EMC Corporation has announced general availability of EMC XtremIO, the industry’s first and only all-flash array to provide consistent and predictable extreme performance to any application workload over any period of time, regardless of whether the array is idle or busy, empty or full.
To achieve this, EMC XtremIO features several unique flash innovations: a scale-out multi-controller architecture with linear scalability; deduplication that is always on, and always inline; data protection that is 6X more efficient and 4X faster than traditional RAID.

Under the covers, EMC XtremIO is architected differently than any other all-flash array.

EMC expects XtremIO to be a leader in the all-flash array market, which IDC forecasts to grow to $1,2-billion in revenue by 2015. The new array is already in high demand, with 10Pb of effective deduplicated capacity already sold through EMC’s Directed Availability program (announced in March 2013).

Customers are looking to all-flash arrays to support workloads that need predictable and consistent low-latency across datasets that frequently change – such as VDI, virtual servers, massively consolidated databases and test/development environments.

With XtremIO, these workloads not only achieve better performance, but also improved $/IOPS and greater administrative simplicity. There are four key architectural differences that set XtremIO apart from other all-flash arrays:

* Content-based data placement keeps the array inherently balanced and optimised to within a fraction of a percent across all SSDs and array controllers and removes duplicate data inline in the data path.

* Dual-Stage Metadata Engine allows the array to fully leverage the random access nature of flash and place data anywhere in the array without requiring system level back-end cleaning processes (also known as garbage collection).

This enables XtremIO to avoid the up to a 50% performance hit in IOPS, up to 1000% increase in latency, and up to 10-times reduction in flash endurance compared to other flash arrays that use system level garbage collection.

* XtremIO Data Protection (XDP) is a flash-specific algorithm that guards against SSD failures while delivering up to six times more usable capacity than traditional RAID. XDP allows end-users to utilise 100% of the capacity on XtremIO – while maintaining maximum levels of performance. Other all-flash arrays will begin to show degraded performance when they reach 60% to 80% of capacity.

This means that XDP delivers up to 40% more usable capacity compared to other all-flash arrays. In addition, the efficient XDP algorithms deliver up to four times better performance and flash endurance than RAID in long-term production data centre conditions.

* Shared in-memory metadata enables the array to deliver the widest range of performance, and to rapidly clone information already in the array to massively accelerate common tasks like deploying virtual machines.
Virtual machine clones are created at up to 20-times the network bandwidth between the host and the array, several times faster and with lower impact to production virtual machines than other all-flash arrays.

XtremIO is a scale-out array based on building blocks called X-Bricks. Each X-Brick is available with 10Tb of capacity – with an additional option for 20Tb of capacity expected to be available early next year. XtremIO
arrays deliver up to one million fully random IOPS with over 250Tb of effective capacity in a single XtremIO cluster with inline deduplication.

A single XtremIO cluster scales from two to eight controllers and up to 128 cores, capable of handling any OLTP Database, virtual server and VDI workload – with all data services active.

In addition, XtremIO is integrated within the EMC ecosystem to provide additional capabilities, ease-of-use, and compatibility. A VCE Vblock Specialised System for Extreme Applications based on XtremIO all-flash arrays provides unparalleled VDI end-user computing performance at unprecedented cost per virtual desktop, which customers can begin ordering by the end of 2013.

XtremIO array management is also integrated with VMware vSphere and accelerated with VMware’s VAAI storage APIs. In addition, XtremIO is supported with other EMC technologies including EMC VPLEX, EMC PowerPath and EMC Secure Remote Support (ESRS).