Enterprise Flash Technology Solution Brief

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  • 1. Enterprise Flash Technology Revolutionizing enterprise storage infrastructure Businesses increasingly rely on datacenters To compensate, IT managers typically add to provide access to services, applications, more external devices and DRAM to help and data. As demand rises and applications speed throughput. More DRAM lets systems grow in complexity, datacenter infrastructure store working sets in memory to avoid disk must provide massive capacity and fast access latency, and adding disk spindles can help to information in order to keep pace with increase throughput by letting I/O operations business priorities. Today companies can be performed in parallel. However, the result add storage capacity easily by augmenting is an expensive infrastructure that is difficult infrastructure with additional hard disk drives to manage and cannot be counted on to keep and arrays. Unfortunately, the devices that pace with throughput demands. provide the highest capacity fail to provide the I/O performance needed to keep systems Flash technology moves to the enterprise supplied with the data for processing — and Originally developed in the 1980s, Flash inflate storage infrastructure costs. technology is low-cost, non-volatile computer Enterprise Flash technology has the potential to provide orders of magnitude improvement in storage infrastructure economics and performance. Highlights Coping with the CPU-to-storage bottleneck memory that can be electrically erased and The CPU-to-storage bottleneck is reprogrammed. Nearly everyone is familiar • Take advantage of innovative, fast, hampering overall application and service with some sort of commercially available rugged, low cost Flash technology performance — a trend that continues Flash device, from memory cards used in MP3 • Reduce the CPU-to-storage bottleneck unabated as system performance outpaces players, cell phones, and digital cameras to by incorporating Flash technology in disk throughput year over year. Indeed, many store music, photographs, and other digital a new storage hierarchy enterprise servers in use today can generate information, to removable USB drives used to • Combine disk drives and Flash devices hundreds of thousands of I/O operations per backup and transport data from one computer into an integrated Hybrid Storage Pool second (IOPS) — yet the entire collection to another. with Solaris ZFS™ to deliver massive of hard disk drives available to systems capacity and improve performance often only can perform thousands of IOPS Technological advancements are moving Flash • Integrate solid state devices (SSDs) in combined. The disparity in IOPS between technology rapidly past simple commodity use Sun SPARC Enterprise™ T5000 and Sun systems and disks, and the I/O bottleneck and making it a strong storage alternative for Fire™ X4000 servers, and Sun Blade™ introduced by storage adapters, forces CPU the enterprise that can help rebalance system 6000 Modular Systems for instant cycles to be lost waiting for I/O to complete, and storage I/O performance. Robust data application acceleration impacting system throughput and application integrity, reliability, and availability combined • Simplify data management and performance. with breakthrough performance and power increase performance with automated characteristics, have made it possible to data placement of Solaris ZFS and the create a new class of storage device. efficiencies of the Hybrid Storage Pool with SSDs integrated in Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems Sun Microsystems: Solution Brief
  • 2. 2 Enterprise Flash Technology Enterprise solid state devices Solid state devices (SSDs) based on Flash Low power consumption With energy costs rising, power has become With fast read and technology are emerging as a new enterprise- class storage option. With fast read and write the dominant factor in high-scale hardware decisions. Hard disk drives draw significant write performance performance, a compelling price point, and amounts of power to operate the motor and and a compelling incredibly low power requirements, devices spin media. In contrast, the use of efficient based on Flash memory are poised to disrupt Flash memory and a lack of motors and price point, Flash the industry. other mechanical parts result in enterprise SSDs consuming a fraction of the power technology is poised High performance to meet demand of conventional hard disk drives. In fact, Keeping systems supplied with data is enterprise SSDs use only 5% of the power to disrupt the key to overall datacenter performance. Flash technology completes operations in used by hard disk drives when idle, and as little as 15% when performing operations. industry. microseconds, placing it between hard disk drives (milliseconds) and random access Very low cost per gigabyte and per IOPS memory (nanoseconds) for access time. In today’s challenged economy, creating cost- Because Flash technology