I think the real eye-catcher over here is the introduction of Real-time Compression. This is reflected in the overview of what's announced :
- IBM Random Access Compression Engine (RACE) technology without need for extra hardware to scale performance and simplify compression management
- Increased usable capacity per rack to lower cost per capacity
- Faster replication of compressed data using less bandwidth to free up bandwidth for other uses
- Continuous display of predicted or actual compression ratios for all volumes to increase performance
- Nondisruptive conversion of uncompressed volumes to compressed volumes for faster data mobilization
- Support for Microsoft™ Azure Site Recovery to seamlessly manage XIV replication for Microsoft infrastructures
What does this mean in terms of usable capacity. Well : here's the maximum capacity for an XIV with 180 disks and disks of 1TB/2TB/3TB/4TB/6TB : 80TB/161TB/243TB/325TB/485TB (decimal TB that is). The announcement says this will "increase usable capacity per rack typically to one petabyte or more with IBM Real-time Compression™ (using a 15-module system with 6 TB disk drives)". Of course, as always, results will vary, but let's say capacity could be doubled with this inline compression.
"IBM Real-time Compression is a software license option that is only available for XIV Gen3 systems, including models 114 and 214, with XIV software V11.6.0, on new systems, or as an MES upgrade". "Compression is applied to individual volumes and snapshots. There is no limit however on the amount of usable capacity that is subject to compression. Compression need to be system-enabled before it can be applied to individual volumes. Mirroring requires that both primary and secondary volumes are compressed".
"IBM is offering current IBM Storage XIV Gen3 customers the opportunity to evaluate the new Real-time Compression capability at no cost for 45 days. (...) The 45-day evaluation period begins when the XIV Real-time Compression function is enabled. At the end of the evaluation period, customers must either purchase the required licenses for Real-time Compression or disable the function".
Did I see the word "purchase" over there ? Yes, Real-time Comrpession seems to be the first license on the XIV that does not come for free with the box. I must say that for the moment I haven't got any clue about the price setting of this feature.
There's a nice little Redpaper called 'IBM Real-time Compression on the IBM XIV Storage System' available on the Redbooks site.
Planned Availability is June 4, 2015.