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Technical Services

Storage Competencies

XIOSS has built solution and professional services competencies around a number of key data storage technology areas. These include:

  • Data Storage Management – Using off the shelf management software or our own fully customizable X-CES™ (XIOSS – Correlation Engine Software) storage management dashboard, we can help you diagnose, monitor, and manage your environment more comprehensively and effectively.

  • Data Storage Consolidation – We build tiered storage environments that seamlessly integrate into today's virtual and cloud extended IT environments.

  • Data Migration – We have extensive experience migrating data to new platforms while minimizing risk and downtime.

  • Data Replication and DR – We help our customers meet strict RPOs and RTOs that are increasingly required in their disaster recovery environments. We also can integrate replicated data into virtualized recovery environments.

  • Mainframe Storage – We have experience building cost effective storage solutions for mainframe systems.

  • Data Archiving – We can help build systems that migrate exploding storage capacities to long-term, cost effective platforms with comprehensive data retention and management capabilities.

  • Support Contract Consolidation & Management – We can help you get your arms around the management of your maintenance contracts while guaranteeing cost savings.

  • Cloud Integration Services - XIOSS works with you to scope where and when to leverage public, private and hybrid cloud solutions. As part of our engagement we determine the type of Cloud such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DraaS and the many other architectural models to consider while weighing in on the pros and cons of each.

  • High Perfomance Computing - We can help you designed a "non tiered" in memory data grid to achieve IOPs 5 to 10X traditional Storage Flash for processing millions of transactions per second with nanosecond latency.

  • Big Data - We have technical expertise when it comes to designing architectures and requirements for Big Data solutions leveraging NoSql environments like Mongo DB, Couchbase, Neo4J and many more.

  • Software Development for Daa Storage Applications - XIOSS Developers are proficient in building powerful custom storage interfaces, appliances, and storage services based on JAVA, Groovy, PHP, Perl, MySQL, Apache, Python, C, and more.
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Storage Consolidation

CIOs, Storage Administrators and IT professionals are constantly challenged with limited time, talent, budget , volume growth, data protection, remote offices, compliance, migrations, disaster recovery, server failure, that little time is afforded to cure the problem. As a result they end up treating unexpected data storage challenges , one point product at a time. Adding point solutions to solve a particular problem or make an improvement in a given class is not enough to account for the fast paced business that is highly reliant on digital information. Our data management methods need to change. Point solutions create unnecessary copies of data sets with different operational approaches to manage these data sets causing a two-fold problem of data growth and complexity. XIOSS provides a new data management strategy that changes traditional methods to more appropriately address the information requirements for the business of today and not the business of 30-50 years ago. The dilemma storage administrators have is that they can't afford to throw any information away, because they are stuck using traditional storage, they can't afford to keep it either.

"Men have become tools of their tools" Henry David Thoreau

"A dirty little secret in IT is that 60 to 80 percent of the data sitting on expensive, transaction-optimized primary storage today is static. This data is vital to the organization, but it is infrequently accessed and belongs on a different tier of storage," said Heidi Biggar, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Unlike traditional storage vendors that try to sell you the "next generation point solution" with bold promises of massive data reduction, massive cost reduction, better data protection, or the age old competitive "speeds, feeds and cost" comparisons so common in the storage industry, XIOSS differentiates itself by applying a mathematical or clinical approach based on your actual data set to determine how data is created, stored, accessed and protected to identify "real" areas of process improvement.

The vast majority of vendors and solution providers we compete with are addressing your challenges and designing solutions above where the problem exists without collecting the necessary data to provide proactive "prevention oriented" data management solutions that focus on the root causes.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

XIOSS competitors treat symptoms rather than causes. This commonly used approach results in applying a "band aid" using yet another temporary point solution. Throwing more hardware at the problem can no longer suffice when we are dealing with exponential data growth, limited budgets for adding infrastructure and expanding the IT team to account for the increase in data while experiencing added regulatory pressures.  This is proven by the fact that the average enterprise we consult with have complex architectures that have been reactively built over time, one point solution at a time.  Think about your own environment. What do you have? There are many manufactures that have ten or twenty solutions that you would need to implement in order to provision, store, copy, replicate, index, de-duplicate, and  archive data to provide a comprehensive storage management environment necessary for the requirements of today.  

