Virtualization Technology News and Information
Xsigo Systems Launches Company and I/O Virtualization Product
Xsigo Systems, Inc., the technology leader in data center I/O virtualization, today launched the company and unveiled the Xsigo VP780 I/O Director, a revolutionary product that reduces data center operating costs and improves business agility. Generally available today, the product is estimated to save 50% to 80% on capital and operational costs in data center environments. The company and product will debut at VMworld, held in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, September 11-13.   

The Xsigo VP780 I/O Director overcomes the limitations of traditional server connectivity by consolidating cabling and replacing multiple physical network and storage interfaces (NICs and HBAs) with virtual resources that appear to applications and operating systems exactly as their physical counterparts. As a result, data centers can achieve new levels of operational efficiencies and cost savings. Because the Xsigo I/O Director simplifies infrastructure and management, it is estimated that large data centers can lower their server-related operational expenses by up to 80%, cut capital costs by 50%, and use 70% less cabling.

“NaviSite manages 15 data centers across the U.S. and U.K., and we know first hand the operational constraints that I/O resources put on the data center,” said Jay Keating, vice president of managed service delivery at NaviSite, Inc., a leading provider of application management, Internet infrastructure and hosting solutions.  “We are pleased to see a breakthrough technology and fresh approach to server I/O architecture. Xsigo’s offering shows promise in driving down data center complexities and costs.”

According to the Storage I/O Group, a leading authority on storage I/O technologies, I/O performance issues are a growing concern for data center operational teams, creating both direct and indirect impacts. Direct impacts include system and application slowdowns, which causes sluggish response times and availability issues. Indirect impacts include the need for additional IT staff to troubleshoot, analyze, re-configure and react to application delays and service disruptions.

“Today’s server I/O architecture significantly drives up cost and complexity in the data center,” said John Humphreys, program vice president of IDC’s Enterprise Virtualization research. “As virtualization is already changing server and storage best practices, it’s logical to extend this to I/O resources. Now Xsigo offers a compelling solution that delivers I/O virtualization. We believe that solutions like this will enable greater flexibility and change the way organizations deliver IT services.”

“While blade server hardware and virtualization software enhance data center management, server I/O still limits agility. I/O virtualization promises to deliver the next significant advancement,” said Dr. Bernard S. Meyerson, IBM Fellow, vice president of strategic alliances and CTO, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “Just as server virtualization decouples applications from specific servers, virtual I/O will accelerate application management by removing the constraints of the fixed I/O infrastructure.”

Dramatically Reduces Data Center Costs

In data centers, complex network topologies increase the demand for connectivity, causing capital costs for server I/O to often exceed $2500 per server, sometimes even surpassing the cost of the server itself. Operational costs add to this expense whenever IT staff is required to re-configure, re-map, or re-cable resources, all of which are manual operations that consume time and require precise coordination among multiple groups. Low resource utilization further drives expense by increasing power, space, and cooling demands. The Xsigo I/O Director dramatically reduces these costs by slashing complexity, resource requirements, and rollout times.

Enables Fast, Secure Virtual Machine Deployment

Xsigo enhances virtual machine deployments by providing scalable connectivity and granular management to address virtual machine performance and security issues. Unlike physical connectivity, virtual I/O resources can be deployed on-the-fly in response to changing requirements, thus eliminating performance bottlenecks. For security, virtual I/O can be associated with specific virtual machines, and can be migrated along with virtual machines to maintain secure access to network and storage resources. Integrated quality of service capabilities permit fine-grained control of performance to help meet specific service level agreements. 

Xsigo Systems – Built To Lead the Market

Xsigo Systems was founded specifically to address I/O bottlenecks in complex data center environments. To date, the company has designed, built and delivered a proven product and assembled an exceptional management team with experience from leading systems and network companies.

