Xiotech, which has always positioned itself as a maker of intelligent-and ostensibly, more efficient-storage, July 20 came out with a new system that's apparently "smart" enough to specialize in the needs of virtual desktop deployments.
The Emprise 9000, a new version of the company's branded Emprise enterprise system, emphasizes the arrays as the true foundation of virtual desktop infrastructures.
Virtual desktops within a corporation, educational institution, hospital or government office-to name only a few use cases-are attracting more interest as IT managers look for alternatives to paying for conventional client/server licenses and servicing individual hard drives each year.
With VDI deployments, local disks and storage are a thing of the past. Virtual desktop software provides a secure connection to an enterprise system within an office environment and stores all data created by the terminal user in a centralized arrays. All applications are housed on corporate servers.
Users need only a monitor, keyboard, speakers and the VDI connection to do their work, thus potentially saving a lot of money on hard drives and localized applications.
Xiotech is using its own version of storage pooling to accommodate VDI environments. Pooling is an approach to storage virtualization that delineates specific areas of the storage system to be dedicated to certain data flows in order to enable more efficient multitenant deployments.
Virtualized storage systems break files into chunks of data that are dispersed into numerous data center or storage locations and reassemble them on demand. Keeping data file chunks closer together in pools allows faster reassembly of those chunks.
With the Emprise 9000, customers can scale up a starter system from two storage controllers to 12, Xiotech marketing manager Brian Reagan told eWEEK.
At its most capacious configuration, the new array can handle to up to 1.8PB of data, with a maximum of 255TBs per storage volume. It also can provide up to 4,096 server connections and 96GB of cache, Reagan said.
"In the last year, we've closed about a dozen deals involving VDI environments," Reagan told eWEEK. "And it seems like there are more and more in the pipeline. This appears to be a very strong area for Xiotech, and I think we're uniquely positioned-in both 3U [5.25-inch] performance and pricing."
All Xiotech systems are based on the company's home-developed ISE (Intelligent Storage Elements) proprietary appliance, a self-contained storage box with spinning-disk hard drives and redundant storage controllers with local cache, RAID redundancies and management software.
New management applications
Xiotech also announced the availability of two new applications to go with the Emprise 9000: ISE Manager and ISE Analyzer.
ISE Manager enables the pooling of multiple data packets across the same data center or across data centers. The earlier version of the application could manage the packets but could not pool them for improved efficiency, Reagan said.
ISE Manager also simplifies the IT manager's job, Reagan said, by providing a combined look at managing and provisioning storage across any of the Big Three virtualization layers: VMware's vSphere, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft's Hyper-V.
ISE Analyzer, a new feature, provides detailed trending and analysis reporting in ISE environments, including metrics on performance utilization, capacity utilization and chargeback capabilities.