The State of the Core – Engineering the Enterprise Storage Infrastructure with the IBM DS8000

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Hailing from the early days of mainframes, enterprise-class storage arrays may …

Hailing from the early days of mainframes, enterprise-class storage arrays may
well be one of the longest operating, consistently recognizable IT systems
around. And yet if IT managers are asked today “what is the most important,
core technology within your data center?” most will answer that it is their
enterprise-class storage. The very heartbeats of many mission critical
applications within the enterprise still depend upon such arrays, and it is little wonder that this
is the case. Extensive engineering over time – often a span of decades – has taken the
enterprise-class storage array into a clearly different realm of availability and performance that
simply cannot be challenged.

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  • 1. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T H The State of the Core – Engineering the Enterprise Storage Infrastructure with the IBM DS8000 April 2010 Hailing from the early days of mainframes, enterprise-class storage arrays may well be one of the longest operating, consistently recognizable IT systems around. And yet if IT managers are asked today “what is the most important, core technology within your data center?” most will answer that it is their enterprise-class storage. The very heartbeats of many mission criticalapplications within the enterprise still depend upon such arrays, and it is little wonder that thisis the case. Extensive engineering over time – often a span of decades – has taken theenterprise-class storage array into a clearly different realm of availability and performance thatsimply cannot be challenged.But today, the story about why the enterprise-class array retains its place in the data center nolonger stops there. In the face of the ever growing data center and never ending applicationdemands, delivering availability and performance simply can no longer be done with a bunchof monolithic boxes that act as disinterested third parties serving up unintelligent storageblocks that are scattered across 10s if not 100s of monolithic arrays. The “core” of IT – theenterprise storage array – is being forced to change. Storage simply needs to be better coupledwith the operating systems and applications that it supports, and better managed across thedistributed enterprise. But not everyone realizes this in equal measure, and in this dimension,clear differentiation begins to show between the enterprise-class arrays on the market.In this Technology Brief, we’ll examine how the requirements for enterprise-class storage arechanging, and are now equally fixated upon integration that enhances the performance,efficiency and value of storage features. Then with this in mind, we’ll examine how one set ofsolutions, the IBM DS8000 series arrays, are delivering a storage foundation to help customersextend the storage capabilities of their entire infrastructure, well beyond the task of simplyserving up tremendous amounts of IO.The Marching Evolution of the and robustness. That power and robustnessEnterprise Array is not earned overnight – it is the product of decades of engineering over the course ofLike the advancing tide of an army that multi-generational advance. In fact, inmarching on, the flagship of the storage an industry rife with startups andindustry – the mighty enterprise array – innovators, it is testament to the depth ofseems to always continue its generational this engineering behind the enterprise arrayprogression of adding more storage power that few true challengers ever arise from the Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 1 of 21
  • 2. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hranks of startup companies running after of delivering the full efficiency of an array.their own slice of the storage market. Good approaches for prioritizing the way storage requests are handled for missionBut just like with the pounding footfalls of critical applications have been few and faran army, it is challenging to navigate between. The examples abound, and thechanges in direction with the enterprise reality is, most enterprise class storagearray. In turn, there are many contentious arrays have been overly fixated onvoices that claim the enterprise array isn’t increasing performance rather thandoing its part in keeping up with an leveraging integration with the informationenterprise infrastructure that is increasing systems of the enterprise to increase thein complexity seemingly every day. Indeed, effectiveness of the storage they deliver.many enterprise arrays seem to take theirfunctionality to the point of serving up The Enterprise Integrated Arrayenormous amounts of IO at their manyports of egress, and then do little more to In contrast, with the right integrations, theoptimize or enhance storage services storage core within the enterprise could bebeyond this boundary. used to enhance the capabilities of all manner of systems and applications. In thisIt is no wonder that this is seen as digital age, digital systems areineffective. Storage is with no doubt the fundamentally bound to their storage, andfoundational system at the very core of can be limited or extended by thetoday’s information-centric enterprise. And capabilities of that storage. Integrationsin today’s enterprise information could better bring foundational storageinteractions are more complex than ever capabilities to bear – such as enablingbefore, involving huge data sets, messaging systems to directly interact with protectionsystems, clustering, moving virtualized and replication technologies – but couldapplications, data sets that more rapidly also help assure the right storage resourceschange in access pattern and importance, are allocated to the right systems withoutand more. A storage infrastructure that contention, and that each systemsimply serves up storage IO may be understands how best to use its storagefundamentally disconnected from the resources.information systems of the enterprise. From this vantage point, we’ve long heldYou may be surrounded by evidence of this that the requirements the industry holds indisconnect today. Experienced storage mind for the enterprise array must, and are,administrators well know the challenges changing. While performance andaround load balancing enterprise storage robustness remain primary requirements,arrays with hard-to-see storage mappings the enterprise array can no longer march onbetween hosts, applications, and volumes. in isolation. Storage administrators in theSimilarly, inefficiencies or differences in information-centric enterprise must behost IO stacks have often stood in the way equally concerned with how storage is Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 2 of 21
  • 3. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hintegrated with all manner of enterprise failover capabilities of many differentinformation systems. With the importance operating systems and applications. Everyof integration in mind, let’s take a look at such system may have unique approacheswhat we see as the evolving requirements to clustering, virtualization, failover andfor the enterprise-class array. failback, testing, dependency management, and more. Availability may be limited,Built as a Next Generation Array. robustness may be lacking, or storage mayThe enterprise array must remain even become an obstacle if the enterprisespecifically engineered to meet a unique set array isn’t integrated with the availabilityof performance and capacity requirements. architectures of such systems.The underlying architecture requiresadvanced storage management that can Built for Integrated Management.embrace huge numbers of disks and huge Each year there are fewer enterprises thatamounts of IO, under varying conditions. gaze upon an array with the intent toMoreover, with the enterprise in mind, the purchase only one. As the storageunderlying architecture is equally infrastructure becomes larger and moreengineered for extreme resiliency, extreme complex, the enterprise array must besecurity, and