Flashback. Flash Now. Flash Next…Meet the New EMC Xtrem Flash Family

As the CTO of EMC’s Flash Products Division, I’m proud to say that over the past five years EMC has set the pace in Flash innovation. Quick flashback…

  • EMC defined a new tier of storage in 2008 with the first enterprise “Flash-enabled” storage array (EMC VMAX).
  • EMC then revolutionized the way storage is automatically managed in 2010 with the introduction of FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering).
  • In 2012 we unleashed the power of Flash in the server with VFCache.

As you can see, EMC has a calculated and methodical cadence of Flash hardware and software breakthroughs that deliver capabilities to satisfy every customer use case.

And what’s next?

Today we are continuing to set the pace by rounding out our Flash hardware portfolio and further establishing EMC’s leadership in the market with the new Xtrem Family of Flash products, including the introduction of the new EMC XtremSF (here’s the press release). XtremSF is our new family of PCIe Flash cards deployed in the server to accelerate workload performance. This new line of cost-effective eMLC Flash cards, ranging in capacity from 550 GB to 2.2 TB, delivers unprecedented performance (with a screaming 1.13 million IOPS) and efficiency for applications that need the absolute best performance and lowest latency (think scale-out Web applications). XtremSF can be used as local storage or as the foundation for EMC’s server Flash caching software, XtremSW Cache (formerly VFCache).

As an engineer at heart, I’m going to let the IOPS, latency, and TCO metrics speak for themselves…


So is that it? New hardware? Of course not…

Today EMC also announced our software Flash vision. Visit the Flash launch event beginning at 11 am ET for the full story.

Just as it does for disk drives, powerful, intelligent software that optimizes the use of Flash media is what truly creates value for customers. Without that software, all customers have is… a bunch of Flash media. EMC plans to introduce an integrated software stack that knits together independent Flash resources and offers advanced data services to Flash, whether used as an extension to memory or as DAS—and we’re calling it the XtremSW Suite. Caching, via XtremSW Cache, is just the beginning. Over the next few months, my team of engineers will be innovating to make this real—and we expect to deliver capabilities such as pooling, cache coherency, and VMware integration in the future.


Today also marks one of the most anticipated product releases in my personal history at EMC. The XtremIO (formerly Project X) all-Flash, scale-out storage array is shipping to select customers. XtremIO arrays are purpose-built for Flash—and perfect for OLTP and VDI environments. The XtremIO array provides linear scalability, administrative ease, and consistent sub-millisecond performance no matter how busy the system is.


What does this all mean? Here’s a video from yours truly on the big picture…

EMC has been at this for a long time—building a complete Flash portfolio that offers customers choice when it comes to addressing their performance challenges and requirements. The sophisticated capabilities of the new EMC Xtrem Family will grow with each new release. Feel free to comment in the section below.

About the Author: Dan Cobb