Xsigo has raised significant financial backing from premier firms including Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, Greylock Partners, and Juniper Networks. Xsigo’s board members include: Ray Lane, partner at Kleiner Perkins and former president of Oracle; Mark Leslie, founding chairman and CEO of VERITAS Software; Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures; Ashok Krishnamurthi, CEO and chairman of Xsigo Systems and former vice president and general manager of Juniper Networks; Marcel Gani, former CFO of Juniper Networks and Grand Junction Networks; and Frank Vitagliano, vice president of Juniper Networks and former vice president IBM.

"Management complexity is one of the greatest problems facing IT professionals. In today’s data centers, inflexible architectures limit agility and contribute to the low resource utilization that drives up capital and operational costs, and wastes scarce power, space, and cooling resources. Xsigo understands the problem and is unique in its market approach and application of virtualization technologies to solve it," said Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins.

VP780 I/O Director – Best in Management Simplicity, Interoperability, and Performance

The Xsigo VP780 I/O Director is optimized with a foundation of purpose-built silicon to dramatically accelerate and simplify routine data center management tasks by streamlining the management of complex I/O resource mappings. Traditional server I/O employs physical interfaces with fixed identities that are “mapped” to storage and network resources. Because these mappings are time consuming to change, applications become locked to specific devices, thus impacting agility and overall resource utilization.

With the Xsigo I/O Director, IT managers provision I/O resources on-the-fly without changing network and storage configurations, and without physically entering the data center. The Xsigo system replaces physical cards with virtual network and storage interfaces (vNICs and vHBAs) that can be deployed and migrated among servers without impacting network and storage mappings. The result is that common tasks such as moves, adds, and changes can be completed in 1/100th the time and with far less disruption, thus decreasing operational expenses.

The Xsigo I/O Director is unique in that it provides unprecedented levels of management simplicity, interoperability, and performance:

  • Instantaneous deployment of virtual resources significantly accelerates server management and application deployment by allowing repetitive tasks to be completed in a fraction of the time, and with less disruption to the overall infrastructure.
  • Purpose-built silicon delivers low latency and line rate throughput to enable large-scale I/O consolidation in production and in test and development environments.
  • The Xsigo operating system, XsigOS™, delivers advanced capabilities that give customers complete flexibility as they migrate to a virtualized, "green" data center.
  • Integrated quality of service (QoS) capabilities permit fine-grained control of application performance to help meet specific service level agreements.
  • Open systems interoperability and a modular design ensure compatibility with multi-vendor servers, blade systems, networking and storage. This eliminates vendor lock-in and provides the ability to capitalize on future industry advancements.


As testimony to the value enterprises are placing on the capabilities of I/O consolidation, the Xsigo I/O Director is being validated for acceptance testing at sites in the United States, the UK, and Japan. Among them are a global financial institution, major service providers, and Fortune 500 companies.

Xsigo Partnerships and Commitment to Open Standards

Xsigo is committed to an open, standards-neutral approach that links multi-vendor solutions across servers, blade systems, storage, and networking. Xsigo’s technologies are supported by storage and server certifications from IBM and HP, and are proven interoperable with equipment from Dell, EMC, Juniper, and others. This server and storage ecosystem is the first among next-generation I/O virtualization providers and gives customers the confidence to deploy pre-tested and certified Xsigo systems.

“Server I/O technologies have changed little in the past 20 years. Virtualization technologies already deliver benefits to server and storage managers, but I/O management remains cumbersome and inefficient,” said Ashok Krishnamurthi, CEO of Xsigo Systems. “The Xsigo I/O Director completes the vision of utility computing by allowing servers to be I/O-personality independent. This delivers a flexible approach to data center connectivity that lets IT managers easily re-deploy resources, increase utilization, and significantly cut costs.”

Pricing and Availability

The Xsigo VP780 I/O Director is generally available today and sold directly by Xsigo Systems in the United States. It is also available from Xsigo business partners in the UK, Germany, Japan, Korea, Greater China, and Australia. Prices start at $30,000 U.S.

Published Saturday, September 15, 2007 7:41 PM by David Marshall
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