Atlantis USX 2.0 boosts virtual agility with storage teleporting and VVOL compliance

Peter Williams

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Published: 20th August, 2014
Content Copyright © 2014 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

Today, Atlantis Computing released its USX 2.0 software-only storage with Storage Teleport—the equivalent of VMware’s vMotion but for storage—along with VVOL compliance. This enhances its software-only solution’s ability to extract greater performance and capacity from existing IT assets.   

Storage Teleport improves agility by enabling faster creation of new VMs, moving the virtualised workloads (VMs, VMDKs and files) between data centres and/or to clouds over the WAN. This is achievable in seconds (versus, perhaps, hours for migration or backup).

The Atlantis USX storage pooling and abstraction facilitates transparent data movement between SANs, NAS and DAS storage systems. Only a fraction of the capacity of VMs needs to be teleported between data centres and the cloud, also significantly reducing WAN costs and capacity-based fees charged by cloud storage providers. Other savings include obviating SAN and NAS maintenance contract renewals if seamlessly migrating storage to lower cost DAS or cloud. Using Teleport also helps IT to avoid vendor lock-in.

Included in Atlantis USX is a strategic layer for VMware to fully virtualise and commoditise all SAN and NAS storage by making it all VVOLs compliant. It also works seamlessly with Virtual SAN and VMware Horizon to reduce the storage needed to deploy virtualised workloads and improve application performance by up to five times.

Back in February I wrote about Atlantis ILIO USX. Now, in further extending USX, it has also dropped “ILIO” (In-Line I-O) that was familiar to its VDI users. As explained then, it is an in-memory software-defined storage solution able to pool ('hyper-converge') and optimise all data centre storage types including SAN, NAS, RAM and DAS (including SSD, Flash, SAS and SATA disk types).

Using this software, IT organisations can potentially extend the life of their existing SAN and NAS storage by up to five years. This is because the Atlantis storage consolidation and its enterprise data services typically yield an 80–90% reduction in needed capacity—or, put another way, achieve a 5–10x capacity increase from the existing pool—plus a 5–10x performance boost. Also, if more storage capacity is needed later, low cost commodity local server storage (e.g. DAS) can be used.

There are indications that Atlantis’ approach is resonating—and it certainly should be music to the ears of many business bean-counters. Gregg Holzrichter, Atlantis’ VP of Marketing, told me that the company had shown an 80% year-on-year growth in the first half. However, a lot of this is attributable to great take-up of its VDI ILIO product while the main focus has been on its 600+ existing customers (mostly VDI users) and getting their feedback.

“We have [now] repositioned USX 2.0,” said Holzricher adding, “We have a great benchmark.”

"The feedback had driven [Microsoft] SharePoint support and ease-of-use in the interface, plus additional features", he said. The Teleport ability to “beam up to another location” (à la Star Trek), creating instances on devices 1 and 2, is achieved with its HyperDup content-aware data services software only taking changes across. This software also includes provisioning, security and business continuity.

So, having taken the main feedback on board, this can be seen as a re-launch aimed at reaching organisations of all sizes up to large enterprises—with a clearer and more verifiable message. Atlantis' biggest test now will be its ability to execute in organisations in which it has no previous presence.

Those organisations faced with an urgent need for greater storage capacity, availability or performance—especially if budget-constrained—should at least give Atlantis’ solution an oppportunity to demonstrate what it can do. Atlantis claims this will achieve greater performance than if the business were to move instead to all-flash arrays and, importantly, at a fraction of the cost.

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