Tech veep denies Xiotech ISE controller strategy change
'It's certainly possible'
Xiotech supplying controller software
Now, with the ISE NAS Controller Node, Xiotech is supplying the software, albeit OEM'd from Microsoft, and, maybe, with Xiotech's own SW additions, and is also supplying the hardware, the 1U box. Rob points out that this is no different from the Emprise 9000 in several ways but I think I see that differently. The Emprise 9000 was, I thought, a legacy approach.
With the ISE NAS Controller Node, I believe that Xiotech is not getting away from supplying controller hardware at all. It is supplying an access controller (Emprise 9000) with FC pass-through and FC-direct access to the ISEs, and it is supplying the unified storage NAS Controller, both HW and SW, with NAS and iSCSI block access through the controller and FC direct access to the ISE enclosures.
Again, that is true, but it is because our customers want it that way. They don’t want to procure servers separately to run the high-stack function, and then worry about the support from a different vendor. We find most customers prefer an integrated, one-throat-to-choke approach... This differs greatly from what we did with legacy systems such as the original Magnitude, where every bit of hardware was of our own design and manufacture.
High-stack function in efficient engines
All this leads me to think that we might well see an Emprise 9000 refresh with NAS head functionality added to it, so providing a 2-level unified storage product range. If I were in Xiotech product management that's what I would be strongly arguing for. I'd be saying that Katana-enhanced ISEs with an ISE NAS Controller'ised Emprise 9000 and existing ISE NAS Controller would provide a powerful pair of products that could compete well against other storage arrays.
But hey, I'm not in product management...
Rob wrote that Xiotech has a "philosophy of providing high-stack function in efficient engines". To my mind this is not that different from NetApp, EMC, HP, et al, apart from Xiotech's division of storage management function between high-stack stuff in the controller and low-stack operations into the ISEs. In effect, it now has a distributed storage controller function and could, and possibly will, have the high stack functions running as Xiotech software in a virtual machine and talking to the ISEs. In my opinion you could do that now with the ISE NAS Controller Node software.
Rob Peglar's parting shot here is this: "You could indeed, but at the cost of traversing the virtual-physical translation layer, which would reduce I/O performance. However, to your point, it’s certainly possible." ®