Xiotech has been leading the way in redefining the value of storage since 1995 and stands as the world’s largest privately held storage company.
The storage industry has been a hot bed for innovation and debate with discussion on local storage versus cloud storage, and the pros and cons of each.
Xiotech offers a wide array of services that tend to cater to the small and mid-tier businesses where they have made a name for themselves. Just recently they have expanded their services to larger enterprises, and have recorded the same successes they’ve seen with their smaller partners.
VP of Technology for Xiotech, Robert Peglar states that "Xiotech has been a pioneer of virtualization and have done innovative work in the space." Robert Peglar serves a dual role, working externally with customers and industry professional.
The other role is the internal role, working to get product out the door, and plan a road map of the future with the technology trends that they should be taking advantage of.
Robert shares that many things separate them from their competition to include: ease of use (through virtualization), intuitive user interfaces and web services.
"There’s not a real need to know all the nitty gritty of the storage equipment, web services give you what you need and you’re done," Peglar comments.
Many companies find it hard to understand storage and for some the learning curve is too high. Xiotech provides simplicity in accessing and integrating into their own company’s growth.
"The staff and training required is greatly different from competitors and much less rigorous. Anyone can access their storage systems. Storage should just work with automatic processes such as self healing and self checking processes without the need of constant hands on," Robert says regarding how easy it is for people to access their systems.
Patented ISE Technology
Xiotech is known for having patented the Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) back in 2007, offering improved performance, advanced capabilities, and improved system telemetry.
"In typical RAID arrays the more drives you add the more the performance begins to degrade, but with the ISE in place, you see consistent and reliable performance no matter how many drives you install. This allows us to put a 5 year guarantee on their ISE products because we know it’s going to work, we put our confidence in it," Robert explains.
The ISE offers scalability to grow with the company from 1TB to 1 PB, without seeing a single drop is performance.
Allowing users to make adjustments to the ISE is one of their key selling points as well because Xiotech has truly focused on making their products customer centric with ease of use.
"Standardized web services have streamlined the process which is easier for the end user to log in access, conduct business, and leave," comments Peglar.
Xiotech offers both virtualization and cloud storage. Some use the terms synonymously, but there is a distinct difference when looked at more closely. Virtualization would be a first step to cloud storage, but it still requires on-site equipment and man power to maintain, but simply localizes all software, applications and user information in one spot while allowing other computers to route through in order to gain access.
Cloud storage is completely off-site, requires no equipment or manpower and simply offers you a place to store data, access software applications, share information and communications. Physical storage is slowly becoming a thing of the past, cloud computing is the way of the future.
Currently the real drive for cloud interest is economic. The sheer cost of maintaining on-site equipment is becoming outrageously expensive considering the maintenance and manpower required to do it.
A downside to cloud storage is the perceived security risks, perceived latency issues, and reliability issues. Robert states that "industry professionals across the globe are working on to boost the waning confidence in cloud computing due to these perceptions." There is no doubt that progress is being made everyday and that soon more and more companies will move towards the cloud as a way to manage their storage and data.
Robert made sure to note that the same issues exist with local storage, but some put more emphasis on the cloud due to perceived lack of control. It’s easier for people to manage downtime and other issues when they feel like they have control on internal equipment, but putting that same faith on equipment that you can’t see or touch is another thing.
When asked about how companies are balancing what needs to be physically at the location and in the cloud, Robert says, "I believe most company will end up using a combination of both, physical on premise and cloud."
Cash for Disk Clunkers
One of the more eco-friendly marketing efforts to assist companies around the globe was the start of the Cash for Disk Clunkers. Xiotech is once again taking the lead in encouraging companies to turn in their old arrays that are now too inefficient and less powerful to be of any use.
"Some of the older systems require reinforced floors just to store. It’s an interesting marketing ploy, playing off the federal initiative for the cash for clunkers program. There’s been a huge user response for this to the point where they go to the offices to inquire on the process. It’s an effort to promote efficiency, getting rid of the old one which is costing a lot to maintain, to include some of their own older models," states Peglar.
It’s definitely an interesting economic incentive for those interested in participating and a bonus with regards to their efforts to protect the environment from improper disposal of old equipment.
Most recently Xiotech made an appearance at the SC09 Conference (Computing for a Changing World) and Interop New York where they focused on helping provide knowledge and insight to help IT and corporate decision-makers achieve business success.