ScaleIO the company, as well as software defined storage (SDS) technology it devised, has been around longer than most others in the market today. ScaleIO, for example, released its first GA product to the market early 2011, as Nutanix also did late that same year. ScaleIO’s technology didn’t go unnoticed within the industry for long either. The Israeli company was acquired by EMC halfway 2013 in order to strengthen the behemoth’s storage portfolio, as it did not contain an SDS solution. However, the company’s acquisition did not halt the platform’s evolution. Since then ScaleIO Elastic Converged Storage (ECS) has steadily progressed from version 1.1 to version 2.0 that was released in March 2016.
what distinguishes ScaleIO from the other SDS/HCI solutions out there … the most notable is the tremendous flexibility the solution has shown since its emergence!
History aside, what in particular distinguishes ScaleIO from the other SDS/HCI solutions out there? Probably the most notable is the tremendous flexibility that the solution has shown since its emergence more than five years ago. In contrast to most other SDS/HCI platforms, ScaleIO was clearly engineered as a direct replacement for the existing hardware defined storage solutions. That meant it had to be able to serve both virtual server environments as well as bare metal (physical server) environments. As the aim of most competitive SDS/HCI solutions has been to exclusively target virtual environments, support for the latter is often missing.
Another differentiator is the fact that up to this day ScaleIO can be deployed as either a 2-layer or a 1-layer solution (or a mix of both). When implementing the 2-layer solution, ScaleIO servers only host storage for external servers (Windows/Linux and hypervisor hosts), which is comparable to the traditional hardware defined concept. When deploying ScaleIO as a 1-layer solution, ScaleIO servers host both storage and compute, which is comparable to the hyper-converged infrastructure concept. One other flexible property to mention is the broad media choice. ScaleIO solutions can be built using spinning disks (HDD’s) only, using both spinning disks and flash media (Hybrid), or using flash media only (All-Flash).
If you are unfamiliar with ScaleIO have a look at this “key features and benefits” video
Having said all this, it raises the interesting question how ScaleIO, in its current iteration (v2.0), compares to the existing platforms in our SDS/HCI line-up (Nutanix XCP, VMware VSAN, SimpliVity DVP and Atlantis USX/HyperScale) …
Next to its strengths, there is also opportunity as well as room for improvement left in some areas. For one, ScaleIO has yet to embrace de-duplication and/or compression techniques to up the storage efficiency. We’ve heard rumours that compression is going to be implemented in the (near) future though. Apart from this ScaleIO still relies on external first-party and third-party solutions for data protection in disaster recovery scenarios. Although the platform can be used with EMC’s own RecoverPoint or DR solutions like Zerto, ScaleIO has yet to implement integrated replication features that, at the same time, could be the enabler for stretched implementations.
Having said all this, it raises the interesting question how ScaleIO, in its current iteration (v2.0), compares to the existing platforms in our SDS/HCI line-up (Nutanix XCP, VMware VSAN, SimpliVity DVP and Atlantis USX/HyperScale). Starting today you can find out, as ScaleIO has been added to the SDS/HCI comparison matrix. And because of the dynamic nature of our comparison platform, you’ll also be able to follow the evolution of the ScaleIO platform as time progresses.
For a full listing of updates and additions, please visit the WhatMatrix SDS/HCI comparison tables here.
Category Consultant SDS & HCI