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Q&A: Interview with Atlantis Computing Talking ILIO and Storage

Yesterday, Atlantis Computing announced its next-generation Atlantis ILIO USX (Unified Software-defined Storage) solution which the company claims is purpose-built for virtualized server workloads such as databases, mail, collaboration, big data and any line of business applications.  To find out more, I had the opportunity to speak with Gregg Holzrichter, the company's VP of Marketing.  

VMblog:  Why is the Atlantis ILIO USX announcement important for the IT industry?

Gregg Holzrichter:  Atlantis ILIO USX (Unified Software-defined Storage) is a breakthrough in-memory software solution that offers a fundamentally different approach to delivering application performance, capacity utilization, and management automation of storage for virtualized workloads. Atlantis ILIO USX supports any class of existing server and storage hardware to optimize performance while supporting up to 5x more VMs on existing infrastructure, driving the cost of storage down by up to 50%. 

VMblog:  Why does Atlantis Computing think it can deliver enterprise-class software defined storage when others have failed to date?

Holzrichter:  Atlantis Computing launched its flagship software solution, Atlantis ILIO, in 2009. Since that time, the company has grown over 100% per year, with over 440 customers and over 500,000 VMs deployed worldwide to date. Atlantis ILIO delivers enterprise-class performance, capacity utilization, and scale - supporting the largest successful VDI implementation of over 100,000 seats, and many deployments over 10,000 desktops. Atlantis ILIO USX delivers critical features to extend the Atlantis ILIO platform, including high availability, pooling of capacity and performance across all server and storage assets in the datacenter, and provisioning automation. Key features required to meet the true definition of enterprise-class software-defined storage.

VMblog:  What will Atlantis ILIO USX deliver for IT that other approaches cannot? 

Holzrichter:  Atlantis ILIO USX is the first in-memory implementation of software defined storage, delivering an almost unlimited amount of performance (IOPS) from server DRAM resources. This in-memory performance is delivered with enterprise-class data services, including inline deduplication, compression, write coalescing, and thin provisioning. These optimization services are applied to pools of performance and capacity abstracted from any physical server and storage resources, and delivered to applications with fine-grained provisioning defined in storage. A truly software-defined storage implementation.

VMblog:  How is in-memory software defined storage different from other SDS approaches?

Holzrichter:  While the industry is busy software-defining itself similar to the cloud-washing days of yore, Atlantis ILIO USX delivers on the promise of true SDS - abstraction, separation of the data and control plane, policy based abstraction and provisioning, while supporting all types of storage in the datacenter - SAN/NAS, SSD, and DAS (DRAM, flash, SAS). Other SDS vendors have chosen to focus on specific subsets of the SDS value promise. EMC Vipr focuses on managing the multiple technology stacks that the company has acquired, with particular focus on the control plane. EMC ScaleIO is targeted at server-only converged scale-out infrastructure. Maxta focuses on the SMB and mid-market as the new vendor proves out its version 1.0 technology. VMware vSAN delivers value in the SMB and VDI use cases, but is limited to 32 nodes and optimizes servers. Atlantis ILIO USX delivers enterprise-class SDS to large-scale virtualized environments.

VMblog:  Why is the ability to generate performance from direct attached server memory different than traditional storage that delivers performance by adding physical capacity? 

Holzrichter:  The Atlantis ILIO USX in-memory approach is a purpose-built software solution that harnesses the un-matched performance and locality of reference for VM workloads of server memory residing in the physical server, generating cheap and plentiful IOPS directly out of server memory. Atlantis ILIO USX converts DAS into enterprise storage, with high availability, and Tier I enterprise services. The optimizations that Atlantis ILIO delivers reduce the amount of overall IO by up to 70% in most enterprise workloads, reducing the amount of network traffic as deduplication occurs in the server. Traditional storage approaches sacrifice capacity in the hunt for adequate IOPS in virtualized workloads. The IO blender effect is well known, and Atlantis ILIO USX deploys as a VM on the hypervisor, upstream from the IO blender effect.  

VMblog:  How does Atlantis ILIO USX Software-Defined Storage support the Software-Defined Datacenter vision? 

Holzrichter:  The vision of the Software Defined DataCenter is one that Atlantis Computing believes in. The promise of optimized hardware, controlled by intelligent software, to deliver fluid, policy-based provisioning of services, performance and capacity is a worthy vision. In order to achieve this vision, a truly dynamic, policy-based, software-defined storage implementation is required. Atlantis ILIO USX delivers on the promise of software defined storage starting today.

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Once again, a special thanks to Gregg Holzrichter, VP of Marketing at Atlantis Computing, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com.

Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:45 AM by David Marshall
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