Happy New Year! We are gearing up for a crazy 2013 here at IBM Storage. One item that i thought needed some attention is a new code release for the V7000 Unified.
More awesome things coming out of the TMS acquisition and big data push later this month.
Last week IBM published some very interesting results on the Storage Performance Council website. Using the SPC-1 test method, IBM raised more than just a few eye brows. IBM configured 18 200GB SSDs in a mirrored configuration which was able to attain 120k IOPS with less than 5 ms response time even at the 100% load.
IBM used an all SSD array that fit into a single 2U space and mirrored the drives in RAID 1 fashion. These were all put into a pool and 8 volumes were carved out for the AIX server. The previous SPC1 run IBM performed used spinning media and virtualized the systems using the SAN Volume Controller virtualization engine. This gave IBM the top spot in the SPC1 benchmark with over 520,000 IOPS costing a wopping $6.92 per IOP.
This has been compared to the Oracle/Sun ZFS 7420 who published 137k IOPS late last year. When matched to the IBM V7000 results we see the V7000 was $181,029 with roughly $1.50 per IOP compared to the SUN 7420 who came in at $409,933 and $2.99 per IOP. The V7000 was able to perform 88% of the work at 44% of the price. Oracle has not come back with any type of statement but I can only bet they are seething over this and will be in the labs trying to find a way to lower their cost while still performing.
The SPC1 benchmark tests the performance of a storage array doing mainly random I/O in a business environment. It has been called out for not being a very realistic workload as it tends to carter to higher end, cache heavy systems. Now we have a mid range box that not only has the most IOPs trophy but also wins in the ‘Best Bang for your Buck’ category too.
I would have liked to see what the results would have been with the addition of compression to the software feature stack. This going to be a game changer for IBM as the inline compression of block data is way beyond what other vendors are doing. Couple that with the virtualization engine and now I can compress data on anyone’s storage array. The V7000 is definitely becoming a smarter storage solution for a growing storage market.
IBM Storage has been going very strong with the introduction of the V7000 Unified into the marketplace. Combining the V7000 disk array with the SONAS code and hardware, and out comes a box that can provide customers with direct SAN attachment and provide NAS to his demanding shares. This system comes in three boxes and has all the parts and pieces you need to setup the system in a jiffy. But before you go opening boxes and plugging in cables there are some things you need to plan for before racking and stacking.
The first thing is to prepare for the installation by filling in the planing guides found on the Info Center. There you will find guides on hardware, software, network and storage configuration planning. The Info Center has more information and is the central place to find all documents about administration, monitoring and troubleshooting for the V7000 Unified. Other systems like XiV, SONAS, SVC, N series all have Info Centers, just do a Google search and you can find them quickly.
V7000 Unified is designed so anyone can setup the system with little to no training. The install starts with a USB key that has a little wizard that asks you questions about the configuration of the system. This wizard then saves a file that is used to program the nodes/canisters with out you having to connect with a cable and answer 100 questions on a Putty session.
Now that you watched the video and have read all of the documentation, you are going forward with your install. As easy as it is to install a USB key sometimes things go wrong. IBM has put together a document that goes into a fair amount of detail some of the most common errors that people are running into during installations. Other information like links to the quick install guide and the support page will help you in the future find resolution. If you fat finger a IP address or pull the USB key out too soon, this document will guide you through the steps on correcting the ship and put you back on course.
The 5 page document can be found here along with other information about the V7000 Unified
IBM released new code today for the V7000 and V7kU platforms. Here is a snipet of changes from the release notes:
The following functions are available for use in production environments: - Use of Asynchronous file replication between Storwize V7000 Unified systems - Use of Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) for file backup/restore functions - Use of the GPFS Information Lifecycle Management functions, for file placement, migration and deletion on internal or external disk. - Use of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Space Management as a Hierarchical Storage Manager (HSM), for migrating data to an external TSM server New features in Storwize V7000 188.8.131.52: Support for multi-session iSCSI host attachment Language Support for Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Turkish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese
Great blog articles from both our SVC guru Barry Whyte (no not the singer) and Tony Vandewerdt of Aussie fame toting our recapture of the SPC-1 fastest test results. SAN Volume Controller (SVC) has been pretty much in the top of the finishing results and number 1 for most of its 10 year life. No other virtualization engine out there supports as many platforms or has awesome/ground breaking technology like it.
In fact it was the first real cloud like storage platform as it can move data from one system to the next without causing disruption. I have not seen any other vendor (Netapp, HDS, HP) have anything close to the performance and stability of the system. A couple of things I would like to see change is maybe better snapshot technology and more protocol support but those are not really what this box is designed for.
One of the great facts that Barry points out is this config only had 1920 disks and achieved 270 IOPS per disk. The previous record owned by the HP 3PAR system had the same amount of disks but was only able to squeeze out 450,212 IOPS total, a whopping 69,831 less than the SVC new record of 520,043. The difference is about 15% more throughput.
The SVC’s little brother Storwize V7000 Unified (V7kU) has all of the same software baked in so all that is different is the hardware for the most part. While I don’t think we will see benchmark numbers of 500k IOPS on the V7kU it does have the potential if the hardware could handle it. Maybe IBM will see this and start to think about combining the two products?
Congrats go out to the SVC teams in Tuscon and Hursley for a job well done in deed.