|Industry||Data storage devices / Computer Storage|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Key people||Sujal Patel, President and CEO|
Isilon Systems, a division of EMC, is headquartered in Seattle and sells clustered storage systems and software for digital content and other unstructured data, which includes but is not limited to video, audio, digital images, computer models, PDF files, scanned information, and test and simulation data. Isilon was acquired by EMC Corporation in November 2010.
Isilon's products are used to store and manage data filesets across various industries including Media & Entertainment, Government, IC Design, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Internet/Web 2.0, and Content Delivery/Telco providers. In 2002, Isilon received venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital. Isilon's customers include NBC Universal, Cedars-Sinai, Kelman Technologies, and Kodak, among others. Isilon's current tagline is "Simple is Smart".
Isilon designed and developed its clustered storage systems specifically to address the needs of storing, managing and accessing digital content and other unstructured data. An Isilon clustered storage system is composed of three or more nodes. Each node is a self-contained, rack-mountable device that contains industry standard hardware, including disk drives, CPU, memory chips and network interfaces, and is integrated with proprietary operating system software called OneFS (based on FreeBSD), which unifies a cluster of nodes into a single shared resource.
Isilon sells its products indirectly through a channel partner program that includes over 100 resellers and distributors, and directly through a field sales force.
Financial troubles and executive changes
Sujal Patel, who founded Isilon in 2001 and served as its chief technology officer, returned to the company as CEO in the Fall of 2007. This followed the resignation of Chief Executive Steve Goldman and Chief Financial Officer Stu Fuhlendorf. In the spring of 2008 Isilon reported questionable revenue recognition events to the SEC under the previous regime. A number of earning reports submitted to the SEC from 2006 and 2007 were revised. Isilon introduced a new revenue recognition policy in order to remedy the previous issues.
Technology and architecture
Isilon clustered storage system architecture consists of independent nodes that are all integrated with the OneFS operating system software. The systems can be installed in standard data center environments and are accessible to users and applications running Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac operating systems using industry standard file sharing protocols over standard Gigabit Ethernet.
Nodes within the clustered storage system communicate with each other over a dedicated back-end network which is either Infiniband or standard Gigabit Ethernet. The architecture is designed so that each node has full visibility and write/read access to or from a single expandable file system.
The core technology of the Isilon clustered storage consists of OneFS, which provides a single unified operating system and delivers up to 10 GB/s of throughput. The OneFS operating system software is designed with file-striping functionality across each node in a cluster, a fully distributed lock manager, caching, fully distributed meta-data, and a remote block manager to maintain global coherency and synchronization across the cluster.
In July 2007, Isilon announced the release of the IQ 9000 and EX 9000 clustered storage products, claiming scalability of up to 1.6 petabytes of capacity in a single file system and single volume. New products were launched in September 2008, raising stated capacity to 2.3 PB and in March 2009, raising stated capacity to 3.4 PB. In May 2011, they raised the stated capacity to 15 PB.
Acquisition by EMC
On November 15, 2010, it was announced that EMC would acquire Isilon for $2.25 billion. EMC said that with its acquisition of Isilon, it would be better able to provide storage infrastructure for private and public cloud environments, with a focus on so-called big data, like gene sequencing, online streaming, and oil and natural gas seismic studies.
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- Isilon Systems, Inc. Simple is Smart
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- FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, December 17, 2007
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- "EMC to Buy Isilon Systems for $2.25 Billion". New York Times. 2010-11-15.