Architecture Always Matters

This morning, EMC announced the general availability of our XtremIO All-Flash Array. This is a huge milestone, not just for EMC, but also for the future of the virtualized datacenter.

While it is simple to think of XtremIO as “EMC’s All-Flash Array,” I believe it is so much more and I’d like to share why EMC purchased a small Israeli start-up in May 2012 that didn’t even have a shippable product at the time.

Silicon Valley is abuzz these days with web-oriented companies that can rapidly prototype their products and make constant changes in real-time as they get feedback from customers. Enterprise storage, on the other hand, must be stable and trustworthy as a platform that a business can operate reliably on for years. It’s a challenging problem to tackle and start-ups pursuing this market often make critical mistakes.

EMC saw something very powerful in XtremIO — its architecture. XtremIO’s team had been very astute and practical. They had spent a lot of time thinking about the problems companies were experiencing and architected the foundation of the XtremIO array as the solution, long before they even started writing the code. They had an ambitious vision and executed wisely to realize it.

So what’s different about this vision? What makes XtremIO unique in this increasingly crowded field? The answer lies in how they defined the problem to solve.

XtremIO didn’t just set out to build a faster storage array using flash. Rather, they looked at the challenges facing large-scale, modern virtualized datacenters and sought to alleviate them. Random I/O performance is certainly one of those problems, but so are scale out, cost, environmental impact, improving the ability to handle dynamic virtual machine cloning, dealing with VMotion operations, and addressing all of these during high volume production hours.

By looking at the problem holistically, XtremIO innovated in areas overlooked by others and delivered an architecture built on that original vision.

252921-xtreme-io-209x173Early XtremIO customers have seen some amazing things happen in their data centers and said things like, “Damn impressive machine I have to say,” and “It blew our minds,” and “The XtremIO difference is staggering.”

It is exciting to roll out XtremIO to the world and have complete confidence that architecture matters just as much to companies when they make purchasing decisions as it did to EMC when we made ours back in 2012.

This is just the beginning.

About the Author: CJ Desai