Isilon delivers new clustered systems

By Kevin Komiega

—The widespread deployment of high-speed networking and virtualized computing technologies is beginning to expose storage as a bottleneck in high-performance environments. In an effort to keep up with these increasing performance requirements, Isilon Systems this week launched its fastest clustered storage system to date.

In what the company is billing as its biggest product upgrade since 2005, Isilon announced the X-Series clustered storage systems. The X-Series is capable of scaling to more than 1.6PB of capacity and providing performance of 10GBps in a single file system and single volume.

"There is a huge amount of unstructured data and digital content being created and it's causing pain points in terms of scale, performance, and reliability," says Brett Goodwin, Isilon's vice president of marketing and business development. "That is because traditional RAID schemes cease to be a viable option for protecting data when you get up to the 200TB to 500TB range. Customers need architectures that can withstand failures of up to three or four nodes and that can rebuild faster than traditional RAID."

Each X-Series node includes disk capacity along with a storage server, CPU, memory, and network connectivity. The cluster scales linearly, including capacity, throughput, memory, and CPU processing power, as nodes are added. The nodes automatically work together to create a single storage system.

The X-Series is based on the company's OneFS operating system software combined with Intel Xeon 5130 processors. The system also leverages energy-efficient hardware from Intel and ColdWatt to achieve a 20% greater power efficiency over the company's previous architecture.

OneFS powers all of Isilon's clustered storage systems, including the IQ series, EX series, and Accelerator. The company also offers a suite of software applications, including SnapshotIQ, SmartConnect, MigrationIQ, SmartQuotas, and SyncIQ that leverage OneFS and clustered storage for data protection and automated management.

Isilon also announced it is working with Cisco, ColdWatt, Intel, Mellanox, Riverbed, and VMware to ensure interoperability with its X-Series clustered storage systems. In addition, the company announced that more than 60 customers, including Arcis, Austin Radiological Association, Kodak Gallery, and PetroChina, have already adopted the X-Series.

Pricing for the X-Series follows the same capacity-based model as Isilon's IQ clustered storage systems. The X-Series systems are sold on a per-node basis. High-capacity systems cost approximately $2,500/TB, while high-performance systems can cost up to $12,000/TB.

This article was originally published on January 31, 2008