to 100% capacity.”

The new products form part of X-IO’s G3 product generation, which was launched in January 2015 with a firmware upgrade plus an increased flash component to its ISE 700 series hybrid arrays, the addition of thin provisioning, storage quality of service and boosted VMware integration in its products.

Another new feature is Media Affinity, which allows customers to pin selected data to flash or HDD according to performance requirements. G3-designated arrays already had Continuous Adaptive Data Placement which is X-IO’s automated storage tiering that moves hot data from spinning disk to flash according to use characteristics.

Read more on SAN, NAS, solid state, RAID