X-IO ISE 900: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

The X-IO ISE 900 is for those customers who seek that elusive combination of low cost and decent performance. Of all those products featured in the guide, this one scored the lowest in the 2017 Gartner MQ – however, it was included in the prestigious Gartner report, so that’s a feather in its cap. To be sure, the ISE 900 doesn’t offer the sheer power and performance of some of its competitors. However, if your company is highly price sensitive yet still has a demanding storage workload, check out X-IO.

The X-IO ISE 900 is designed to support enterprise applications including virtual desktop implementation (VDI), server virtualization, online transaction processing, (OLTP), data warehousing, business intelligence and big data.

Jump to: X-IO ISE 900 Features Table

Company Description:

Based in Colorado, X-IO Technologies was founded in 1995 as a pioneer of virtualized storage systems. It offers a portfolio of all-flash storage under its Intelligent Storage Elements (ISEs) brand and an Edge Computing solution called Axellio. Its ISE 900 series supports enterprise and cloud computing environments with a deduplication design that is said to use 75 percent less CPU and DRAM resources than other all-flash solutions. It is privately held. Customers include Argus, BroadAspect, and Microsoft Video Services.

The company is categorized as a niche player by Gartner. As such, Valdis Filks of Gartner said it is focused on a niche segment of very low-latency, high-performance workloads.

Product Description:

The ISE 900 series is available in two models. The ISE 920 G4 is available with 9.6 TB to 242 TB effective and the 960 G4, which starts at the same 9.6 TB effective but can scale to 725 TB, supporting 60 SSDs. The ISE 900 series comes with the X-IO FastForever program that allows customers to try the arrays for 30 days before they buy, a guaranteed capacity through an environment analysis, and flexible growth options with the ability to expand from 10 to 60 disks in the same chassis with 10-disk increments and upgrade controllers.

Storage Switzerland stated: “Most, even mid-range, all-flash arrays will meet the large majority of the performance demands of the typical data center. Nothing faster will do the organization any good. Once they know a particular classification of all-flash array will meet their performance needs the next step is to look at the features they need the reliability of the system and of course price. X-IO, with its complete feature set and efficiency that allows them to deliver maximum performance on less expensive hardware, strikes a good balance and deserves strong consideration.”

Key Features:

Implementation:

Good. The system is easy to set up, even for an untrained storage administration. An install takes between 1-5 hours depending on customer environment and integration needs.

Technical support:

A five-year warranty is supported by good customer service including remote monitoring by the vendor. Users can opt for the lower-cost next business day version or pay more for 24/7 support with a 4-hour parts on site commitment.

“X-IO’s 5-year warranty is great and its proactive monitoring means that I can essentially ‘forget’ about that piece of kit. If there are any potential issues they will be identified by X-IO long before they become a problem for me. I couldn’t be more delighted with X-IO storage. Where once we had three storage racks, we now have one, and it’s only operating at two-thirds of its rated performance and capacity,” said a user, a CIO at an advertising agency.

Raw Capacity:

230 TB raw 

Performance:

400,000 IOPS

Up to 5 GB/s

Latency: less than 1 ms.

“We’re seeing 25 times the IOPS we got with our previous SAN, with extremely low latency, VM deployment is around 15-20 times quicker, and our storage is perfectly placed to easily handle IOPS storms and ensure the end user doesn’t see any performance degradation,” said the IT manager of a hosting firm.

RAID/Data Protection:

  • RAID options are RAID 5 and RAID 1 (effective RAID 10)
  • Enhanced Matrixed RAID Data Allocation: Up to 60 individually hot-swappable SSDs. Writes to SSD’s balanced across drives for better wear and performance.
  • Global parity and spare allocation
  • Replication
  • All drives are SED (encrypted) with options for external key management 

Storage Saving Features:

  • Performance-Optimized Deduplication: Can be disabled by volume and used only when needed. Eliminates performance degradation. X-IO’s deduplication uses only 25% of the CPU and DRAM as compared to other vendor offerings
  • Thin provisioning and compression

Data Management:

  • Web-based Management Interface via X-IO’s OptimISE interface
  • Performance metrics with a customizable widget-based layout.
  • Policy based QoS, differential snapshot
  • QoS
  • Predictive Analytics

NVMe: None

Delivery:

The ISE 900 is sold through channel partners and directly as an enterprise-class array. 

Pricing:

Prices start at $58,000 for an enterprise-class array.

X-IO ISE 900

Features
Scale-up Yes
Scale-out No
Capacity
Raw capacity (no deduplication) 145 TB
Effective capacity 725 TB
Networking (Max speed in Gbps)
Fibre Channel 8 Gbs
Ethernet/iSCSI No
Infiniband No
FCoE No
Performance
IOPs 400k
Throughput 5 GB/s
Latency 1 ms
Storage Saving Features
Deduplication Yes
Compression Yes
Thin provisioning Yes
Management
Data encryption Yes
Snapshots Yes
Replication (synch or asynch?) Asynchronous
Availability
Percentage uptime (ex.: 99.999) 5 x 9
Non-disruptive software upgrades Yes
Non-disruptive hardware upgrades Yes
Warranty/Support
Base warranty: array Yes
Base warranty: flash Yes
Flash replacement if drive/module wears out before warranty expires? Yes
Gartner Magic Quadrant Rating Niche Player
Price Starts at $58,000
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been a full-time professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. He currently works freelance for a number of IT publications, including eSecurity Planet and CIO Insight. He is also the editor-in-chief of an international engineering magazine.

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