The storage industry is filled with more acronyms, complexity, and suppliers that create buzz for little advancements in technology that promise to solve our pains such as data growth, data loss, downtime. Our data management methods need to change. Point solutions create unnecessary copies of data sets with different operational approaches to manage these data sets causing a two fold problem of data growth and complexity. XIOSS proposes a new information management strategy that changes the methods to more appropriately address the information requirements for the business of today and not the business of 30-50 years ago. The dilemma storage administrators have is that they can't afford to throw any information away, because they are stuck using traditional storage, they can't afford to keep it either.

Why use such labor intensive and costly processes when we are globally connected? If you want to talk to someone in a different state, you do not get in your car and drive over. You pick up the phone. Granted sometimes a "face to face "meeting is necessary but when a phone is available, it makes things a lot more efficient. It is easier, safer, faster, less expensive and allows you to talk to more people in a given time. The same holds true for managing data growth. We need to utilize the Internet as an enabling technology to bring forth new methods for managing data growth.

As stated before, XIOSS focuses on the root cause of data growth and designs a solution that addresses storage/file management from a users perspective and not from a computers perspective. Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst said it best "people talk to computers with files whereas computers talk to disks in blocks". Our storage complexity and pains are the result of us managing our storage from the computers vocabulary and not our own. Our storage solutions should empower us to manage and store information based on how we want it stored rather than being forced into managing information within the limitations of the computer rigid directory structure file system. Files systems become file cabinet drawers but without the ability to retrieve information based on content due to lack of intelligent file management. XIOSS provides a new model for managing information that does away with the limitations of the existing methods.

Current Realities

We are all connected, everyone is collecting information, across devices of all types and deleting anything is something of the past.

Unstructured Data = 80-90% = Everything not in a database - Approximately 80%-90% of data inside an organization is residing on file servers in formats as diverse as documents, spreadsheets, graphics, images, video, seismic maps, etc. and expectations are that file-based storage will increase by 50% to 120% a year. Merrill Lynch estimates that more than 85 percent of all business information exists as unstructured data – commonly appearing in e-mails, memos, notes from call centers and support operations, news, user groups, chats, reports, letters, surveys, white papers, marketing material, research, presentations and Web pages.

"Traditional systems were not designed for unknown requirements. They were designed for just the opposite. Digital content is at direct odds with this philosophy. Core systems built for transactional integrity, speed and reliability are fantastic, but when we ask systems based on these design principals to meet the needs of the new data generation, they inevitably fail." Steve Duplessi ESG Senior Analyst

Structured Data = 10-20% Data lives within databases.

Active versus Inactive Data

  • 90 percent of data created is static 90 days after its creation. (Source: SNIA)
  • 56 percent of data recovered is less than two days' old. (Source: ESG Research, "The Evolution of Enterprise Data Protection")

In surveys of U.S. companies, IDC found that information workers spend 14.5 hours per week reading and answering email, 13.3 hours creating documents, 9.6 hours searching for information, and 9.5 hours analyzing information.

Compliance
It is no secret that organization such as financial, health care, legal, Governmental, are forced to retain data longer resulting in more files. Analysts estimate that 20% of all data is subject to compliance laws. In addition to retention, making the data accessible in a timely manner is of utmost importance.

When one puts these realities into perspective it is obvious that traditional storage solutions are not keeping up. A new strategy in how we manage information needs to develop. Once this is defined then the proper solution can be proposed. XIOSS engineers understand that the solutions they design must be able to support the business requirements of today and the future. We focus on information/data management rather than storage management. Storage management is what computers do. The XIOSS strategy is about preserving and delivering its users information that is relevant to the business at a given point in time. Archive or inactive information may become relevant to a user at any time, so it should be available within seconds. To be able to achieve this all data needs to be available online and not offline on a tape cartridge. You may think this will be cost prohibitive but if you look at how inexpensive a 3 terabyte disk is today ($100) then it becomes quite clear that it is more costly to administer backup software and an archive solution that causes data proliferation and lengthy restores as well as e-discovery exercises.

The Storage Centric Enterprise is an exercise in managing unintelligent data whereas the Information Centric Enterprise is organically "content aware and self organizing. In order to move from a storage centric environment to an information centric environment, certain things must change.

XIOSS Storage Consolidation moves you away from:

  • Islands of data in internal disks,  RAIDs, NAS, Tapes to a Central Information Repository that is content aware and delivered on demand.

  • Independent point solutions that create independent copies of the original data set and manages these copies using different tools , methods, then the primary data set itself to a singular comprehensive solution that automatically manages capacity provisioning, protection, archive, replication, and retention.

