Do you have an Xbox – 360 or XboxOne? Do you use XboxLive? I do – and as an aside, I’m looking forward to a little Rise of Tomb Raider this weekend, along with Fallout 4 until my eyes bleed :-)
If you use Xbox Live, you are an EMC Isilon customer by proxy. In fact, if you use all sort of online streaming content sources, whether it’s audio, video, and other forms – odds are pretty good you’re using EMC Isilon.
This season, when the Blue Jays were making their push to make it to the World Series (congrats KC), I was all over the world and depended on MLB.TV for all my baseball goodness, from Hong Kong to Singapore to Barcelona…
… Likewise, I was an EMC Isilon customer by proxy! … And, thanks MLB.TV, and there’s always next year Blue Jays!
EMC Isilon is an amazing technology, and amazing engineering team that keeps on giving. The core innovation of the simplest (and IMO best – though I’m biased) scale-out unstructured data platform. It’s a Type 3 architecture using the Storage Architecture phylum here – and man, does it scale.
It’s funny that the EMC brand is still perceived by most as the premier “transactional storage, ‘Tier 1’” brand. Yup – we are that. But we’re so much more :-) While classic “Tier 1” block storage as a category is in slow decline by % of data growth – it remains the foundation on which so many of the services we depend on every day – think of using a bank, or making a phone call, or ordering a flight. In fact, the whole category of “transactional systems” is pretty flat overall, with huge battles of workload substitution (AFAs, SDS, Hyper-Converged systems) being the dominant market force (and refreshes and market share battles for the workloads that keep off the zombie apocalypse, where the VMAX 3 is gaining huge momentum) - but since “transactional storage” is a very important, very visible economic battlefield (“the SAN market”), it has lots of eyeballs.
So - where is the growth of information and net new workloads occurring that used to be centered around databases and VMs? Unstructured. NAS. Even more true of Object, HDFS, and similar things – all whose core characteristic is this – the information not accessed by a SCSI command :-)
This information is around us all the time, but we don’t think of it every day. It is growing in leaps and bounds.
While Isilon is known primarily for NAS (think “home directories”), the biggest single growth areas are as the underpinning of Enterprise Data lakes (simultaneous access via NFS and HDFS) – deeply integrated with Cloudera, Hortonworks and Pivotal. Along with HDFS – huge demand as the could bucket for Splunk, often teamed with XtremIO for the hot bucket data. These use cases are climbing like crazy.
While people think first that deploying non-shared storage will be cheaper (and I’ve learnt people need to learn otherwise through experience) – quickly they realize that there is great cost efficiency and leverage (particularly where they can scale compute/storage independently – which also is material in some licensing models) in being able to have a kick-ass pool of HDFS:
… And we integrate (and even bundle!) Cloudera, Hortonworks, and Pivotal Big Data Suite (including integrating in most of their management tools). More to do – but we will keep going down this path.
EMC Isilon has fared well in this macro trend towards growth in unstructured data in all it’s forms.
The largest single customer ordered 100PB at ONCE in Q1 of 2015. Amazingly, this is dwarfed by EMC’s largest single ccustomer, who has more than 1.5EB of our Object storage deployed. I would wager that most Virtual Geek readers touch these two persistence pools regularly.
So – if it’s so great, how do you make it even better? You make it simultaneously BIGGER, and also SMALLER. You make it be able to STRETCH FURTHER and make something simple even SIMPLER.
Today we announced several massive innovations in Isilon-land.
- The next generation of OneFS – a huge leap forward in the CORE. Massive overhaul to the core codebase, new kernel, bigger scale, massive lift in all system maximums. Perhaps most of all – Isilon upgrades have always been easy with rolling updates– but with complete support for non-disruptive NAS protocols (NFS 4, SMB 3.0), the upgrade to this next generation will be the last upgrade that will have any disruption for Isilon customers.
- Isilon Edge SD – our first (but not last!) 100% software-defined Isilon release
- Cloud Pools – connecting Isilon with Public/Private object stores – easily and transparently.
My favorite part? Like all our software products – it’s available easily, openly. The “Free and Frictionless” march across the EMC software portfolio continues. This means that you don’t have to listen to anyone. Not me, not to the EMC or EMC partner sales rep. Download – and try for yourself. It’s putting our code where our mouth is :-)
To understand more about each of these, read on!