serves up advanced, efficiency closely paired with tools that easeenhancing storage features. But while these management effort across multiple arrays,may remain the fundamental grounds on and harness those multiple arrays into atop of which enterprise arrays remain singular, orchestrated storageevaluated; these cannot remain the only infrastructure. Moreover, the data housedmeasures for a storage system that must be on an enterprise array may be a componentbetter integrated within an information- of Disaster Recovery (DR) strategies, datacentric enterprise. As we see it, there are protection tasks, provisioning operationsseveral key ways in which the enterprise for all manner of operating systemsshould expect an array to be deeply (physical or virtual), and even informationintegrated with the infrastructure, and such management decisions. The rightintegrations make up the rest of our management tools alongside performancerequirements for next generation enterprise and capacity metrics can provide valuablestorage. insight with which to guide administrator decisions and/or policy engines that may inBuilt for Integrating Availability. turn orchestrate an entire infrastructure toWhile the enterprise array has long held keep it optimized in the face of continualitself apart by heightened reliability and change.robust options for data availability,availability can no longer stop with the Built for Integrated Storage.array itself. Availability in the latest Storage is a resource that is inextricablygeneration infrastructures now requires connected with key platforms and systemsmore integration with the management, throughout the enterprise. Storagecommunication, synchronization and capabilities and efficiency can be enhanced Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 3 of 21
  • 4. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hby going beyond simply serving up ports The Array in the Coreand IO, and integrating storage interactionswith key operating systems and Today, the enterprise storage array marketapplications. Such integrations may is a largely level playing field where evenenhance how applications request IO, and sub-volume capabilities are becominghow arrays deliver IO. Other integrations mainstream – albeit introduced in differentmay extend snapshot, availability, or even ways by different vendors – and wheredata tiering mechanisms so that they are arrays are becoming largely similar in coreexecuted by or in coordination with storage features. But the customer mileageapplications and their administrators. Such still varies greatly when the integrationsintegrations may make better use of storage with systems external to a storage array arefeatures and make sure that storage services considered.such as data protection – that werepreviously conducted in isolation from the As we’ve surveyed the market with ourapplication – can now be delegated to the requirements in mind, we believe oneright operational teams and take place in vendor in particular demonstrates uniquealignment with business requirements. differentiation in how their storage foundation is integrated into the enterprise.Built for Adaptation. Specifically, IBM has taken a holistic look atFinally, making use of a continuing stream how storage interoperates in theof storage innovations in an enterprise-class information enterprise, and has used thisarray requires an underlying architecture perspective to balance their focus on boththat is built for future capability extensions. internal architecture and externalYesteryear’s monolithic storage array that integrations simultaneously. With this inremained forever unchanged, required mind, let’s take a look at how both of theseproprietary management interfaces, and dimensions are combined behind IBM’soperated off of immutable extents and static DS8000 series arrays to enhance howvolume configurations, no longer provides customers realize benefits from theirthe adaptability and flexibility for the use of enterprise storage.future storage technologies – the mosteagerly anticipated example may be A Building Block for the Core –automatic sub-volume data migration the IBM DS8000 Seriesacross tiers – announced in April of 2010 More than 10 years ago, before the industryunder the name of Easy Tier. The right as a whole started down the path of storageinternal underpinnings may well determine controllers built out of general purposewhere one vendor can innovate and keep up processors and off-the-shelf componentry,with the competition, and where another IBM recognized an opportunity to leveragemay require entire new hardware the unique and considerable processing andgenerations. software expertise within the IBM product portfolio and apply it to the task of storage. Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 4 of 21
  • 5. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T HSpecifically, IBM chose to leverage the heralded by the industry as breakthroughhighly differentiated IO capabilities of its accomplishments, IBM’s ability to turn toPower platform (RS/6000 at the time). The standardized componentry inside of aPower platforms have always been held in highly available enterprise platform ahigh regard for how they harness pure decade earlier sets the tone for a deepergigaflops capability, cache sizes, and examination of what is today known as thememory bus bandwidths – such resources DS8000 series.that were in the day 4 to 5 times greaterthan that available with other industry The DS8700 Arraystandard processors. That effort nearly 10years ago was widely known under its With a vision of storage at the heart of theinternal codename of Shark, and was data center, IBM today delivers theirresponsible for design principles that still DS8700 as their flagship enterprise-classinfluence the underlying architecture of the storage array. The DS8700 is scalable inDS8000 series today. multiple configurations from as little as less than one TB of storage up to over twoToday, in terms of pure processing, Power petabytes. As a continuation of IBM’sand other standard processors are coupled Power-driven storage architecture, thein generational games of performance DS8700 continues to operate off of dualleapfrog. Yet even so, IBM’s shift to storage centralized Power-platform storagebuilt upon Power unleashed a flexible and controllers (what IBM calls the CEC, ormature software stack, and a sophisticated Central Electronics Complex). Dualhardware architecture that continue even independent systems are coupled togethernow to demonstrate many differentiations. with high-speed local buses and integratedPaired with IBM’s clustering and high with individual IO handling PowerPC-basedavailability expertise, the Power platform processors (up to 32) distributedhas enabled IBM to build a robust and throughout the storage array. But with thehighly available storage system, with all of DS8700, IBM has taken a generational stepthe extensibility required to steadily forward in capabilities by both hardwareadvance in storage capabilities. That steady upgrades within the processing complexprogress has kept the latest member of the and a change in the IO fabric, andDS8000 series family – the DS8700 – fully consequent attachments between thecompetitive in performance, features, and processing complex and all internalvalue while competitors have undergone componentry. On the surface, these changescomplete shifts in architecture. are minor changes, but in terms of capabilities, they continue to keep theSince the heyday of Shark, nearly every IBM DS8700 well in line with competitors. But itcompetitor has since charged to market shouldn’t be overlooked that a good part ofwith their own storage systems built upon the DS8700’s appeal rests in how subtleoff the shelf componentry, including the and seemingly small steps forward withlikes of EMC and Sun, among others. Now features keep the DS8700 in lockstep with Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 5 of 21
