Friday, February 13, 2009

DS8000 : The Fast, The Large and the Encrypted

I know, not really a dazzling pun, but here we are with, once again, new functionalities on the DS8000 box : 'IBM System Storage DS8000 series delivers new security, scalability, and business continuity capabilities (ZG09-0158)'. As I already stated in my 2008 review : the DS8000 remains thé strategic enterprise storage box for IBM and I don't think we have seen the end of it.
What about my title : The Fast for the introduction of Solid State Disks, The Large for the (already previewed) introduction of the 1TB SATA disks and the Encrypted for the use of Encryption Disks. Next to that there's also Intelligent Write Caching and Remote Pair FlashCopy.
Here's a summary of the new functionalities taken from the announcement :

Full Disk Encryption

Provides encryption support using Encrypting Disks and supported key manager software. Available capacities are 146 GB 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel,300 GB 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel and 450 GB 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel.
Intermixing of drives is not supported, so the entire subsystem is either encrypted drives or intermixed devices of Fibre Channel, SATA, and SSD devices.

SATA drive support
Provides 1 TB 7,200 rpm SATA disk drives to support various fixed-content, data-archival, reference-data, and other applications that require large amounts of storage capacity at lower cost per MB.
Supported RAID configurations are RAID-6 and RAID-10.

Solid State Drives (SSD)

Provides support for solid state disks to support high-performance business-critical applications. Supported RAID configurations are RAID-5. Available capacities are 73 GB SSD Fibre Channel and 146 GB SSD Fibre Channel.
The announcement states they have a nominal speed of 150,000 rpm. Isn't that ten times . . . yes it is !

Intelligent Write Caching

Provides non-volatile storage (NVS) and cache management algorithm improvement designed to improve aggregate throughput and reduce aggregate response times.

Remote Pair FlashCopy

Provides management improvement to resiliency solutions. These improvements are designed to reduce configuration steps required in a redundant environment utilizing Point in Time Copy and Metro Mirror. (...) The IBM DS8000 provides the Remote Pair FlashCopy with the capability to allow a FlashCopy relationship where the FlashCopy target device is a Metro Mirror primary device. z/OS® support of Remote Pair FlashCopy will be available on z/OS V1.8, or later, using the name FlashCopy Preserve Mirror.

A couple of remarks.
  • As always there's a separate announcement for the original 2107 DS8000 box (ZG09-0157) but this time there's a difference : no SSDs nor Encryption disks on the 2107.
  • The Solid State Disks should be particularly interesting for performance critical DB2 workload. Though there's not much information to be found about this for the moment. On Tony Pearson's 'Inside System Storage' blog I read the following : "IBM has taken the work and worry out by having intelligence in DB2 to optimize what gets placed on SSD to get the most performance improvement". I'll definitely come back to this as soon as I can share more information about how this is done.
Not everything is available immediately and there are also restrictions as to what can be field installed. Here's an overview of planned availability dates :
March 6, 2009
Plant and field installation:
* 1 TB 7,200 rpm Serial ATA (SATA) drive sets
* Intelligent Write Caching
* Full Disk Encryption drive sets
Plant installation only:
* Full Disk Encryption drive set support (feature number 1751)

April 24, 2009
Plant and field installation:
* Remote Pair FlashCopy
Plant installation only:
* Solid State Drives (SSD)
Next to the DS8000 announcements, there were other important announcements too this week like e.g. 'IBM Tivoli Storage Manager V6.1 (ZP09-0004)', a preview of 'IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center family (ZA09-0007)', 'IBM Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager for z/OS V1.0 (ZP09-0022)' and a preview of 'IBM GDPS V3.6 (ZA09-0009)'.
I'll surely tell you more about some of these in my next posts.

Update : For more information on these Tivoli products, I would like to refer to Tony Pearson's post on his Inside System Storage Blog where he gives a very adequate description of these products.

No comments: