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EMC adds remote Isilon SD Edge and hybrid Cloud Pools

EMC adds software-defined Isilon SD Edge for remote offices, but for now it lacks true clustered NAS capability. Isilon Cloud Pools, however, do act as part of the Isilon namespace

EMC has launched a software-defined storage version of its Isilon clustered NAS system for remote offices and the ability to add public cloud as an extra tier to Isilon deployments. The storage giant has also added non-disruptive upgrade capability to the Isilon scale-out NAS operating system (OS), OneFS.

Isilon SD Edge is storage software that allows customers to build Isilon NAS clusters of up to 36TB at remote sites.

According to EMC marketing vice-president Sam Grocott, the software release tackles the problem of ensuring remote offices can be part of a larger Isilon workflow. It is part of EMC’s so-called Data Lake strategy, which aims to help organisations create a single storage pool from which all its unstructured data can be accessed.

“The idea of SD Edge is to allow remote offices to be part of the Isilon workflow, with data able to be moved back and forth and shared,” said Grocott.

SD Edge is deployed on a VMware ESX hypervisor and on approved commodity hardware. One of the key advantages of clustered NAS is that it can form extended clusters containing very large volumes of data with large numbers of file names, all under a single namespace. However, this capability does not extend to SD Edge as it isn’t possible yet, said Grocott.

“There are currently too many issues with latency and the use of a single namespace over distance. The customer experience wouldn’t be changed,” he said.

Data on an SD Edge instance is not a part of the single namespace, but a separate copy that might potentially have to be integrated with the core Isilon OneFS cluster. Grocott did, however, suggest that remote office integration with a single namespace would be on the agenda in future.

Use cases suggested for SD Edge include media and entertainment, where a remote office or partner might need to carry out work on files as part of a process away from the core location. Isilon SD Edge will be free to try for non-production use and licensed per cluster for production use.

Another element of the Data Lake strategy announced is the ability to add public cloud storage on Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure or EMC’s Virtustream as a tier to an Isilon deployment that forms part of the single namespace.

These Isilon Cloud Pools would, said Grocott, form a relatively slow access hybrid cloud “cold archive” layer of storage for data that hasn’t been accessed for sometime, but which must be maintained.

CloudPools also enables datacentre expansion to EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) and Isilon as a private cloud.

The key announcement regarding the OneFS operating system is that customers can now upgrade from any version to any without disruption.

EMC Isilon SD Edge, the next generation of EMC OneFS and EMC CloudPools will be generally available in early 2016.

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