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Part 2: More ISE, Baby!

by Administrator on July 12, 2012

As promised in the previous post, another round of kudos need to be issued here, in between my jones-ings for nicotine.  So, let’s have at it.

I reported, incorrectly as it turned out, a couple of months ago, that HP 3PAR’s land speed record at the Storage Performance Council  (some 419,000 IOPS) was purchased at a price of 1900 short-stroked spindles.  The incorrect aspect of the report was that the spindles weren’t short stroked in that test.  Hence, I went to considerable effort to clarify and correct the short-stroking thing.

However, it still bothered me that we had to use 419K disks, consuming something like 7 watts per spindle, to get the reported performance.  I had visions in my head of the little wheel thingies on my power meter spinning at warp speed to record the data needed to calculate what I would owe the power company at the end of the month.

I waited for some good news on a much more power-efficient high performance storage solution.  I got it last month from X-IO and an ISE-2 demo they were doing at Microsoft TechEd.  Here’s a picture of the setup they were demonstrating from their Solution Brief (which you can download and read as a PDF here).



And here it is in real life…



Before you say, “So what?” — The result…


I was overhearing conversations between ISE guys and competing vendors during the event, which netted X-IO best of show, here is some of the fly-on-the-wall stuff.

ISE was the obvious throughput leader at the show, demonstrating 15-16 GB/sec on 200 HDs with more than 100TB of capacity.  They demonstrated their ISE-2 gear, which doesn’t use disk-optimizing SSD caching (“hot sheets” as they call it) as does their ISE Hybrid offering.  Closest to their numbers was Mellanox, which used Infiniband with LSI SSDs to deliver about 10 GB/sec throughput.

Microsoft seemed to be wowed, not having broken 10 GB/sec in their own in-lab tests at Redmond.

By Day 2, Best of Tech Ed judging had commenced, customers were coming into the X-IO booth in droves to see both the ISE-2 demo and the Hyper ISE mini demo, running at 60K IOPS.  One signed a PO at the booth — a rare event at a trade show.

News starts to surface that X-IO in the running for a Finalist in Storage Category, everyone is chattering about the idea that “just 200 10K hard drives, 100+ TBs running 3+ days have delivered 125K IOPS at 16GB/sec on 7000 watts…”

On June 14, XIO is awarded Best of TechEd Hardware and Storage Category, plus Attendee’s Choice.

 Those are just the quickie notes I was taking during reportage from the event, but hopefully you get an idea of how exciting this bit of news was, how it crescendo’d into a huge win for X-IO and for those of us who want to chase watts out of I/O in performance storage.  I was proud of the X-IO folks and I don’t work for them (or have any relationship with them at all — financial or otherwise).

There is more goodness coming.  Hyper ISE will deliver even more IOPS per watt and I will shortly post pics and words describing what I consider to be the most important aspect of ISE technology:  its RESTful Management Stack.  More later.

Congrats to Steve, Ritchie, Keith, Jeff and everyone else at X-IO.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

GJC536 July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

And only with 1 x DataPac in each chassis I heard.
If this is true then adding a second DP in each would have almost doubled the IOPS….very cool.

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