XtremIO X2 vs X1: considering bang for the buck ratio

x2 benefitsI have promised earlier to explain how has XtremIO X2 managed to reduce cost per GB three times. From the very announcement date my customers and partners ask me if it is real. Yes, it is. I have checked it myself. So let’s do it together now.

Before I really start, I want to draw your attention to the fact that this cost reduction had taken place without compromising quality and reliability. So it is achieved only with the help of more advanced technologies.  So, we will talk about them.

At first glance, the question about cost per gig turned out to be non-trivial. Trying to calculate X1 and X2 configurations «head-to-head» does not make a sense. You will not achieve three times the price reduction that way.

However, it is not directly explained in marketing presentations, but it is ultimately possible to find out how such savings could be achieved in real.

First, one needs to pay attention that it is about effectively stored Terabytes and not just about raw capacity.  A system with constantly working compression and deduplication should be evaluated only in terms of the efficiently stored data.

XtremIO X2 cost reduction rests on four pillars.

  1. Element base – large capacity TLC flash.
  2. Hardware architecture — high-density drive enclosures
  3. Data Protection – more efficient XDP algorithm
  4. Data Reduction Rate – improved compression

Let us consider these one by one.

To make it little bit more real, assume you have a fixed budget for 30TB efficient capacity on XtremIO X1  and now you want to compare what you can get with X2 for the same money.


TLC flash is pretty obviously just cheaper. For the same money, you can buy more TB. Roughly speaking, 20% more.

If we look at the bang for the buck, then you will have 36TB instead of 30TB for the same money only because of TLC flash. But it’s not all.



Dense Enclosures allow you to put almost 3 times more drives (25 => 72) for one pair of controllers (x-brick).

So, to achieve the same raw volume you need 3 times less controllers which will save you huge amount of money.  This gives, probably, the most tangible savings.

Therefore, you can buy a rough estimate of times 2 more TB for the same money.

Instead of 36TB, you get 72. But it’s not all.

X2 benefits 4


Improved XDP algorithm can store data on two DPG groups of 36 modules, instead of 25 modules per DPG.

As XDP architecture requires two drive capacities for parity and one capacity for distributed spare.

You get the efficiency of XDP storage 33/36, that is, 91.6%.  I believe, such efficiency parameter is a record in storage industry.

Compared with X1, where it was 22/25 = 88%, you can get 4% more effective TB flash.

Bang for the buck grows another 3TB — to 75TB instead of 72 TB. But it’s not all.

Fourth and final.

It’s data reduction. It’s hard to believe, but it really got even better. According to our developers and pre-production beta tests with our customers, Data Reduction is 25% greater now.

Which gives you 94TB instead of 75.

X2 benefits 3

As you see now, you have started with fixed budget, which could allow you to buy 30TB of XtremIO X1, and now, for the same money – 94TB of X2 is available. The best just got better.


Of course, we have had a lot of assumptions in above exercise. However, I am sure you got the idea.

To check how is it real for your scenario — ask your DellEMC rep.

By the way, capacity efficiency is not the only benefit of XtremIO X2.

Other things, such as greatly improved performance (Write Boost), advancements in Enterprise Copy Data Management and hypervisor integrations should be taken into account as well.

All these are things allow to uncover  more value of XtremIO to your business.  This means – there is more stuff to write about. Follow my blog.

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