Quantum introduces new StorNext Xcellis appliances with upgraded hardware

The Xcellis appliances are targeted at use cases which require intense video workflows, and benefit from the hardware upgrades, which include 100GbE connectivity and major increases in processing power and RAM.

Quantum has announced the availability of the latest newest Xcellis appliances powered by StorNext, Quantum’s scale-out file system. The new appliances leverage the newest hardware to provide greatly upgraded processing power and RAM, and now have the ability to offer 100 Gb Ethernet connectivity.

First introduced in 2017, Xcellis utilizes a converged architecture that combines compute, client access and storage to form a powerful workflow storage solution.

“The target audience for these is anyone who has large volumes of rich media,” said Jason Coari, Director of Product Marketing for High-Performance Storage Solutions at Quantum. “The big market for it is in Media and Entertainment –post-production houses, broadcasters, special effects guys and the like. There are also many other use cases. We are doing a great business with autonomous vehicle testing.”

Xcellis is broadly sold by Quantum channel partners.

“Probably 90 per cent of our partners sell Xcellis,” Coari said. “It is the main product within our high-performance shared storage portfolio. Xcellis provides an end-to-end solution for customers that lets them align storage infrastructure to the value of data that sits on it. Xcellis is more flexible compared to a standard NAS device because it provides access to data across SAN and NAS architectures and does the tiering natively to a variety of targets. These days, most of the competition is a NAS-only type of product, and although some do leverage GPSS for SAN connectivity, no one else can provide access to both NAS and SAN at the same time.”

The new Xcellis appliances are based on a next-generation server architecture that includes dual 8-core Intel Xeon CPU’s, 64 GB memory, SSD boot drives, and dual 100Gb Ethernet or 32 Gb Fibre Channel ports.

“This particular announcement involves the new platform that StorNext is now running on, and the internal validation of new server hardware,” Coari said. “As such, it is not our own IP. The enhanced networking is particularly important here though, because it can offer 100 Gb Ethernet capability, and with our NVMe devices attached over Fabric, can provide 20 GB/s uncached throughput for read and write. That will support almost any workflow. And if you need more performance, you just add another storage controller.

“The server hardware improvement is another major point,” Coari added. The improved CPU and 50 per cent increase in RAM over the previous generation greatly improve StorNext metadata performance, to make tasks less time intensive, support an even greater number of clients per node, and enable the management of billions of files per node. As video performance is critical to many Xcellis use cases, the next-generation hardware’s ability to provide even higher levels of streaming performance for video playback is significant.

The enhanced hardware will translate directly into enhanced opportunities.

“This will give them an excellent ability to go back to customers running StorNext and say tell them how the platform makes Xcellis that much better,” Coari said. “They can also emphasize the straightforward upgrade process, and that the FlexSync software in StorNext lets data be moved with very little downtime. For customers with legacy Fibre Channel networking who still need the performance, the 100GB ethernet gives them a way to move to a more modern architecture, and not sacrifice much performance or latency. Partners can talk with their install base about this and get them excited about something that’s a natural transition for them.”

Quantum’s new Xcellis appliances are available now.