  • Vertical directory architectures trapped inside a CPU to a horizontal "database driven" architecture delivered transparently across the enterprise. Eliminate the filesystem.

  • 30 Year old Sequential Backup to Data De-Dup , VTL and Tape devices and replaces them with an Intelligent information operating system that sits on top of a virtual storage container. This allows us to manage the information based on how we think.

  • Labor intensive searching by file name through sequential tape backup and archive software to a "metadata" driven search where all information is online 24/7.

  • Location specific storage environments dependent on multiple point solutions that are complex, expensive, and of limited capacity to a transparent service oriented architecture that delivers value above and beyond data protection.

  • Backup Administrators searching through sequential backup sets on tape to user based role specific search / view portals.

  • Storing files based on name, size and type to storing files based on class, context, relevance and value.

  • Data that is subject to computer rules to information that is subject to business rules.

The benefits of moving away from the old process to a new process creates an environment that frees corporate information from the depths of duplicate data sets to a single organized information pool that automates information management, making all information accessible, contextual, search-able at disk speed.

This seems too good to be true doesn't it? It seems so obvious and simple to discuss in theoretical terms but is technically impossible from a storage perspective. From a "storage only" perspective it is and that's why we need to consider integrating and leveraging emerging technologies and processes from non storage related industries to begin to move in the direction of information management.

It all starts from the ground up where physical computers, processors, disk drives, network connections need to scale out and work in the back ground to present an aggregate of capacity, performance, and offer no single point of failure. On top of this "ever scaling" physical resource needs to be an "ever scaling" globally accessible virtual file system capable of replacing the traditional file system, while adding more functionality than just translating files to blocks to be stored the way computers force us to.

The XIOSS IQ system is transparent to the user whereby when they save their files, these files are automatically preserved in the Information Repository based on business rules as initially set by the administrator. No translation is necessary because the way files are created aligns with the way they are preserved. Files are no longer sent to electronic junk drawers that need to be sorted through based on the hope that one remembers the file name.


XIOSS IQ manages files from the time they are born to the time they are expired. The main functions of XIOSS IQ is to provide massive consolidation by offering:

  • Automatic information management across the entire enterprise
  • A centralized repository of all electronic Information for both active and inactive information
  • Make all information on line, organized and viewable based on user/department roles and business rules
  • Store information based on type, classification, context, and importance
  • Automatically migrates inactive data offsite freeing up onsite capacity and improving performance
  • Enforce and inherit existing security rules for users, departments, managers and CIO
  • Provide effective auditing and reporting information
  • Eliminate backup processes and focus on what to keep by a strategic retention policy that automates the destruction of data based on regulatory and business rules
  • Eliminate duplicate files while keeping all versions of a given file
  • Provide effective disaster recovery by automatic replication and copy on close processes
  • Ease of use so when one saves a file, it is automatically managed from birth to expiration


Let XIOSS be your data storage experts.

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Storage Tuning & Management

XIOSS delivers valuable insight to its customers by leveraging its XIOSS IQ Platform. Without truly knowing exactly your data set profile, it would be a "best guess" set of information to work from. Given today's exploding data volumes, highly distributed workforce and the increasing employee usage of tablets, smartphones outside of IT control, "best guess" approaches lead to average solutions at best. XIOSS believes in using actual data to create a solid strategic action plan for how to effectively manage data today and for the future.

Our engineers run agentless scripts in your environment to identify capacity usage, utilization rates, over provisioning, under provisioning, actual performance versus required performance and several other metrics. With this data at hand, we collaborate with your team to determine if anything could be tuned, implemented, re-purposed in order to reduce spending while gaining efficiencies. We combine this with "big picture" thinking to design a storage configuration that meets the requirements of the business.

Initial Discovery is to provide you an up-to-date picture of your exisiting storage infrastructure, including arrays, switches and hosts.

We generate reports that show:

  • Inventory of Arrays, Switches, and attached hosts and which location they reside at
  • Capacity Summary - Raw, Provisioned, Unprovisioned, Utilization Rates, Space that can be reclaimed, primary, snapshot, replicated, and mirrored

With this information we determine what needs to be tuned for maximum optimization and performance.

XIOSSstorageauditor

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Tiering RPO & RTO For Relevancy

Our engineers help customers define server, application and data recovery requirements to reduce costs while achieving desired service level objectives.