contains no moving effective storage infrastructure is paramount. Since hard disk drives must be powered on to parts, it avoids the seek times and rotational While Flash devices are more expensive per be available, the low power consumption of latencies associated with traditional hard disk gigabyte than a comparable disk drive, Flash enterprise SSDs makes them a smart choice drives. As a result, data transfer throughput memory costs are dropping significantly year for datacenters looking to reduce operating to and from solid state storage media is over year. In addition, as electricity costs rise costs. While a gigabyte of mechanical disk faster than electro-mechanical disk drives can and Flash memory costs decrease, the relative costs less than a gigabyte of Flash memory, provide — with enterprise SSDs providing tens cost per available gigabyte and cost per IOPS the fact that Flash memory outperforms hard of thousands of IOPS compared to hundreds of Flash memory improves. For example, hard disk storage by at least an order of magnitude of IOPS for hard disk drives (Figure 1). Unlike disk drives cost approximately $1.25/IOPS, in reading and writing data makes the cost DRAM, enterprise SSDs do not need to reload compared to only $0.02/IOPS for enterprise per gigabyte of Flash devices exceptionally cached data, helping services to resume SSDs. low. faster. Higher reliability than hard disk drives While enterprise SSDs provide similar 10,000,000 functionality to traditional hard drives, they System offer improved reliability features. Both hard 1,000,000 disk drives and enterprise SSDs support bad block management, wear leveling, and error 100,000 correction codes (ECC) to foster data integrity. IOPS SSD SSD SSD S However, unlike hard drives that use a motor 10,000 to spin magnetic media and a read/write head that must move to perform operations, 1,000 HDD enterprise SSDs contain no moving parts — data is stored on integrated circuits that can 100 withstand significant shock and vibration. In addition, enterprise SSDs operate in a 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 wider thermal operating range and wider operational vibration range than hard disk Year drives to deliver significantly higher Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), approximately Figure 1. Enterprise SSDs provide higher performance to help handle system demand. 2.0 million hours versus 1.2 million hours.
  • 3. 3 Enterprise Flash Technology Creating a new storage tier Other uses for Flash devices “SSDs can be a kind of super-cache Applications running on current multicore, Flash devices can be used in other ways to multisocket servers are increasingly held help datacenters improve performance and where you store data when it needs back by slow storage systems. Technological reduce operational expenses. Flash devices advancements are changing the way storage can be: to go fast. But companies are also devices can be used to rebalance systems and storage and create optimized solutions. While • Used as a boot disk replacement to save on interested in SSDs as primary storage hard disk drives provide the capacity needed space and power consumption for applications that require high to handle large amounts of I/O, they are slow • Used to replace time-consuming disk access to perform. On the other hand, enterprise protocols with more efficient memory-to- performance all the time. The bonus — SSDs provide required I/O throughput, memory transfers and help scale to many yet cannot provide the capacity needed at millions of IOPS SSDs consume about one-fifth the competitive price points. Continuing the promise of open storage power of ordinary disk drives.” The right approach combines the strengths As enterprises struggle to cope with the of both technologies. Flash devices can be phenomenal rise in digital data volumes and Graham Lovell placed in a new storage hierarchy to assist budget pressures, they are looking for storage Senior Director of Open Storage, Sun Microsystems disk drives by holding frequently accessed architectures that provide greater flexibility data to minimize the impact of disk latencies and better economics. For years, enterprises and improve application performance. With utilized servers and storage systems that were the addition of Flash storage, applications closed, proprietary, and expensive. access data stored on a combination of enterprise SSDs and hard disk drives, resulting Just as open systems changed high-scale in more balanced I/O throughput (Figure 2). computing with affordable architectures, open storage is revolutionizing data management Caching and the hybrid storage pool with innovation and choice. By delivering Integrating Flash devices into the storage industry-standard hardware and open source hierarchy as a disk cache can result in software, Sun provides creative technologies significant performance gains for I/O for developing and deploying new storage intensive workloads, without the need to faster. modify applications. In such an environment, Flash devices are used to store actively used data, making the entire storage infrastructure Capacity Performance Capacity appear as fast as Flash storage to applications. HDDs SSDs HDDs With the right hardware and software technology, disk caches can be extended beyond the physical limitations of a single SAS SAS A AS device. Such an approach groups Flash devices ... 