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March 13, 2013


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Howard Marks


The Solidfire system, which is targeted at cloud providers exclusively and therefore not directly on the EMC competitive landscape as much as say Pure or Whiptail, shares many architectural attributes with XtremIO including the CAS approach to data deduplication/placement. The biggest difference is they are iSCSI only (made scale-out easier as you can do IP redirects to the node that holds the data) and use the same network for node interconnects and server access.

Chris M Evans


Storagezilla says in his post on XtremIO:

"The product is for sale, orderable and shipping but there are metrics which control how many systems are manufactured or how many copies of the code are shipped."

So why isn't it listed on the EMC website in the products section? Why isn't the XtremIO site listing product specifications? You also claim it's a shipping product - why no details for customers to see?

Where is XtremIO being manufactured? Still in Israel?


Chad Sakac

@Chris - thanks for the comment. It's not listed because literally when we open things up, the next thing you know there are 10,000 requests.

During the DA period, there is a relatively small number of XtremIO-specific resources that support customer engagements, and they would be simply swamped just filtering requests. The field at large has been told the paramters of "fit" (the target use cases I describe, customer willing to provide feedback and share their experience), and the resources to engage. It's a high-touch period.

Re where they are manufactured, XtremIO is now manufactured out of the two major EMC manufacturing locations (Franklin, MA for the Americas; Cork, Ireland for EMEA and APJ). I actually saw the first one go out from Franklin for a customer, and the day after the announcement, I saw the first "official" PO. They are going out - which is exciting!

Again, thanks for your question!

Chad Sakac

@Howard, thanks! I don't see too much Solidfire - so don't know them well, but thanks for the comment and the input. Interestingly, the XtremIO architecture also supports a variety of block protocols, but more importantly actually doesn't have an INTRINSIC dependency on the IB interconnect (I want to be clear, it currently uses an IB interconnect due to latency and just nailing the performance envelope).

Chad Sakac

@Howard, one other thing - I'm curious about how one would do a distributed underlying storage model without a low-latency interconnect. In some use cases (VMware) you can do things where you ensure there is a copy of the VDMK on each node, so writes hit locally. But - in the general purpose use case, you may need to bounce between nodes.

Does Solidfire (the hint here to me is they look iSCSI only) keep targets on one node, and then use iSCSI redirection to keep the traffic focused on a node?

This wouldn't be a "scale-out" architecture for an individual device - through definitely still one when you have many devices.

Just curious!

Mike Umphreys


I still think there is a valid place for something like Thunder to compete with FusionIO Ion. Some customers would rather have a Fabric Based Cache instead of putting PCIe Flash cards in their servers. We are an EMC customer but may have to look somewhere else as Fabric Based Caching appliances make sense to me.


Mke Umphreys

Chad, I had a talk with our EMC vSpecialist and he said that even though thunder is not a product, we can buy XtremIO and use XtremSW to effectively get a do no harm read only cache. Is this true?

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