IBM Set to Launch Gen3 of XIV Storage System

UPDATED: IBM XIV Storage System Gen3, originally designed by storage legend Moshe Yanai, uses grid architecture to process high-transaction-type workloads.

IBM on July 20 will announce the first new version of its XIV storage system to be released since 2008, the year Big Blue bought the Israel-based company.

IBM XIV Storage System Gen3, which uses a patented grid architecture to process high-transaction-type workloads, features several hardware improvements, a revamped user interface, multi-system monitoring, and improved replication, among others.

XIV has always offered high-end features such as unlimited snapshots, I/O load-balancing and automatic configuration that can be deployed on relatively inexpensive commodity hardware.

"XIV also includes automated data placement that allows it to self-tune and self-heal, along with advanced thin provisioning that increases system utilization without affecting performance," IBM marketing executive Bob Cancilla told eWEEK.

Other IBM XIV Gen3 features, according to Cancilla, include:

  • new components that include InfiniBand interconnects and 8G bps Fibre Channel ports in addition to more memory;
  • enhanced, centralized administration of multiple XIV systems;
  • an XIV Plugin v2.5 for VMware vCenter Server, a free download that makes it easier to manage XIV using VMware software; and
  • an optional feature that IBM plans to make available in Q1 2012 that will allow clients to add a solid-state drive caching layer to XIV Gen3, which provides an additional 7.5TB of high speed for higher levels of performance.

IBM has shipped more than 4,500 XIV systems to clients around the globe, and about 1,100 new storage customers have bought XIV, Cancilla said.

XIV founder and former chairman Moshe Yanai, who helped send EMC on its way to world leadership in disk storage back in the 1990s, retired last year after two years of involvement with IBM but occasionally still serves as an adviser to XIV.

Yanai joined EMC in 1987, where he designed and built the first Symmetrix system-still a bread-and-butter product of EMC and now called the "DMX" series.

Yanai owns 40 storage system patents, many of which now are key ingredients in EMC's closely guarded intellectual property.

Previously, Yanai had built IBM-compatible mainframe storage based on minicomputer disks.
This story has been updated to clarify the background of Moshe Yanai.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...