Monday, February 13, 2012

February Storage announcements

Last week there were also some storage announcements. The most important ones were about Gen 3 of XIV : 'IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 with software release 11.1 offers optional SSD caching (ZG12-0039)' and 'IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 Software Version 11.1.0 supports SSD caching and multi-system management enhancements, and IBM XIV Storage System Software Version 10.2.4.e offers cross-generation mirroring (ZP12-0046)'.

In short for XIV Gen 3.1 there are the following new features :
  • SSD Caching. Should increases read performance considerably
  • XIV Mobile (monitor) Dashboard for iPhone
  • Cross-generation mirroring between all XIV models
  • Management UI Enhancements
The most important feature of XIV Gen 3.1 is of course the introduction of SSD read cache. You know how each XIV module contains its own disks, cache, CPU and possibly interface components. To each module you can now add 400GB of SSD cache. That means that for e.g. 6 modules you can have 400GB x 6 = 2.4TB of read cache. This should give your read performance an extra boost. The Storage Buddhist compares it to NetApp Flash Cache and I guess that's a pretty good comparison since Flash Cache is also meant to boost read performance.

Next to the XIV announcement Tony Pearson also mentions some other ones on his Inside System Storage blog. I'm not sure why, but I can't find any 'real' announcement about it. IBM Tape storage policy normally offers reading N-2 generations and writing N-1 generations. The reading part is now extended to N-3. I'm not going to sum up all possibilities. Just look at the picture below. The red box should no longer be grayed out but for the moment I have no real details about how it should be filled in.
Just click on the image for a larger version.

I already mentioned two fellow bloggers writing about these announcements. But I should add another one writing extensively about them. It's Anthony Vandewerdt on his Aussi Storage Blog with 'XIV Release 3.1 – SSD Read Cache is go!' and 'XIV Release 3.1 materials' including a video on the XIV iPhone App.

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