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February 11, 2014

VMware VSAN and Atlantis ILIO USX Join Forces on Software-Defined Storage

Seth Knox - Atlantis


As part of the ongoing partnership between VMware and Atlantis Computing, we are excited to announce at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) a joint solution that integrates the ability of VSAN to pool local solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disks (HDDs) with the Atlantis ILIO USX  software-defined storage solution to extend and optimize VSAN. Using Atlantis ILIO USX, IT organizations can pool VSANs with existing shared SAN, NAS and All-Flash storage, while optimize it with Atlantis ILIO In-Memory Storage technology to boost performance, reduce storage capacity and provide storage services such as high availability, fast cloning and unified management across all datacenter storage hardware.

To learn more about Atlantis ILIO USX, VMware VSAN and Atlantis ILIO USX Solution Briefvisit

Atlantis Computing and VMware Customer Northrim Bank on the Benefits of Atlantis ILIO USX:

“We have been using Atlantis ILIO software for more than a year for our VDI deployment and I have been looking forward to implementing Atlantis ILIO USX for our databases and other server workloads since I first saw the tech preview at VMworld 2013. With Atlantis ILIO USX, we were able to take our EqualLogic arrays and pool them with our Nimble arrays to more than double our available storage capacity, while delivering 10x increase in the performance. By pooling and optimizing lower cost storage, Atlantis ILIO USX enabled us to get more from our existing storage investments. For our application VMs, this means that we increased the number of transactions per minute by ten times without buying and managing a single new disk shelf, SSD or flash card. With Atlantis ILIO USX, we are able to scale out our existing storage infrastructure and not be tied to a specific vendor or model of array. This freedom will allow us to grow our capacities using lower cost storage while being able to maintain the high IO requirements of the business unit projects.”

-       Erick Stoeckle, Network System Manager and IT Architect, Northrim Bank

To see the VMware and Atlantis Computing  case study and video on Northrim Bank, click

Key Benefits of the joint solution

  • Turn DAS Into Enterprise-Class Storage – Lower cost by pooling local server disk, flash, SSD
  • Non-disruptive capacity scalability – You can easily and non-disruptively expand the capacity of the Virtual SAN datastore by adding hosts to a cluster, as well as adding shared SAN/NAS arrays present on the network
  • More VMs on Existing Storage – Deploy up to 5x more VMs per VSAN cluster
  • In-Memory Performance – Boost IO performance of any VSAN cluster by up to 5x to accelerate performance intensive applications
  • Automated Deployment – Push-button installation, configuration, and datastore creation across the datacenter
  • Flexibility – Policy-based controls deliver optimal storage capacity, performance and availability to each VM using any class of storage; local and shared, file and block
  • Instant Provisioning – Create any type of storage and clone VMs in seconds

Performance and Validation Testing


Atlantis ILIO USX + VSAN Test Results

To validate the joint solution, VMware and Atlantis Computing tested VMware VSAN with Atlantis ILIO USX to ensure the compatibility of the solution and measure the performance and storage capacity reduction. The results of the performance testing highlight the strength of the joint solution.  Together with VMware, we tested the latest version of VMware VSAN and Atlantis ILIO USX on a test bed with three VMware vSphere servers, each equipped with one SSD and 6 SAS disks.  We installed 375 virtual machines on these hosts, and ran a series of tests to measure the performance of the solution, looking at key performance and capacity metrics.

The joint solution boosted the storage performance to 117,090 IOPS with an average latency of 3.4 milliseconds. A boot storm of these virtual desktops machines completed in just six minutes and ten seconds (measured until the VMware tools reported as running), which averages to a boot time of less than a full second per VM.   A single desktop booted in 12 seconds, and a PassMark Disk Mark performance test result of 6795 makes the ILIO USX/VSAN virtual harddisk the 7thfastest harddisk to ever be tested .

Furthermore, the amount of storage capacity consumed on the VSAN was reduced by 99% during the testing. Based on beta testing at customer sites, we expect that VSAN will be able to run up to 5 times more VMs per TB in production environments.

Storage needs are doubling every two years and outpacing customers’ ability to buy, manage and operate storage hardware. Datacenters are also in the midst of a fundamental transformation from inefficient silos of hardware to intelligent software-defined datacenters. Atlantis ILIO USX together with VMware VSAN eliminate the inefficiencies of storage silos by unifying all storage types into a highly optimized pool of local and shared storage resources that are now available to all applications. Policy-based storage volumes then optimize capacity, performance and availability based on application needs. Storage utilization is optimized for each VM workload resulting in lower storage costs, better performance and increased flexibility. The joint solution amplifies VSAN storage capacity presented to applications, boosts application performance, simplifies management and makes rapid on-demand provisioning a reality by automating the real-time creation and orchestration of storage.

To learn more about the joint solution, read the solution brief

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