  • 6. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hcompetitors, while competitors undergo IBM’s choice of architecture.significant changes to bring about the samecapabilities. This is in fact a key benefit of The Power in processing With the latest generational step forward, The Power in consistency the DS8700 introduced the first use of theThe power processor has been at work POWER6 processor in IBM’s storagewithin IBM enterprise-class storage for products. The DS8700’s 2 storagewhat could be described as 5 generations controllers can now each make use of asnow. Long ago, IBM’s introduction of many as four Symmetrical Multi-ThreadedPower-based storage leveraged a mature POWER6 4.7GHz processors that can eachand well known processing architecture act as two logical cores, for a total of 8while giving customers confidence that logical cores per storage controller. Thosestorage systems would advance in lockstep processor cores are each connected togetherwith the capabilities of what is a key with a POWER6, ring-topology, hightechnology in the IBM portfolio. In turn, performance processor bus (called a fabricPower processing advancements keep bus), on die L2 cache, and L3 cache that isunlocking advancing memory capabilities, directly cascaded off of each processor’s L2.more processing horsepower, and moresophisticated IO. But customers have It is important to realize that IBM turned tobenefitted from these capabilities while the Power architecture for storage in orderalso realizing the enormous stability that to harness the capabilities of a processorcomes from a mature software stack that architecture that has long resided in theirhas marched steadily forward in key enterprise systems. In turn, Power andperformance and features over more than a core set of kernel technology carried overa decade. from AIX turns the controllers within a DS8000 series array into a powerfulThe consistency of this Power-based symmetrical multi-processing (SMP)architecture in fact gives IBM’s DS8000 computing complex. With a sophisticatedseries one of the highest reliability bus architecture connecting thesestatistics in the field (IBM claims 5 9’s processors, each and every processor can bereliability from real-world field data), turned to any given storage task, allowingwhile providing IBM with a microcode IBM to utilize this aggregate pool ofupgrade record with nary a hiccup to be processing power (up to 16 logical processorfound. Compared to competitors’ periodic cores) much more efficiently thanshifts in architecture, and more than once competitors using dedicated IO processorsrunning into feature introductions that that might be restricted to handling subsetsdelivered less than desirable results, this of ports, buses, or disks. Moreover, as we’llPower storage platform comparatively discuss, processing power doesn’t stop withmarches on into next generation the controller complex, and includescapabilities without a missed step. distributed PowerPC-based processors performing lower-level disk management Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 6 of 21
  • 7. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hfor each individual device adapter that end device adapters – are plumbed into thisattaches to back-end disks, and supporting PCI Express fabric using a multi-roothost-facing IO on host adapters. switching approach that allows either storage controller to access every device inBeyond SMP, pure processor speeds, cache the system. Each and every tier ofsizes, and inter-processor bandwidth connectivity within this system cascadesimprovements, the POWER6 processor is into a higher-level tier that is appropriatelyalso famous for turning generational greater in bandwidth and lower in latencyprocessor improvement expectations on as the IO gets closer to the processors (andtheir head – POWER6 not only doubled we cover this architecture in detail in theclock speeds but also introduced significant extended sidebar: “Pipes and Plumbing”).improvements in how instructions andcache interactions are executed. In turn, a Moreover, as IO is processed through thedoubling of clock rate has more than system between disks and host ports,doubled processing power, and the DS8700 handling the IO isn’t entirely a job for thecontrollers now conduct storage storage controllers, and upgrades have beeninteractions with the power of made in this sense too. Specifically,approximately 120 gigaflops (Linpack HPC individual device adapters are responsiblebenchmark) and with access to a claimed for handling RAID for groups of disks300 gigabytes per second of data bandwidth within the DS8000 series (64 disks per pairon the processor bus. In comparison to of device adapters), and these adapters alsothese capabilities, the demands of even employ lightweight Power-basedtremendous amounts of storage IO across processors. The Power processor on these1024 disks will come far from running into RAID adapters are up to 70% faster in clockprocessing limitations. speed with the release of the DS8700. These Power-based RAID adapters free theMore Power in I/O storage array processing complex fromBut the POWER6 technology behind the device level tasks, and add to the aggregateDS8700 controllers isn’t entirely about processing power within the DS8700 array,instructions and clock cycles. The IO making the sum total of parts thesubsystem behind the POWER6 controllers combination of these distributed Poweris engineered to extremes for enterprise processors alongside the POWER6connectivity, from top to bottom. processors within the array controllers.In brief, that subsystem starts with changes Within the DS8700, this IO architecture hasin the IO plumbing within the POWER6 the effect of ensuring that each level ofprocessor itself, that allows each node to connectivity has more than ampleredundantly connect to what has now been bandwidth for the total of IO that mightupgraded to an internal PCI Express bus need to be processed (under all conditionsand fabric. Then individual devices – – even with a controller failure), and that atincluding front-end host adapters and back- the end of the chain, the POWER6 Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 7 of 21
  • 8. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hprocessor has more than enough internal caches, and everything about thebandwidth to process that IO. This stands instruction context to anotherin stark contrast to other architectures (x86 processor; all while avoiding disruptionfor example) where IO and bus limitations to on-going processing.can introduce bottlenecks that makecontroller failure intolerable, or make it Turning Power to resiliencyimpossible to make full use of processing But the innovation around resiliencycapabilities across all controllers. doesn’t stop with just the POWER6 processing pipeline, and other examplesAltogether, the DS8700’s POWER6 abound, a few of which are:processor and IO subsystem architecture The tiered cache hierarchy withinhas increased IO handling to 1.5 times that POWER6 is uniquely protected per tierof the DS8300 array, and increased of cache (giving specialized protection toserviceable sequential bandwidth to 2.5 each of L1, L2, L3, and generaltimes. Among enterprise class storage, such memory), protected with redundantsingle generation performance increases are copies of data stored across caches anduncommon. reserved memory space, policed by hardware assisted data scrubbing, andThe Power of insight then surrounded by algorithms that canMoreover, the POWER6 processor provides even move data across differentstep by step insight into instruction processor caches during extreme errorexecution, and a myriad of resiliency and conditions or failures.reliability features that have nothing to do Within the bridges at the heart of thewith bus design, but rather focus on what DS8700’s PCIe buses, the POWER6might go wrong with instructions “inside” architecture leverages additional errorthe processor – ultimately yet one more handling that can monitor IO streams,cause for IO and data integrity problems and upon detected errors can deallocatethat can be the silent enemies of storage controllers, reset adapters, or evenadministrators on other platforms. A few failover adapters between controllersexamples stand out: and processors. Additionally, this The ability to trace instructions through technology that IBM calls Extended the processor, monitor the performance Error Handling (EEH) is integrated into of oscillators, caches, or other IBM system drivers and can be used by subcomponents to identify errors, and the software stack to dynamically and upon demand reroute instructions non-disruptively restore PCI access by around problems (IBM calls this resetting the bus during any bus errors. technology First Failure Data Capture or FFDC). While doubling clock speeds, quadrupling If processor cores demonstrate errors, on-die caches, and similar steps represent a POWER6 can dynamically deallocate a huge leap ahead for POWER6 over previous core and redistribute instructions, Power processors, IBM’s innovation in Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 8 of 21