Imagine if your site was destroyed or your data center was flooded. The first thing one needs to think about when designing a recovery solution is, what applications need to be recovered for the business to operate immediately and which of those applications can be set as second and third priorities. The reality is that disasters are rare but they also can happen at any time so balancing the probability against cost is a very important exercise.

Today the method of data protection employed by an organization is determined by the required SLA: How fast do we need to recover data? Since all data does not carry the same value, and budgets are tight, corporations are beginning to implement tiered recovery methodologies to drive how and where they protect data.

Corporations are beginning to design data protection needs around "recovery." Since data is the backbone of every organization, recovering that data as quickly as necessary is critical to balance production downtime cost and budgets. Since one solution (and cost) will not fit every data set, a data protection design is based on recovery and must be evaluated by application and data against:

  • RecoveryPointObjective(RPO)–“How much data am Iwilling to lose?”
  • RecoveryTime Objective(RTO)–“How long can I be without my data?”
  • Cost–This is particularly relevant in a remote office where there are little or no IT resources

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) found that mid-market organizations (companies with 100 to 999 employees) cannot endure disruption for long. Over half of the companies surveyed (52%) cannot tolerate more than one hour for their most mission-critical data (Tier 1); 49% cannot tolerate more than three hours of downtime for Tier 2; and 43% cannot tolerate more than nine hours for all other data (Tier 3). This is why considerable investments are being made to protect all tiers of data appropriately.

A typical tiered recovery scenario includes three tiers:

  • Tier 1 – Mission-critical applications – This tier can include email, production databases, sales/order processing, customer management, and financial systems.
  • Tier 2 – Data and applications- This tier that require high levels of performance and reliability but may not be as critical to business and can tolerate longer recovery periods – file system data, user data, etc.
  • Tier 3 – This tier includes inactive data that is no longer changed or accessed that still needs to be managed and stored but not necessarily kept on high performance, high cost disk arrays. Tier 3 data should be archived to remove this "stale" data out of shapshots, backups and recovery processes to reduce costs while improving recovery times. Archive data that can tolerate longer recovery times.

 

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Cloud Readiness

XIOSS helps you navigate through the "world of many clouds" to determine which architecture and delivery model is right for you. 

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Storage Assessment & Strategy

XIOSS is the trusted storage advisor for several Fortune 100 clients as well as many organizations of all sizes across many industries. This broad range of experience has led XIOSS to develop "Best Practice" methods to implement and manage data and underlying infrastructure to ensure that availability, accessibility and performance objectives are met for now and into the future.

XIOSS views technology as a vehicle and not a destination. Our number one priority is to understand your business needs so we can design and implement the right solution that achieves your objectives.  Our experienced team of data storage engineers examine where you are at today to determine the exact steps and milestones required to achieve your vision. Data is at the heart of every enterprise and needs to be de-coupled from traditional storage arrays to avoid vendor lock in, unnecessary migrations, scalability and capacity ceilings. Storage, servers, and applications keep changing or evolving all the while your data remains the same.

Gaining Clarity -

By gaining clarity of your current situation, we combine big picture thinking, emerging technologies, and our assessment tools to align them with your specific profile as it relates to:

  • Budget Priorities

  • Existing Infrastructure

  • Virtualization

  • Current IT Investments

  • Cost to manage existing environment

  • Operational Efficiency

  • Recoverability and Availability Requirements

  • Application Performance Requirements

  • Reclaimable or orphaned disk space

  • Data Tiering, Application Tiering and Storage Tiering

  • And many more....

The end result is to identify opportunities to improve overall IT efficiencies, performance and continuity while reducing ongoing costs, risk of data loss, unplanned outages and the time it takes to recover from any type of disaster. It's all about your data and making sure we help maximize each customer's return on investment to deliver the best service level objective possible for the available budget. XIOSS is not everything to everyone. We are specialists in designing scalable, fault tolerant, high performance networked storage solutions.

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World leading companies use XIOSS and their data storage expertise to address exponential growth of data.  XIOSS leads the way in consulting and professional services around data performance, capacity planning, migrations, disaster recovery and data protection.

XIOSS Data Storage Solutions  XIOSS Enterprise Data Storage Solutions  XIOSS Data Storage Experts   

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XIOSS Data Services

  • Data Storage Assessment
  • Data Management Strategy
  • Data Migration
  • Data Consolidation
  • Storage Tuning & Management
  • Data Deduplication
  • Data Storage Consulting

About XIOSS

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