Atlantis ILIO USX, In-Memory Performance for Servers

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Today at VMware PEX, Atlantis Computing Announced ILIO USX, The First In-Memory Storage Solution for Server Workloads.

I’ve been a big fan of Atlantis ILIO for a while now. There is nothing faster than reading or writing to memory. The Atlantis solution is a great fit for VDI / persistent and non-persistent desktops.


While I was testing ILIO for a while in my lab, I was always wondering why this bunch of storage appliances that do a very good job with inline-deduplication and compression and basically run my complete desktop workload in memory (which is very very fast). Why this solution wasn’t transformed into a distributed storage model. It makes a lot of sense to be able to commit the writes to other controller VM’s memory.

That being said, after reading the ILIO USX press release and having a chat with Gregg Holzrichter (VP Marketing). The product reminds me of a mixture of few existing solutions. For example EMC ViPR that allows multi-tenancy, orchestration, management of different storage devices through a common interface and grouping of different types storage in to a single virtual storage pool. Where ILIO USX also might look like it belongs in the Hyper Converged Storage space…

Take a mixture of the Hyper-Converged space, add parts of EMC ViPR and you have ILIO USX

  • VMware VSAN – (Still in beta) Offers NFS via Ditributed File System, transforms local storage from direct vmkernel module (minimum 3 nodes) to shared NFS. Only supports vSphere. Uses SSD or PCI-SSD as Tier1 and NL-SAS/SATA as Tier2. does not have deduplication and compression. Writes go to SSD.
  • Maxta – Offers MDFS (Maxta Distributed File System). Transforms local storage from Controller-VM to to Shared NFS (minimum 2 nodes). Uses SSD as Tier1 and NL-SATA as Tier2. Has inline-deduplication and compression. Supports vSphere, Hyper-V & KVM can be tested. REST API Support.
  • Nutanix – offers NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File System) transforms local storage from Controller-VM (minimum 3 nodes) to shared NFS, iSCSI or SMB storage, supports vSphere, KVM and Hyper-V. Uses memory as Tier 0, PCI-SSD as Tier1 and NL-SAS/SATA as Tier2,  has inline-deduplication and compression. Writes go to SSD. REST API support.

Where all mentioned solutions are very simple to manage and easy to install. Some have more features, are still in beta or are more mature. It sure looks like Atlantis is moving in same direction with ILIO USX.


* grey items will be available in future releases.

Atlantis ILIO USX

  • More VMs on Existing SAN/NAS – Deploy up to 5x more VMs on existing storage
  • Turn DAS Into Enterprise-Class Storage – Lower cost by pooling local server disk, flash, SSD and RAM
  • In-Memory Performance – Boost IO performance up to 5x using server-side flash and RAM to accelerate performance intensive applications
  • 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
  • Automated Deployment Push-Button installation, configuration, and datastore creation across the datacenter


Application Defined Storage Volumes

Atlantis ILIO USX is the next generation of this proven in-memory architecture, purpose built to optimize and manage all virtualized server workloads including SQL server, Exchange, collaboration, test & development and big data applications.


Aggregate RAM (or Flash) from disparate nodes and turn into a large continuous pool of memory that can be then used as in memory storage or as a form of non volatile RAM for the vscaler technology

Dynamically Create any type of Storage:


What about 3.6 million IOPS

Place 19Tb of flash on Dimm (Sandisk/Diablo) inside a IBM x3950 X6 with 2Tb of RAM, and you get about 3,7 million IOPS with only 0.6 ms latency from a single box… simply amazing…


My Take

As a big ILIO fan, I can’t wait to get my hands on ILIO USX. On first impression it looks like a very flexible storage solution that can fit a lot of customers that are working with automation and are looking for a solution that can work with their existing storage solutions, insert some flash, profit from deduplication, compression and speed everything up 5x.

Also with DR / Replication being released in a future version, I can see endless possibility’s for this product.


Atlantis ILIO USX is available immediately through Atlantis Computing certified channel partners.