  • 9. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hprocessor componentry robustness, failure rarely been constrained by the capabilitiesavoidance, and availability set POWER6 far of the underlying hardware. But sometimesafield from any other standard processor in overlooked is how fundamental some ofthe market. POWER6’s resiliency these changes are. In addition to a generalarchitecture is without doubt a significant level of feature parity with enterprise arraycontributor to IBM’s 5 9’s reliability claims competitors, IBM has brought to bear afor DS8000 series arrays. number of lower level innovations within their microcode, centered around IOHistorically, storage controllers have often caching. Let’s take a look.turned to special purpose processors andspecial purpose software stacks that could Cache for innovationdeliver high performance and high IBM’s approach with the DS8700 isreliability. The tradeoff has always been fundamentally about integration from topextra design effort, and limitations when to bottom – optimizing a connected systemintroducing new features. The Power of storage services from the smallestplatform has allowed IBM to harness the hardware component to the managementversatility of a general-purpose processor frameworks and applications that run onalongside their significant Power software top of an infrastructure built with DS seriesexpertise while simultaneously providing a storage. When it comes to storage specificprocessor that is better matched to storage capabilities, the very smallest yet perhapscontroller requirements than most vendors most important component where IBMcould obtain with even purpose built starts optimization and integration isprocessors. around the cache.Storage on Power To start with, Power within the DS8000 series gives IBM the horsepower to cacheOn top of the considerable hardware granularly – much more granularly in factcapabilities of the Power controllers, IBM than the competition. In contrast to 16KB tohas – throughout the life of IBM’s 64KB cache slots found around theenterprise DS series systems – continued to industry, the DS8700 caches data in 4KBintroduce new storage capabilities. In slots - an IO size that is typical of randomcontrast to the competition, IBM’s ability to access patterns from enterprise workloads,deliver storage capabilities has almost but can be collected into larger aggregatesalways been rooted in the microcode. The for large block or sequential IO. IBM thenintroduction of major features – such as makes that granular caching highly efficientthin provisioned FlashCopies (IBM’s through the use of several innovativesnapshot equivalent), new replication caching algorithms at work in theircapabilities, new host integrations, or even microcode, each of which were brought toIBM’s Easy Tier sub-volume, automated life through years of on-going work in IBM’sdata tiering – have almost always been research labs.released with microcode revisions, and have Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 9 of 21
  • 10. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T HThe first of these algorithms – beyond the often must mirror the entirety of cachecaching innovations already at work on the (including read cache) as they cannotPOWER6 processor – is Sequential Pre- granularly manage write and read cachingfetching in Adaptive Replacement Cache separately.(SARC) that moves beyond the “what wasrecently accessed” algorithm approaches Narrower slotting and these intelligent andcommonly found in the industry, to deliver aggressive caching algorithms can combinecaching that can balance its optimizations to make the DS8700’s caching morefor complex mixes of both random and efficient than competitors on a gigabyte tosequential IO. gigabyte comparison. Moreover, SARC, AMP, and IWC create an IO optimizationSecond, is Adaptive Multi-stream Pre- foundation that is further extended by afetching (AMP)– an algorithm that peers number of DS series storage integrationsinside individual IO sessions and can that tie IO handling to operating systemoptimize caching for each application and application-level awareness, including:stream, even when there is a broad mix of prioritization of IOs in cooperation withIO from multiple applications hitting the integrated operating systems andcontrollers. applications (a feature IBM calls end-to-end priority); per-stream optimization of AMPFinally, tied to these algorithms are a caching based upon end-to-end priority;number of extensions that enhance their and optimization of caching through hintseffectiveness, including Intelligent Write passed to the controllers within SCSICaching (IWC) that optimizes how cached commands.writes are moved to disk (based on acombination of both Least Recently Used It has long been accepted in the industryand spatial write grouping) and that enterprise array caching is a criticalindependently manages write mirroring differentiator around random IO. Perhapsacross caches. Leveraging distributed more telling with the DS8000 series is thePowerPC-based processors on host fact that these integrations carry cacheadapters, IWC identifies and effectiveness even beyond the bounds ofsimultaneously mirrors writes across the random IO. We have seen evidence of morecaches within both controller nodes. By than 20% sequential IO performancepolicing and only capturing writes with an improvement through the use of IBM’sintelligent host adapter, IWC frees the adaptive caching algorithms and databasegeneral cache and internal connectivity integrations. This unique IBM leg up on thefrom wasting space and bandwidth by competition may give the DS8000 series IOeliminating the needless mirroring of read- handling capabilities beyond that of otheronly data – read data is only copied and enterprise arrays using similar storagestored once. Competitors in contrast are hardware.often less efficient in cache write-outs, and Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 10 of 21
  • 11. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T H Pipes and PlumbingPipes and plumbing are often touted as key differentiators between enterprise-arrays, but truth betold, in the highly competitive enterprise storage market every vendor in the market engineers theirarray to provide sufficient internal low latency connectivity for their high performance arrays. But ifpipes and plumbing are of interest to you, read on.When it comes to internal pipes and plumbing, the POWER6 architecture continues in IBM’s steadymarch forward in capabilities. From the processors’ shared fabric bus, a latency optimized, bi-directional ring topology GX++ bus is shared among all processors, and connects to adapter cardswith external PCIe interfaces. These external PCIe connections are then networked to IO shelves thathouse front-end host ports and back-end disk ports. In addition, the GX++ bus within the 2 physicalDS8700 controller nodes are networked together with an additional high-speed controller-to-controller link (based on IBM’s RIO-G) that operates at over 8GBs. Using the multi-root architectureof PCIe Gen2 that allows PCIe resources to be controlled by multiple processing complexes, every2GBs PCIe storage connection that attaches to the GX++ bus in one controller is effectivelyaccessible at wire-speed to the secondary controller as well. These 2GBs 4x PCIe connections arecascaded into what is a 20GBs GX++ interface on each 2-way POWER6 processor module, usingIBMs highly optimized P5IOC2 PCIe bridge that interfaces