This weeks installment in the “another vendor jumping on the software defined bandwagon” comes from Atlantis Computing. Atlantis is an existing VMware partner that has the not insignificant statistic of having sold 500000 VM licenses globally. Its ILIO software defined storage offering works with virtualization offerings from Citrix, Microsoft and VMware and helps optimize data center storage use.
The new product, fetchingly called Atlantis ILIO USX, creates a hybrid, converged and all-flash storage offering that can be used to update existing SAN, NAS, RAM and any type of DAS offering. Atlantis is promising customers that they’ll be able to deploy up to five times as many VMs on their existing storage with Atlantis as they currently can (although, the “up to” messaging does indicate that YMMV).
What is uncontestable is that the increasing use of virtualized servers does ask more of existing storage approaches. In the same way that Software Defined Networking (SDN) parallels virtualization and better fits with a virtualized infrastructure, so to does software defined storage deliver storage that is more complementary to virtualized workloads than traditional approaches.
With Atlantis, all the storage assets get pooled and exposed to the SDS platform, this making them available to all applications. Policy-based controls then give the organization the ability to tailor capacity, availability and performance depending on the use case and business needs.
Using ILIO, organizations can take their overall storage assets and deliver different storage approaches depending on the needs. These different approaches include:
- Hybrid – RAM and optimized SAN/NAS/DAS
- In-Memory – Redundant RAM-based storage
- Persistent In-Memory – RAM-based storage replicated to shared storage
- All-Flash – Optimized and pooled local or shared flash
Atlantis competes with a few different players – StorSimple (acquired by Microsoft) and Ceph are two examples but it also competes with products from the legacy vendors themselves – VMware’s VSAN, products from EMC (ScaleIO and VIPR) and well as newer flash-based storage vendors such as Nimble Storage, Pure Storage and Nutanix. The company is claiming a host of benefits beyond the obvious ones of gaining storage efficiency and gaining some extra value from existing hardware. Additional benefits include:
- In-Memory Performance – Boost IO performance using server-side flash and RAM to accelerate performance intensive applications
- Flexibility – Policy-based controls deliver optimal storage capacity, performance and availability to each VM using any class of storage; local and shared, file and block
- Instant Provisioning – Create any type of storage and clone VMs in seconds
- Automated Deployment – Push-Button installation, configuration, and datastore creation across the datacenter
Atlantis has already delivered 12 Petabytes of in-memory storage across its 440 customers. Reference customers going into this launch include Blue Cross Shield of Hawaii, Colt Technology Service, The US Army and JP Morgan Chase.
Clearly the storage industry is ripe for a software-defined disruption – whether or not Atlantis is the company to deliver this disruption will be seen in the future. As is often the case, it will have less to do with specific functionality than it will with go-to-market, partnership strategy and whether they get the attention of the right people.