Called USX, the software can combine SAN, NAS and DAS to create one logical storage source

A California software company that until now has specialized in enterprise virtual desktop solutions is branching out into storage.

Atlantis Computing, which makes the ILIO line of VDI applications, today released ILIO USX for virtualized business applications including databases, mail, collaboration and big data.

“This is the first software-defined storage solution that allows you to pool and optimize all of your existing SAN, NAS and DAS storage attached to your servers, and even use RAM in severs as storage,”  Seth Knox, the company’s vice-president of products, said in an interview.

The solution was created to meet the soaring demand for storage which server virtualization has done nothing to slow, he said. There are estimates that enterprises need to double their storage every two years, he said.

“USX inserts a software layer between applications and storage that allows you to support up to five times more virtual machines on existing storage. It allows you to change DAS (direct attached storage) into enterprise-class storage with all the features such as intelligence and high availability that you need, but at a lower cost than a SAN or a NAS.”

It also has in-memory capabilities for faster data processing.

USX is priced per terabyte of storage needed. Knox wouldn’t go further than that because the company’s reseller partners set the street price.

Typically organizations have a mix of direct, storage area- and network attached storage, he said. But each has their inefficiencies: SANs and NASs have limited I/O throughput, so more disks have to be bought for an array. That waste capacity, he said. Flash arrays have lots of speed but limited capacity compared to a spinning hard drive. Direct attached storage doesn’t have enough reliability for most enterprise applications, he argued.

USX solves these problems by creating a pool of virtual storage, he said. “Using policies you can dynamically create the optimal storage volume for an application that has the right amount of capacity and performance based on what each VM needs.” It also optimizes traffic from apps to the storage hardware through compression and inline de-duplication.

Other vendors have solutions that can pool SANs and aggregate local disks, but USX merges and optimizes all storage, Knox said.

Atlantis hopes to leverage its current customer base, which he said includes several Canadian financial institutions as well as JP Morgan Chase in the U.S. to sell USX.

 

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