directly with the POWER6 GX++ businterfaces, for access to more than 80GBs of total interface bandwidth in a dual 4-way controllersystem.Using the shared IO enabled by this multi-rooted PCIe and GX++ bus architecture the full externalIO attachments behind either storage controller can be routed across either node withoutintroducing unnecessary latency or bandwidth bottlenecks, and this bus is leveraged during normaloperations for tasks such as synchronous write caching. In turn, the full aggregate of systemprocessors are able to be applied to any task on demand, and instantaneously as well as non-disruptively assume control of IO taking place on the other node during any failure. In contrast,competitive approaches to inter-node connectivity often restrict controller-to-controller cooperation,reduce aggregate processor horsepower for any particular IO task, and can introduce massive latencyand bottlenecks for any re-routed IO. Moreover, the PCIe connections attached directly into thesehigh speed, low latency GX++ buses can reduce latency compared to the multiple hops associatedwith controller bridge to controller bridge to processor bus links found in some competitivearchitectures (as an example, with Ethernet handling on some platforms, direct GX++ interfaceshave demonstrated an ability to reduce latency by a factor of more than 4, to less than 25%).With the introduction of DS8700, 8 IO enclosures with 8 slots each house all front-end host portsand back-end drive ports, and are redundantly connected to both controllers over 4x PCIe links. 8 4-port host adapter cards in each enclosure serve up a combination of 128 front-end host ports and 128back-end disk ports. Each of the 128 front-end ports can be software configured as 1Gb, 2Gb, or 4GbFC or FICON ports. On the back-end, 4 port FC adapters are redundantly attached to 16 drive, fullyswitched disk drive shelves that house dual-ported FC-AL drives. It is important to note, these 4 port Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 11 of 21
  • 12. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T H device adapters within the DS8700 use a specially enhanced Power-based RAID processor to perform RAID 5, 6, or 10 for each port and each of those ports are responsible for a single 8 drive disk group. Those individual processors add to the aggregate of entire system IO processing capability. As we’ve stated elsewhere, within the DS8000 family, the introduction of next generation technology often happens transparently to customers. This remains the case here, except in terms of performance, where these invisible internal architecture changes have vaulted the performance of the DS8700 1 ½ to 2 ½ times beyond the capabilities of the DS8300, depending on workload. Not bad for what are otherwise transparent changes.Built from the DS8700: The IBM term for what appears to host systemsStorage Foundation as a LUN or System z volume. The construction of a logical volume starts withWhile the capabilities of the IBM DS8700 on-disk stripes of 64KB (typically) across allare clearly enterprise-class, as we’ve active drives in an 8-device drive groupdiscussed, enterprise requirements for (IBM calls these 8 drive groups a Rank, andblock storage are changing. Today, it takes they may be configured as RAID 5, 6 or 10,more than storage IO to support a complex with different levels of sparing, as desired).enterprise. While the real changes are afoot Then 1GB groupings (or for the Mainframein how the array is integrated with other reader, the capacity of a 3390 Model 1enterprise systems, in the case of the device) of stripes across a rank are gatheredDS8700, such integrations are almost into what IBM calls an Extent. That extentuniversally built upon three key storage is the building block with which the logicalcapabilities. While the enterprise-class volume is constructed. A single logicalarrays on the market today stand in near volume in turn may be made up of manyfeature parity with each other, we’ll next 1GB extents that are distributed acrosstake a look at these three foundational many different groupings of disks. But IBMcapabilities that make up the pillars on top hasn’t stopped here.of which other IBM integrations stand.Then we’ll turn to look more specifically at a Recognizing that volume virtualizationnumber of DS8000 integrations that extend opens a door upon opportunities to betterenterprise storage capabilities well beyond manage logical storage volumes, IBM hasthe boundaries of the array. begun leveraging IO statistics with new performance analytics to guide optimizedThe Virtual Volume volume placement. Statistics for the extentsWithin the DS8000 series, IBM has now that make up a volume can be sampled overlong used a virtualized volume construct a period of time, and displayed as a “heatunderneath what they call their logical map” that shows where excessive IO isvolume – with the logical volume being the pushing the limits of specific disk ranks. Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 12 of 21
  • 13. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T H entire set of disk media, including SSD as The Extensible Next Generation Block well as every tier of rotational disk. With a Architecture heat map of unusually “hot” or “cold”We have labeled the volume architecture at volume extents in hand, administrators canwork within the IBM DS8000 an Extensible identify the ideal placement of newNext Generation Block Architecture. This volumes, manually relocate existingarchitecture has integrated the enterprise- volumes, or configure the automatedarray’s traditional high horsepower policies that will dynamically tier sub-LUNscattered volume slices with larger data data across SSD and rotational disks (seeaggregates that pave the way for efficient Easy Tier sidebar, page 17). IBM’s sub-future interaction with data. Today, this volume virtualization approach combinedarchitecture is the foundation on top of with Easy Tier allows administrators towhich IBM is delivering dynamic sub- spread out IO across a system, flexibly usevolume storage optimization that appears to the entire capacity and performance of eachbe a clearly differentiated match for pool of disks, and intermix different typesenterprise customers. For those familiar of volumes within a single pool (e.g. spacewith “analysis paralysis,” when it comes to efficient snapshot volumes and fulloptimizing systems, the administrator needs volumes) to share the same disk pools. Thisto have enough detail to make their actions results in utilization efficiencies not foundhave impact, but not so much detail as to get in systems with unshared pools.bogged down by the data – 1GB units ofanalysis look to be a good working size for Fundamentally, the way the DS8000this purpose. Moreover, when it comes to interacts with storage volumes is designeddata movement, these 1GB extents have top to bottom to enable the right granularitycarefully maintained a balance between in the right layers of the storage system,moving data granularly enough to have real without introducing unnecessarycost and performance impacts, but not constraints. The interaction starts with amoving data so granularly as to impact more finer level of cache granularity than a diskimportant system processes. In our view, stripe. At the next layer, on disk, thethose characteristics are prerequisites for architecture has less granularity that bettermaking data optimization real for the aligns IO with disk characteristics, whileenterprise. As we’ve discussed in the distributing IO requests across disks. Thensidebar: Easy Tier, page 17, volume virtualized volume extents introduce evenvirtualization is likely to play an important larger data aggregates that furtherrole in enhancing future IBM storage distribute IO across spindles, and are morecapabilities. practical units of interaction (too much granularity could have the effect ofUnder the banner of IBM Easy Tier, this encouraging users to manage datafunctionality allows administrators to peer placement off of randomized or non-into IO patterns in order to harness the full recurrent IO patterns). The resultingperformance and capacity potential of their system is IO optimized, and has created a Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 13 of 21
