In my previous blog post, IBM delivers more than 20 millions IOPS and up to 1 PB storage capacity in a single 42U rack, I introduced new IBM flash storage offerings - IBM FlashSystem storage systems. They deliver over 500,000 read IOPS with less than 100 microseconds latency, providing up to 20 TB of usable 2D Flash RAID protected data storage just in 1U of rack space.
Today I wanted to highlight the benefits offered by FlashSystem family in database environments, and discuss some deployment considerations for them.
IBM FlashSystem family features one of the industry's highest flash capacity density metric (usable GB per rack space) and performance density metrics (IOPS and bandwidth per rack space). These systems have enterprise-level availability and reliability with no single point of failure, multiple layers of data correction, chip redundancy, and redundant hot swap components.
I wanted to highlight the following fact. For most workloads, 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 many cases 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.
FlashSystem storage systems ensure that the response time goals are met and that performance optimization is realized for other system resources (processor and memory), which is applicable to the IBM eX5 systems in particular.
Databases are on top of the workloads that can benefit from advanced performance and reliability by IBM FlashSystem flash-based storage family. These benefits include:
Dramatically boosting the performance of existing applications and lowering cost per IOPS ratio without a need for rearchitecture
Increasing user productivity with better response times, improving business efficiency
Increasing data availability by using advanced system-level high availability and reliability technologies, reducing the number of solution components and shortening batch processing and backup times
Increasing storage performance and capacity while decreasing power, cooling, and space requirements
Reducing energy costs because of lower power and cooling requirements
Reducing the number of systems, devices, and components that are required to build the solution by increasing usage of available resources
Reducing software license fees because fewer systems or processors are required
Reducing management and support costs because of fewer components to deploy and support
Faster ROI because of better resource usage
There are three ways to gain performance and economical benefits from the deployment of the FlashSystem storage systems for databases:
Main data storage: Entire database structure is placed onto a FlashSystem storage system
Frequently accessed data storage: Most frequently used data sets are manually identified and placed onto a FlashSystem storage system
Automated tiered storage: Most frequently used data sets are dynamically identified and placed onto a FlashSystem storage system
Main data storage deployment model can be used for both online transactional processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) databases. This approach ensures fastest (high speed low latency) access to all data with lower cost per IOPS ratio at the expense of cost per GB.
Frequently accessed data storage model is good for the environments where most frequently used data sets are known in advance (such as indexes, log files, or temporary table spaces). This helps optimize both cost per IOPS and cost per GB ratios but requires manual data management/placement.
Automated tiered storage provides continuous I/O monitoring and dynamic placement of most frequently used data sets onto a performance optimized storage (focus on cost per IOPS), and it keeps infrequently used data on a capacity optimized storage (focus on cost per GB). This solution uses a combination of FlashSystem storage systems and IBM SAN Volume Controllers (SVCs) with built-in IBM Easy Tier automated storage tiering functionality.
Read the following IBM Redbooks Solution Guides to learn more about FlashSystem family-based database solution components:
Ilya Krutov is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on many areas related to IBM Flex System, IBM BladeCenter and IBM System x. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaAtRedbooks.