Faster is, Indeed, Better! Introducing the EMC Isilon A100 Performance Accelerator Node

EMC’s new Isilon A100 Performance Accelerator Node is all about speed…so let’s think about what speed really means. You’ve likely seen a recent TV commercial where a man asks a group of young kids whether it’s better to be faster or slower. One kid responds, quite precociously, “Faster!” — and the way that he’d make his Grandma faster would be to “tape a cheetah to her back.”  I’m not sure how Grandma (or the cheetah) would feel about that, but when it comes to storage performance with the dynamic nature of today’s enterprise workflows and applications, being faster is, increasingly, a critically important point of differentiation. That’s why EMC has developed this new EMC Isilon product.

With enterprise “need for speed” in mind, EMC continues to push the frontiers of scale-out NAS with the introduction of our latest performance accelerator. The EMC Isilon A100 node is a next-generation performance accelerator designed for demanding environments that require maximum concurrent throughput and minimum latency. It will replace our existing Performance Accelerator node (Accelerator-X) and is expected to be generally available this July.

Isilon Accelerator Node 3

With 256GB of L1 cache per node (an eightfold increase over the 32GB of RAM available today), the Isilon A100 Performance Accelerator nodes can hold a huge, recently-accessed dataset in memory, enabling data to be read with extremely low latency. In addition, A100 nodes are expected to deliver aggregate throughput of 1100 MB/s per node, allowing enterprises to support high performance workflows that demand extreme levels of concurrent throughput.

In addition to providing customers the ability to scale performance independent of additional spindle capacity, A100 Performance Accelerator nodes also allow enterprises to significantly accelerate cluster operations, including disk and node rebuilds, file striping and file-based replication.

Despite the fact that EMC is introducing the Isilon A100 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual event in Las Vegas, April 8-11, delivering the type of storage performance that can support highly parallel workloads is a “must have” for a range of industries beyond just media & entertainment. Whether it’s the genetic sequencing workflows of life science research organizations or the upstream energy exploration efforts of the oil & gas industry, extreme performance has become “table stakes” for storage vendors looking to seriously compete for the right to support next gen workflows and applications.

With Isilon solving customer needs by continuing to extend the limits of scale-out NAS performance, don’t be surprised to see our competitors get a little desperate and try to keep pace by resorting to product development efforts that involve a couple rolls of tape and one very angry cheetah…

Please feel free to share this post along with your thoughts on this new Isilon offering.

About the Author: Sam Grocott

Sam Grocott is the Senior Vice President of Dell Technologies Business Unit (DTBU) Marketing, which focuses on all infrastructure and client solutions as well as the associated services portfolio. DTBU Marketing also includes key GTM activities across global business-to-business (B2B) campaigns, portfolio messaging and competitive intelligence. Sam began his career with Isilon Systems in 2001 leading Product Management and was responsible for helping bring to market Isilon’s first products in 2003. After Isilon was acquired by EMC in 2010, Sam continued to lead the marketing and product management team that delivered the industry leading scale-out NAS offering. When EMC was acquired by Dell in in 2016, Sam’s role expanded to include the entire Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions portfolio for Marketing. This set into motion what ultimately resulted in the creation of DTBU Marketing, representing the entire Dell Technologies portfolio.