  • 14. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hfoundation on top of which flexible data Just like the rest of IBM’s data encryptionmanagement and tiering can take place, offerings that also encompass tape, filewithout creating excessive load on the storage, and data transmission solutions,array. the DS8000 series with Full Disk Encrypting drives depends upon Tivoli KeyThe FlashCopy Lifecycle Manager (TKLM) to serve up a keyAnother key DS8000 capability, one that repository that can handle the keyalso spans almost every other IBM storage management requirements of even theplatform, is IBM’s comprehensive biggest enterprises. Using a combination ofFlashCopy. Between FlashCopy, or the encryption technologies, TKLM stores theupgrade FlashCopy SE (for Space Efficient), high-speed symmetric keys used in datathe DS8700 administrator has a full range systems behind industry standard layers ofof cloning and snapshot capabilities. Kerberos and asymmetric keys forFlashCopy supports full size copies of authentication and access control.logical volumes (sometimes called clones),while FlashCopy SE supports space-efficient At time of purchase, customers can choose(thin provisioned) copies of logical volumes to configure a DS8000 series with IBM’s(sometimes called snapshots). Such point- Full Disk Encryption drives and enablein-time FlashCopies include a long list of encryption. Because of the potentialpotential options and configurations, security compromise inherent in a partiallyincluding incremental delta-only encrypted system that dynamically movesFlashCopies, FlashCopy consistency groups, drive extents, the first generation of thisintegration with host-side frameworks like architecture requires all or nothingMicrosoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Services encryption for the entire array, and(VSS), remote synchronization and enabling encryption after the fact is aexecution, and multiple live FlashCopies for destructive operation. Followingany given FlashCopy configuration. enablement, each drive in the array isMoreover, it should not be overlooked that encrypted with symmetric keys storedFlashCopies across multiple IBM platforms within TKLM.can be managed comprehensively with IBMmanagement tools, or host-specific Individual keys are never persistentlyinterfaces like FlashCopy Manager. stored on the DS8000, but are stored, managed, and protected by the TKLMThe Encrypted Disk servers, using a combination of theThird, with an eye set steadily upon ever organization’s asymmetric keys and driveincreasing security, compliance, and signatures for access. Using the DS8000regulatory requirements, the DS8000 series series 256 bit RSA keys, an individualis the product of one of the few efforts to encryption processor on each drive encryptssuccessfully introduce a scalable enterprise data transparent to applications and witharchitecture for granular and full storage zero impact on IO and latency. Even duringsystem encryption. drive failures, disk disposal becomes Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 14 of 21
  • 15. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hinstantaneous with no erasure required, integration – enhancing the management orand customers are always fully protected performance of storage behind keyfrom lost or stolen media. operating systems and applications. But just as often, integrations also extend theTotal Storage capabilities of key operating systems andWith no doubt, storage features vary by applications, perhaps by bringing new DRvendor, and every enterprise class array architectures to market, or optimizing howmay bring some unique in-array features to data is moved between systems.the table. IBM has in the past referred tovarious DS systems as Total Storage. While Management that crosses arraysthat moniker has fallen by the wayside, The first and perhaps most important stepthese features keep the DS8700 marching in delivering storage beyond single arrays,along as a total package designed for IBM’s is making sure that multiple arrays can beposter picture of the information managed together in an orchestrated whole.infrastructure – an infrastructure that is In this sense, the DS8000 series delivers,highly reliable, efficient, and secure, and and can turn centralized or distributedbuilt to serve as a foundation for layering on DS8000 arrays into a commonly managedother “information-centric” enterprise infrastructure.services. Next we’ll turn to look at howDS8000 specific storage services are IBM has surrounded the DS8000 seriesintegrated “beyond-the-box” – both with management services to fit any style ofhorizontally, with other arrays, and infrastructure. At the most basic level ofvertically, with systems and applications – GUI management, the DS8000 seriesand can extend the efficiency and the comes with a built-in DS Storage Manageravailability of the entire information GUI, a command-line interface, SMI-Sinfrastructure. compliant API, as well as FlashCopy management and mirroring.Storage Beyond the Box – TheIntegrated Information Moving beyond this basic level ofInfrastructure management, the DS Storage Manager GUI is integrated with multiple optional TivoliTurning the lens of our examination Storage Productivity Center (TPC)outward from the DS8000 internals, IBM packages. Packaged with the DS8000 bylong ago realized that delivering enterprise default is the Basic Edition of TPCstorage goes well beyond array architecture, (packaged as licensed software, butand is equally about how the building block upgradeable to a fully pre-packagedof the DS8000 allows the enterprise to appliance). TPC Basic Edition can aggregatebetter leverage the storage underneath their access to multiple DS arrays anywherekey operating systems and applications. In across an enterprise, display those DSmany cases, IBM has achieved this through arrays on a topology in the context of theefficiency improvements delivered by rest of the SAN they are connected to, Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 15 of 21
  • 16. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hmonitor overall SAN and DS array health the host and application based snapshotand capacity utilization, and increase the mechanisms from Oracle, DB2, SAP,efficiencies of management tasks. Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange applications on that host.At the next level, is TPC Standard Edition In addition to the TPC suite versions we’ve(TPC SE) that adds end-to-end insight into identified, is one more – TPC “R” versionthe performance, configuration, and (TPC for Replication) provides specializedefficiency of a storage infrastructure from management interfaces and a policy enginethe host file system and databases down to for replication including internalthe fabric, and down to individual DS FlashCopies and remote mirroring featuresspindles within the array. To optimize for two and three-site disaster recoveryperformance based on end-to-end analysis, failover scenarios. These replicationTPC SE can drive whole volume relocation services are in fact the second importanttasks that can be executed – dynamically ingredient in further extending storageand non-disruptively, or at scheduled times services beyond single arrays.– and will soon comprehend IBM’s EasyTier sub-volume data tiering technology for Storage that crosses arraysthe automatic movement of groups of At the heart of orchestrating and leveragingextents to higher or lower cost groups of the value of multiple IBM DS8000 arrays,disks (see sidebar: Easy Tier, page 17). Just sits IBM’s replication and FlashCopyas importantly though, TPC SE’s insight offerings, and the integrations around theseinto what is happening on the array can be technologies paints the clearest picture ofan important management tool for root how the IBM DS8000 series stands outcause analysis and on-going storage system from the competition. The variety, depth,care and feeding – IBM references DS8000 and sophistication of features built byseries customers who have demonstrated combining mirroring, TPC for Replication25% improvements in mean-time-to-repair automation, FlashCopy, and host-sideby using TPC SE. intelligence enable a range of data protection, clustering, and disaster recoveryFinally, several of these storage implementations across a breadth ofmanagement tools can also be extended in operating systems and applications that iscapabilities by host-side agents or software simply unmatched by competitors.packages that further extend DSmanagement functionality. For example, an The DS8000 has a complete array ofassortment of lightweight “near-agentless” replication services that fill nearly every slot5MB Storage Resource Agents (SRAs) and on any enterprise’s wish list, and further,heavier Java-based agents can enhance can also be integrated together to deliverperformance reporting, and FlashCopy well beyond the norm capabilities. A reviewManager software on specific hosts can of these capabilities starts with Global Copyenable localized management and – IBM’s asynchronous replication serviceapplication integration of FlashCopy with between DS arrays that can copy data Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 16 of 21
