Dell EMC XtremIO is Dell EMC’s high-volume, high-capacity all-flash enterprise storage platform. The current version is the X2 line. The XtremIO X2 storage platform is primarily designed for applications that benefit from its data reduction and copy data management capabilities. It also targets organizations with large VDI deployments.

The base unit of the XtremIO X2 line is the X-Brick. XtremIO X2 X-Bricks are available in two types: X2-S and X2-R. X2-S configurations are used for virtual desktops with lower capacity requirements and high IO density. X2-R configurations are used for a variety of cases, from virtual servers to database workloads.

Each X-Brick consists of two active-active controller nodes and a drive bay. Individual X-Bricks can scale up by adding as few as six SSDs at a time to any single brick. The capacity range for a single X2-S X-Brick is 7.2-28.8 TB, and the capacity range for a single X2-R X-Brick is 34.5-138.2 TB.

X-Bricks can be combined in clusters for additional scaling of both capacity and performance. IOPS performance scales linearly with each additional X-Brick. Up to 8 X-Bricks can be combined into a single cluster with a raw capacity of up to 1.1 PB, which the company claims is an effective capacity of 5.5 PB due to the 6:1 data efficiency ratio achieved through what it calls “intelligent data packing.” X-Brick interconnectivity is achieved using 40Gbps InfiniBand. XtremIO uses remote procedure calls (RPC) for control messages and remote direct memory access (RDMA) for moving data blocks.

The full-mesh RDMA network running on Infiniband maintains a consistent path length to each data block, which in turn provides the same latency. The XIOS operating system software, which sits on top of a Linux kernel inside each storage controller, manages the system’s functional modules, RDMA over InfiniBand operations, monitoring and memory pools. It is optimized for handling high I/O rates. Every storage controller runs a combination of different modules and shares the total load. These distributed (across different controllers) software modules handle each individual I/O operation, which traverses the cluster. XtremIO handles each I/O request by two software modules (2 hops), no matter if it is a single X-Brick system or a multiple X-brick cluster, again insuring consistent latency, regardless of the size of the cluster. XIOS features inline deduplication, thin provisioning, snapshot architecture, XDP Data Protection and full VAAI Integration.

The XtremIO All-Flash array delivers consistent, low-latency performance while providing no-impact efficiency services including inline deduplication, compression, copy management, and metadata-aware native replication. With proven availability over 99.999%, XtremIO is great for mixed workloads, virtualized applications and VDI.5. Additionally, XtremIO leverages CloudIQ, a cloud-based storage analytics application, which provides proactive storage monitoring and predictive analytics to deliver storage insights for better, faster decision-making.