Yesterday, IBM announced S3700 SATA MLC Enterprise SSDs for IBM System x built on 25nm MLC NAND flash memory with High Endurance Technology. These solid-state drives provide an affordable solution with industry leading performance, and they are targeted at databases and other enterprise workloads that require high I/O performance in random read and write operations, including applications caching and tiering. The SSDs come in 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch form factors, and they can be used in industry leading IBM eXFlash solutions.
I published a draft version of the IBM Redpaper, IBM eXFlash and S3700 MLC Enterprise SSDs: Technology Overview, that describes new SSDs and gives some ideas about the areas to look at for potential savings that could be achieved with these SSDs combined with eXFlash. As an example, I discuss OLTP workload scenario. In this blog, I'd like to share key findings.
For most OLTP systems, the processor, memory, and I/O subsystem in a server are well balanced and are not considered performance bottlenecks. The major source of performance issues in OLTP environments is typically related to the storage I/O activity. The speed of traditional hard disk drive (HDD)-based storage systems does not match the processing capabilities of the servers. As a result, often a situation occurs where a powerful processor sits idle, waiting for the storage I/O requests to complete, negatively impacting user and business productivity. The negative impact on productivity extends the time to return on investments (ROI) and increases overall total cost of ownership (TCO). Therefore, storage IOPS performance and latency become strategic considerations, and it is critical to ensure that the response time goals are met and that performance optimization is realized for other system resources (processor and memory), therefore, increasing overall system utilization.
Increasing system utilization means that we can potentially use fewer systems to run the same workload, however, we need to find a way to match the performance of storage I/O to the performance of other server subsystems. Deploying eXFlash with S3700 SSDs for these purposes can help achieve better cost efficiency compared to the traditional HDD-based approaches. The areas of potential cost savings to look at include:
Acquisition costs. Significantly fewer drives and disk controllers to acquire, and there is no need to use external disk expansion enclosures and cables or to implement external disk storage solutions.
Operational costs. Much lower power consumption and heat dissipation.
Floor space costs. Fewer racks are required to hold the equipment.
Management costs. Fewer servers and storage components to deploy and maintain.
Software licensing costs. Fewer servers (and therefore fewer sockets and cores) can help optimize per-socket and per-core licensing fees.
For details, read the IBM eXFlash and S3700 MLC Enterprise SSDs: Technology Overview paper.
Ilya Krutov is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on many topics related to IBM System x, IBM BladeCenter, and IBM Flex System. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaAtRedbooks.