Thursday, January 29, 2015

XIV - 6TB drives and VMWare Virtual Volumes

Yesterday, IBM made two announcements about XIV. There's a hardware announcement 'IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 Model 214 with software version 11.5.1 delivers support for 6 TB self-encrypted drives (ZG15-0037)' and a software announcement : 'IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 and IBM XIV Cloud Storage for Service Providers V11.5.1 deliver support for 6 TB self-encrypted drives and VMware Virtual Volumes (ZP15-0091).

It's been a while since I wrote about XIV, but I'm going to try and pick up the pace here as well. If there's one product acquisition IBM hit the bull's eye with then, to me, it was definitely XIV. I still find this a marvellous product. Just to give you a couple of examples : the data are spread alike over all disks making tiering absolutely superfluous. And this without having to do any concessions with regards to performance. Another example : there's quite some talk about rebuild times in Raid configurations especially when we each time get larger disks. Well did you know that XIV never had this problem and even with the new 6TB drives it achieves an average rebuild time of under the hour for a 6TB disk.

What's new today ? Well, as I already mentioned : XIV now supports 6TB disks. This gives us a maximum capacity of 485TB as compared to 325TB with the 4TB disks. However performance levels are sustained with these larger disks.
Next to that XIV now also has the Energy Star certification. You can find more information about Energy Star over here. If you're interested in the XIV data, go over here, click on 'filter' and add a filter with 'Model name' equals 'XIV'.
Another important item is built-in XIV support for VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOL). "VVOL are designed to enable upcoming VMware vSphere environments to easily automate XIV provisioning, offload snapshots and cloning, and instantly reclaim space, all at the virtual-machine level. Systems will benefit from XIV hotspot-free performance predictability and extreme capacity utilization, delivered efficiently through the IBM Storage Integration Server". As 70% of XIV customers are Vmware users this can have a great impact on most of the XIV customers.
For more information, here's a solution overview to VMWare's Virtual Volumes.

Planned availability is February 12, 2015.

By the way, if you're interested in XIV and you want to find out what RealDolmen can do for you in this area, be sure to come back here regularly. There's definitely more to follow about XIV in the coming weeks, months . . .

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