Inside System Storage -- by Tony Pearson

Tony Pearson Tony Pearson is a Master Inventor and Senior IT Specialist for the IBM System Storage product line at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Tucson Arizona, and featured contributor to IBM's developerWorks. In 2011, Tony celebrated his 25th year anniversary with IBM Storage on the same day as the IBM's Centennial. He is author of the Inside System Storage series of books. This blog is for the open exchange of ideas relating to storage and storage networking hardware, software and services. You can also follow him on Twitter @az990tony.
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Tony,<div>&nbsp;</div> We accept the invitation into the Super High-End Club. Thank you for the invitation.<div>&nbsp;</div> We would like to extend to IBM and others an opportunity to join us in the Super Low Price for Performance Club. Membership starts with sub $1 per SPC-1 IOPS results. Sadly, our club meetings are fairly boring sessions as we only get to meet with ourselves. If I did not think it was impossible, we would also invite other vendors to participate in our low latency club. Membership for this category requires sub one millisecond response times for all SPC-1 IOPS results.<div>&nbsp;</div> Seriously, though, thanks for the blog and continuing to highlight SPC. I think it is good for the industry!<div>&nbsp;</div> Woody HutsellEVP, Texas Memory Systems

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Congrats to Woody and all at TMS for the new world record.<div>&nbsp;</div> Be interested to see what you come out with in the Flash area as you hinted at over on my blog.<div>&nbsp;</div> A serious question though, I presume the performance scales as you add more boxes (TeraSAN) as you'd need quite a few of these to get even 1TB of storage. Flash must work out a lot cheaper even at current enterprise prices to match capacity and pretty close to IOPs. Say 6x 36GB SSDs from STEC would be a lot cheaper, about the same IOPs and more capacity.<div>&nbsp;</div> Still an impressive result and glad to see some more high numbers out there.<div>&nbsp;</div> PS. I'm sure SVC will regain the crown with the next hardware base.

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Barry,<div>&nbsp;</div> To answer your question, as long as the test will scale linearly you can scale performance linearly by adding RamSan-400 units to the array. It is increasingly common for our customers to deploy Terabyte arrays of our DDR solid state disks (Tera-RamSan).<div>&nbsp;</div> I would be happy to have a more detailed discussion with you about Flash and the SPC-1 test offline.<div>&nbsp;</div> For what it is worth, I continue to believe the IBM SVC shows some great performance characteristics and would not be surprised if the next generation doesn't beef up performance. If you get the SVC performance up, I think our Tera-RamSan array would be a great way to demonstrate that system's performance. I would also like to test the SVC in front of our RamSan-500 (2TB cached flash array). Woody<div>&nbsp;</div>

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Netapps is just showing off their flashcopy algorithm: instead of copy on write like the rest of the world uses, they use a "write anywhere file system" that allows for a flash copy algorithm that does not slow down as more copies are created. Instead of copying data into repositories when a write is committed, they write new data to a new chunk of disk and keep the old data where it is as long as it's still referenced by a flash copy. When you read from one of their flash copies, you get pointed to the original data, not the new one.<div>&nbsp;</div> The problem is that while they don't slow down for many copies, they do slow down at higher usage percentages. It's a question of preference in the end.<div>&nbsp;</div> I'm going to go read the full disclosure report to see if they short stroked the EMC box- it's standard practice to squeeze performance out of boxes in ways you would rarely see in real life in an SPC "bake off".

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BarryB,I already corrected you on your original post, but just in case someone doesn't link through and read all the commments: the DS6000 is not dead. It is alive and well, we have sold THOUSANDS of these systems.<div>&nbsp;</div> As for disposal of old disk systems, I believe there are a lot of disk systems, from all vendors, that were purchased in anticipation of the Y2K scare, and those are now being disposed of. Like EMC, IBM also has services to make sure that batteries or other toxic chemicals do not pollute the environment. This could explain partially why storage is doing so well despite the rest of the economy doing poorly.<div>&nbsp;</div> -- Tony

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