Friday, December 11, 2015

Introduction of IBM XIV Gen3 Storage System Model 314

Last week on December 4, 2015 IBM XIV Gen3 Model 314 became available. It was announced last month with a software (ZP15-0616) and a hardware announcement 'IBM XIV Storage System Model 314 delivers Real-time Compression with larger effective capacity and better performance' (ZG15-0268).

As you can see in the title of the announcement the focus is on the improvement of the Real-time Compression. It's the same RACE technology we also find in other IBM storage devives or SDS. How is it possible that this compression has little or no impact on the performance. Well, quite some extra capacity is reserved for the compression only. Here's a couple of specs.
"IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 Model 314 delivers:
  • 2 x 6-core CPUs per module (versus 1 x 6-core CPU per module in Model 214) with 1 x 6-core CPU dedicated to Real-time Compression
  • 96 GB RAM per module (versus 48 GB RAM per module in Model 214) with 48 GB of RAM dedicated to Real-time-Compression
  • 1 to 2 PB of effective capacity without performance degradation
  • Improved IOPS per compressed capacity
  • User-configurable soft capacity up to 2 PB
  • Reduced minimum compressible volume size from 103 GB to 51 GB"
The bold is mine indicating that the processing power has doubled but the extra power is dedicated to the Real-time Compression. You can also deduce from this that the Real-time Compression is executed by each of the 15 modules containing the RACE engine. Another implication is that you always have to include the SSD Flash Cache 'option' that has become mandatory on this model. And as you can see from the picture below, the compression is done before the data is put into the cache and SSD and is decompressed after it leaves them. Also data which is mirrored remains compressed, saving some bandwidth.

 And here are the workloads that benefit the most from compression.
Some documentation
First of all there's the IBM XIV page giving you lots of information on XIV. Mind you there are tabs (overview, product details, resources) and subtabs on that page.
if you want a general introduction on XIV, you can still download our RealDolmen XIV information brochure over here. it doesn't cover the newest stuff on the 314 model.
But hey, don't worry, there's a great presentation (ànd replay) available on the ATS site covering all this including the new features of IBM Spectrum Accelerate which is the Software Defined version of XIV.
And to conclude, here's a 100-page Redpaper on Real-time Compression : 'Implementing IBM Real-time Compression on the IBM XIV Storage System'.

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