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Xiotech changes name, improves ISE

Xiotech is changing its name to X-IO (pronounced X-I-O) Technologies as part of an overhaul that really started in 2008 when it launched its ISE architecture and accelerated with the appointment of Alan Atkinson as CEO in late 2009.

The name change becomes official next week, but Atkinson is briefing people in the industry about the move. With the new name, X-IO will sharpen its focus on solid state storage and gear up for a possible run at going public.

The vendor will continue to build on its ISE architecture, and is renaming its SSD-based ISE system Hyper ISE. The system first launched earlier this year as Hybrid ISE.

“XIO sounds like extreme IO, which is exactly where we want to be with our concentration on performance-driven storage,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said Hyper ISE “is the same physical product” as Hybrid ISE, but its performance has been jacked up considerably due to improvements in the firmware and the algorithms used to tier data. XIO claims one Hyper ISE system can deliver 200,000 IOPS in a 14.4 TB, 3U box.

Hyper ISE uses multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs and 10,000 RPM SAS drives in one enclosure. Xio sees the system as a good fit for running databases, virtual servers and virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs).

“We built Hyper ISE for performance-starved apps,” Atkinson said. “This is the next turn of the crank. We were talking about 60,000 IOPS before, but 200,000 IOPS is an awful lot better.”

Even with ISE as its centerpiece, X-IO is a different company than when Atkinson replaced Casey Powell as CEO. Senior management now includes industry veterans COO George Symons and chief strategy officer Jim McDonald. Like Atkinson, both have worked at EMC. The notable holdover is CTO Steve Sicola, who came to Xiotech when it acquired the Advanced Storage Architecture group from Seagate and turned its technology into the ISE platform.