  • 17. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hanywhere, irrespective of latency and Easy Tier – a demonstration ofpromises best effort updates for near real extensibility and the optimization oftime synchronization. solid-state diskNext on the list is Metro Mirror. Metro The virtualized volume layout within the IBMMirror performs volume replication over DS8000 series is representative of what thehigh speed, low latency connections (up to Taneja Group calls Extensible Next300km) synchronously. In turn, Metro Generation Block Architectures, and is aMirror can be easily integrated into a testament to how the right storagevariety of different architectures for long architecture can be extended with newdistance high availability or for distance technology without reinventing the wheel. Thesharing/clustering of resources, and can DS8000 virtual volume was implementedsupport various IBM solutions for near- more than 6 years ago, yet IBM has just nowinstant failover, across every IBM platform. (in 2010) launched sub-volume data tiering – called Easy Tier – that will dynamically andAnd the final replication technology is automatically redistribute the 1GB extentsGlobal Mirror. In contrast to Metro Mirror’s within DS8000 disk pools. Operating acrosssynchronous replication, Global Mirror is administrator identified pools of storage –asynchronous. But Global Mirror moves including any selected type of rotational disk,beyond the simple data movement of Global as well as SSD disks where customers have itCopy by integrating FlashCopies to mark – Easy Tier will automatically reposition dataconsistent points in time at the remote based on IO patterns and disk characteristicslocation. Moreover, Global Mirror stays with no further administrative interaction.close to real time, because FlashCopies are Administrators will be able to use out of thenot the source of replication. Rather a box templates or create their own policies –FlashCopy instruction is passed from the selecting specific volumes or entire pools,master site to the destination site and setting performance sampling windows,creates a FlashCopy at the remote site at a scheduling movement intervals, and more –point in time at which the replicated data is to keep volumes within all selected poolsknown to be consistent. In contrast to the automatically optimized. But Easy Tier willcompetition, this integration between also be accompanied by an API that canMirroring and remote FlashCopy execution trigger periodic migrations, allow applicationscreates an asynchronous mirroring to provide storage tiering suggestions, orarchitecture that is tolerant of out-of-order enable custom user integrations. That is adata. Through that integration, remote sophisticated range of functionality, but justreplication sites can accept and track out- as with most other DS8000 features, Easyof-order data, and use FlashCopy Tier will be enabled with a microcodeintelligence to identify what data has to be upgrade. The architecture within the DS8000received between one FlashCopy and the demonstrates how storage arrays can benext to create a next known good extended with new technology. Competitorsconsistency point. This makes data at the too often replace hardware instead.remote site less susceptible to replication Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 17 of 21
  • 18. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hlatency, and easier to resynch after outages. driven the innovation behind these features,With each of these tools, IBM has enabled and the full set of these features workingsophisticated support for consistency together (only possible on an IBM storagegroups and support for flexible remote infrastructure) that paints a picture of astorage system configurations, storage infrastructure uniquely integratedsophisticated failover and fail-back with the rest of the infrastructure. Let’s lookarchitectures, including the use of space- at several examples:efficient FlashCopies. OS and application acceleration. WeWhile these tools are powerful on their own, have previously discussed cooperativethey can also be combined. One example is caching (the SCSI commands with whicha synchronous nearby (300km) Metro applications like DB2 on AIX can helpMirror that then in a cascade fashion optimize caching) as a unique, performanceasynchronously replicates data to a tertiary accelerating application integration. InGlobal Mirror somewhere far away while addition, IBM has leveraged new SCSIissuing FlashCopy instructions to mark command standards to pass IOknown-good data recovery points. prioritization flags between the DS8000 and some IBM operating systems. TheStorage Above the Box combination of these technologies areWith these management tools and enabling the DS8700 to manage QoS acrossreplication technologies in mind, it is clear selected sets of IO by allocating resources tothat multiple DS8000 series storage arrays specific IOs for specific operating systemsacross an enterprise can be elegantly and applications, and then interactivelyorchestrated together for a total storage handle congestion by controlling howfoundation that is more powerful than just unnecessary demands for IO from lowerthe sum of its parts. But the IBM DS8000 priority systems are treated during peakstory is about building an Information periods of demand. Finally, when it comesInfrastructure doesn’t stop with solely these to the Mainframe, it is well known that nointegrations across the storage foundation. other storage vendor acceleratesThe story behind the DS8000 series is equal performance like IBM, with aparts about how the storage infrastructure comprehensive set of technologies tois integrated above the storage layer. While accelerate data transfer (like Hyper Parallelsome other vendors stop their host Access Volumes, or HyperPAV) and driveintegration efforts at the design of latency out of individual connections (withmultipath drivers, IBM has a z/OS High Performance FICON, or zHPF).comprehensive suite of multipath These integrations alongside the DS8700’stechnology, but goes several steps beyond. processing power and bus architecture areWhile competitors may leverage a varying behind IBM’s statements of up to 2.5xand limited subset of some of these performance improvements over previouscapabilities with their own storage, it is DS8000 arrays when supporting real worldIBM’s focus on integrating storage that has workloads. We suspect that deeper OS and Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 18 of 21
