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No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'

But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told

There's a rumor that upgrading EMC's XtremIO firmware to v3.0 will wipe all user data from the flash array.

It's mentioned here. It seems going from firmware version 2.4.x to version 3.0, expected by early October, will cause data to be lost – and customers will need to back everything up before the upgrade and restore it afterwards.

The 3.0 firmware is supposed to add inline compression and speed performance. But a source close to the situation told The Register: "I wouldn't be surprised if data was lost in the migration. EMC made changes to add inline compression and any future high availability work.

"It's probably due to some major disk format change in XtremIO firmware 3.0."

A reason for the extreme change is that XtremIO's dedupe block size is being doubled from 4,096 to 8,192 bytes with XIOS 3.0, it's suggested, in order to reduce the total amount of metadata required.

There is an EMC XtremIO video on YouTube that claims disruptive upgrades won't be required.

Youtube Video

XtremIO veep Josh Goldstein confirmed compression was being added in the v3.0 upgrade, and that it could deliver a fourfold increase in effective capacity. Obviously, it is well worth running the free-of-charge upgrade to get this capability.

User data will need to be preserved during the upgrade, Goldstein said, adding: "Basically, it can be seamless for a customer."

He insisted the upgrade can be a no-impact update, and that EMC will be contacting the blogger above. Goldstein also said EMC Professional Services had a number of techniques available to ensure this will be a no-impact upgrade for customers. "There is," he confirmed, "no service cost to the customer for this."

Going forward, XtremIO customers will enjoy non-disruptive upgrades, we're told.

EMC's Chad Sakac has more on his blog, saying: "Disruptive upgrades affect all persistence architectures, all vendors at times. If you’re curious about the engineering reasons why – helpful to predict whether any future upgrade of any stack will likely be NDU or DU – as well as more on this particular XtremIO upgrade (and some more roadmap) read on!" which we'll leave you to do. ®

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