3G 3G to create a single large disk cache that can hold frequently accessed data and free hard disk drives from performing small updates. Indeed, by utilizing enterprise SSDs to handle CPU I/O, and hard disk drives to store Hundreds of Thousands of IOPS > Thousands of IOPS Hundreds of Thousands of IOPS = Hundreds of Thousands of IOPS massive data sets, a Hybrid Storage Pool gives organizations significant performance gains Figure 2. Flash technology complements existing storage infrastructure to help meet system without sacrificing capacity. demand
  • 4. 4 Enterprise Flash Technology Sun is breaking down the barriers to • Driven by economies of scale, higher traditional state-of-the-art storage systems capacity (1 TB) Flash devices are likely to with truly open architectures — giving move from consumer applications into the Learn More companies the ability to select the right datacenter over the next year. For more information visit sun.com, hardware and software components to meet • Flash technology-based enterprise solid sun.com/openstorage, sun.com/flash, business needs. state device reliability is anticipated to sun.com/tryandbuy, or contact your exceed that of enterprise hard disk drives by local Sun sales representative. Freedom to adapt to application needs twofold over the next two years. Unlike traditional storage deployments, Sun’s • As Flash technology makes its way into the Open Storage environments let enterprises storage infrastructure, the use of enterprise freely mix, match, and maximize computing hard disk drives is likely to shift from a Sun’s commitment to the storage revolution and storage components — including hard performance focus to providing massive Data can be a competitive weapon, but it disk drives and new Flash devices — within capacity. becomes less so if it is not accessible or costs a single environment to support user and • As Flash technology takes hold in the too much to store. Sun innovation and design application demands and adapt as business datacenter, applications can be redesigned results in solutions that save time and money needs change. Hardware can be repurposed to take advantage of the technology for companies seeking to use technology to and reused simply by adding new software to directly, or utilize innovative approaches find opportunity. an open platform. such as hybrid storage pools that result from the application of Sun systems, the With an unwavering commitment to Such freedom holds promise for companies Solaris™ Operating System, the Solaris technological innovation and open storage in any industry. Web 2.0, eco-responsible ZFS™ file system, and other software solutions, Sun continues to drive storage IT, high-performance computing (HPC), advancements. technology forward. With the introduction and virtualization environments can take • By incorporating SSDs, Sun Storage 7210 of Flash technology and related hardware advantage of open storage and open source and 7410 Unified Storage Systems can take and software products, Sun helps enterprises software to handle growth, manage storage advantage of the Hybrid Storage Pool that reduce the risk, cost, complexity, and I/O bandwidth and latency needs, and is available with the Solairs ZFS file system deployment time of multitiered storage consolidate systems to affect better resource to unlock new levels of performance. environments — all while providing the right utilization and reduce storage costs by up to • With 32 GB SSD’s now shipping in the Sun data at the right time at the right cost. 90%. SPARC Enterprise T5000, Sun Fire X4000, and Sun Blade 6000 product families, Where Flash is going Sun delivers on the promise to integrate Devices based on Flash technology are poised Flash memory with the least amount of to help increase application performance and disruption to deliver high-performance, low- response time dramatically, while utilizing power, general-purpose storage, servers, less datacenter floor space and energy at a and appliances that accelerate any software fraction of the cost of hard disk drive storage. running on these platforms. As Flash technology continues to develop and gain in popularity, a variety of significant trends are expected. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 4150 Network Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA Phone 1-650-960-1300 or 1-800-555-9SUN Web sun.com © 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Sun Fire, Sun Blade, and ZFS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the US and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. Information subject to change without notice. SunWIN #546400 Lit. #SYSB14603-1 03/09