  • 19. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Happlication integration has only just begun, Next Generation Media. With SSD, nextand we are looking forward to seeing which generation media is upon us. But howdomains of the consolidated, increasingly effectively this storage media can be usedvirtualized infrastructure IBM chooses to may well be determined by how well arraysaccelerate next. are able to move beyond simply serving up IO and provide access optimization forAvailability integration. Another different storage systems. For example,example revolves around how DS8700 and leveraging the SSD behind mainframes willthe availability architectures of different require a platform that can provide best inoperating systems and applications are class access, and full support for volumeintegrated. The examples stand out around virtualization. For the IBM DS8000, suchSystem i. DS8000 series arrays have unique integrations include Hyper-Parallel Accessintegrations with System i through the Copy Volumes (HyperPAV) and z/OS HyperServices Toolkit. This toolkit integrates Performance FICON (zHPF). TheseFlashCopy functionality, and synchronizes technologies virtualize and parallelizeall of the DS Series replication capabilities connections and exponentially improvewith the System i availability and clustering mainframe connect performance. Once theapproaches. This includes availability- latency of connect is optimized, SSD diskspecific integrations that work together can be leveraged to further optimize diskwith a set of already sophisticated set of time, and maximize the benefit of the lowmore general System i storage integrations latency SSD media. Other integrations –such as such as support for LPARs and such as DB2’s SSD awareness – can placeVirtual IO Server partitions, multi-pathing, specific data sets or table spaces on SSDboot from SAN, and i Application Services. media. Moreover, extending SSD benefits inThese technologies all have a role to play in a consolidated infrastructure may comea wide range of flexible and sophisticated down to just providing pure accessextended distance clustering and failover / versatility, where examples include thefail-back solutions that are possible through ability to attach FC rather than FICON toSystem i and DS8000 series integrations. System z Linux (potentially making SSDThese take place through LUN level volumes easier to access and share), orswitching capabilities, PowerHA for i leverage SSDs behind System i attach (both(previously HASM), Remote Mirror and of which are unique to IBM).Copy (RMC) and Cross Site Mirroring(XSM) technologies that work together with Integration with the InformationDS8000 Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, and Infrastructure. It shouldn’t be missedFlashCopy. On AIX, availability includes that the integrations between the DS8000integration of PowerHA SystemMirror series and the rest of the infrastructure do(previously HACMP/XD) with the full range not stop at just these technologies andof DS8000 mirroring, including Metro applications. IBM’s integrations aroundMirror. DS8000 also include all of the storage management tools in IBM’s arsenal, and Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 19 of 21
  • 20. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hnumerous other storage technologies – a Taneja Group Opinionfew of which include offerings like TivoliStorage Manager data protection offerings The DS8000 continues to demonstrateand IBM’s SAN Volume Controller (SVC). IBM’s expertise in creating uniqueSVC can leverage common tools and efficiencies and capabilities throughtechnologies between SVC and the DS8000 strategic integrations among the wholeseries (and other IBM and non-IBM arrays) portfolio of IBM technologies. This is in factto orchestrate and automate provisioning, why so many IBM customers are known asperform volume movement or total IBM shops. System z is often touted as themigrations, provide enhanced virtual server reason why IBM shops are IBM shops, butservices (such as integration with VMware’s that statement doesn’t even scratch theSite Recovery Manager) and serve up surface. IBM shops are IBM shops becauseconsolidated FlashCopy and mirroring of well-engineered, deeply integratedfunctionality even among heterogeneous capabilities. The integrations aroundarrays across what can be transformed into DS8000 are important testimony to this,a unified, scale-out storage infrastructure. and drive home how the DS8000 not onlyThe previously mentioned Tivoli Storage delivers value in packaged capabilities, butFlashCopy Manager, when combined with also increases that value as it is deployedDS8000 series or SVC FlashCopy, is deeply and integrated with the customer’sintegrated with other TSM data protection infrastructure.technologies. This includes automaticallymoving FlashCopies to offline storage While the market may sometimes miss it,(backup media) while populating the TSM IBM has long been focused on integration.recovery management (backup) catalog, In fact, with a focus on integration, theywith no further host involvement. And these may have been one of the earliest heraldsare but a few of the examples within the ringing in the message that the enterprisesuite of intersecting IBM storage and storage array as an ironclad monolith isinformation management tools, that can dead. Moreover, while a number ofinclude compliance gateways combined platforms in the IBM stable have monolithwith encryption, IBM’s Content Collector roots – like the infamous mainframe ofclassification technology, HSM and System yesteryear – they have in fact long departedStorage Archive Manager, and much more. from those single box, inflexible roots.Each of these provides unique value add System z is surrounded by logical partitionswhen placed on top of the IBM DS8000 and virtualization technologies. System iseries storage foundation and integrated has an LPAR and virtualized IO architectureinto an end-to-end, managed information that can support complex, scale-out-likeinfrastructure. With the continued compute architectures with considerableintroduction of new DS8000 series features efficiency. Storage systems across thelike IBM’s Easy Tier automated data tiering portfolio are built from standardizedand encryption, we only expect to see more componentry, and functionality is extendedintegrations with each of these products. outside of single storage systems not only Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 20 of 21
  • 21. T E C H N O L O G Y I N D E P T Hwith integration, but also with IBM’s seemingly with little more effort involvedmarket leading SVC virtualization engine, than the drop of a hat.also built on top of IBM’s industry standardcomponentry. Such feats for us are demonstrations of the merits behind these architectures, and showIt takes only passing observation to note how IBM is laying a foundation for futurethat there is power in this shift to standard innovation as technology trends change.componentry (inclusive of the Power While SSD integration and storage tieringprocessors that are standard-like for IBM) are important first steps, we suspect theand the multiple layers of virtualization future of IBM storage is steeped in thefound within IBM solutions. Purely as potential for unlocking data optimizationproofs of concept, IBM lab exercises often and blistering performance like nevershow off the hypothetical capabilities of before.these architectures, and they can beincredible – simple hardware changes can With this in mind, it is no wonder that thedeliver capabilities that are considered far IBM DS8000 series continues to be held inin the future for other vendors. One such high regard by IBM customers, but we thinkexample: IBM’s SVC-based demonstrations irrespective of the predominant vendor inwith some solid state media types that have an enterprise data center, the DS8700churned out more than 1 million IOPS; deserves serious consideration. ..NOTICE: The information and product recommendations made by the TANEJA GROUP are based upon public information and sourcesand may also include personal opinions both of the TANEJA GROUP and others, all of which we believe to be accurate and reliable.However, as market conditions change and not within our control, the information and recommendations are made without warranty ofany kind. All product names used and mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. The TANEJA GROUP, Inc. assumesno responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever (including incidental, consequential or otherwise), caused by your use of, orreliance upon, the information and recommendations presented herein, nor for any inadvertent errors which may appear in this document. Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com 21 of 21