World’s fastest hard drive debuts in IBM System x servers
Guest blog from Luis Giron - Product Marketing Manager IBM System x Options
IBM System x server options now feature the world’s fastest enterprise hard drive utilizing solid state hybrid technology – a combination of spinning magnetic disk and a small amount of NAND flash to maximize Input Output Operations per Second (IOPS). This exciting new technology is available as:
· IBM 600GB 10K 6Gbps SAS 2.5” G2HS Hybrid
· IBM 600GB 10K 6Gbps SAS 2.5” G2SS Hybrid
Based on the IBM descriptions, this first generation enterprise hybrid is based on a 2.5-inch 600GB drive platform; spinning at 10,000 RPM with a 6Gb/s SAS interface. Though it is not identified in the description, the drive features 16GB of NAND flash and 128MB of cache on-board. Designed for mid range servers and storage subsystems, IBM’s enterprise hybrid utilizes intelligent algorithms to deliver solid state like performance to the most heavily accessed data. IBM is targeting performance at a 100% I/O improvement over the base 10K drive.
How it works is IBM utilizes the 600GB of magnetic media for storage of all data written, while also storing a primary copy of all cached data. 128MB of DRAM is used to buffer all reads and cache all writes. While 16GB of eMLC NAND servers as a read cache for all active data, and a non-volatile cache (NVC) for writes cached in DRAM. The obvious result is much improved random read performance, and with NVC enabled, much faster write response times.
The not so obvious benefit: the hard disk drive (HDD) backend improves NAND reliability & lifespan, because a copy of the data is available on disk even if an error occurs reading the NAND. In cases of high write activity, the drive can avoid the NAND altogether. We all know NAND endurance is a function of temperature, write activity & retention, and since the NAND data is refreshed periodically, we limit how long data lives in NAND yielding much higher write counts.
So, this is all great, but how much does it improve system performance?
For the past year, IBM has been collaborating with Seagate Technology putting an enterprise hybrid prototype through the ringer. After months of testing in Seagate and IBM labs, the first enterprise hybrid has shown to greatly improve overall system performance for mission critical applications.
Based on preliminary (unaudited) single drive performance testing, the IBM solid state hybrid drive boasts IOPS over 2X better than the current 300GB 10,000 RPM hard disk drive, and at low latency, < 5ms, the enterprise hybrid drive’s IOPS (~530) deliver an over 15X gain (~30). The end result is much improved and cost effective performance for IBM Series x servers running mission critical applications that require higher IOPS.
About the author - Luis Giron - Product Marketing Manager IBM System x Options Connect with me on LinkedIn
IBM SAS 2.5-inch Hybrid Hard Drives for System x Redbook product guide now available: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips1028.html
More from Seagate at their "Storage Effect" blog
Official Announcement link
More from IBM - IBM System x server options