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ITG Executive Summary                                                                                                     ...
Software costs for V-Max systems are for the V-Max version of the Enginuity operating system, andTimeFinder point-in-time ...
This structure is illustrated in figure 2.                                               Figure 2                         ...
IBM claims that, depending on applications and workloads, DS8700 systems deliver between 60            and 150 percent hig...
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At the end of 2004, the average U.S. Fortune 500 corporation contained around 120 terabytes (TB) of
server disk storage. By yearend 2009, this had increased to more than 700 TB. On current trends, it will
reach more than four petabytes (4,000 TB) by yearend 2014

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  1. 1. ITG Executive Summary February 2010COST/BENEFIT CASE FOR IBM SYSTEM STORAGE DS8700:COMPARISONS WITH EMC SYMMETRIX V-MAX SYSTEMSChallenges and OpportunitiesAt the end of 2004, the average U.S. Fortune 500 corporation contained around 120 terabytes (TB) ofserver disk storage. By yearend 2009, this had increased to more than 700 TB. On current trends, it willreach more than four petabytes (4,000 TB) by yearend 2014.Capacity growth is not the only challenge that must be met. Enterprise storage environments are growingmore complex and interdependent, demands for cross-organizational access to data continue to expand,and availability, security and recoverability of critical data are increasingly mandated. Economicconditions have magnified pressures to control costs.Technological change offers the potential to address these challenges in new ways. Storage virtualization,thin provisioning and new automation capabilities provide opportunities to increase capacity utilization.Solid state drives (SSDs) can help applications realize major performance gains. Tiering can enable usersto allocate capacity to different drive types and media to increase overall cost-effectiveness.Regardless of how these technologies are exploited, however, organizations will continue to employ high-end disk systems to support their most performance-sensitive, business-critical workloads. For most users,these remain the most expensive and functional systems within storage portfolios. They account for alarge part of enterprise storage expenditures. They may represent a major opportunity for cost savings.This report deals with this opportunity. Specifically, it compares three-year costs for use of EMCSymmetrix V-Max and IBM System Storage DS8700 systems to support workloads requiring high levelsof performance, availability and recoverability in enterprise organizations.In three large installations in financial services, manufacturing and IT services companies, costs for use ofIBM System Storage DS8700 systems average 39 percent less than for use of EMC Symmetrix V-Maxequivalents. Figure 1 summarizes these results. Figure 1 Three-year Costs for Use of EMC V-Max and IBM DS8700 Systems: Averages for All Installations EMC V-Max 27,948.4 IBM DS8700 16,935.8 $ Thousands Hardware Software Software maintenance FacilitiesCosts include hardware acquisition, along with license and maintenance costs for key software, andfacilities (primarily energy) costs.This ITG EXECUTIVE SUMMARY is based upon results and methodology contained in a Management Brief released by theInternational Technology Group. 1
  2. 2. Software costs for V-Max systems are for the V-Max version of the Enginuity operating system, andTimeFinder point-in-time copying and PowerPath multipathing tools. Certain configurations are alsoequipped with Symmetrix Remote Data Facility/Asynchronous (SRDF/A) or Symmetrix Remote DataFacility/Synchronous (SRDF/S) for real-time replication.Software costs for IBM DS8700 systems are for Operating Environment Licenses (OEL), FlashCopypoint-in-time copying and Subsystem Device Driver (SDD) multipathing tools, along with Global Mirroror Metro Mirror for asynchronous or synchronous real-time replication. SDD is a no-charge feature.Hardware maintenance costs are not included. V-Max systems are offered with a standard three-year 24x7warranty, while costs for DS8700 systems are for models offering comparable coverage. IBM also offersseparately priced models with one-, two- and four-year warranties.There are no software maintenance costs for DS8700 systems, as IBM offers a three-year warranty for theproducts included in calculations. In comparison, EMC offers only a 90-day software warranty for itssoftware products. However, this applies only to defects in the media upon which software is supplied.Since such defects are rare, no allowance is made for this warranty period in calculations.Costs allow for annual capacity growth of between 15 percent and 45 percent, depending on installationsand applications supported.As both vendors tend to discount heavily in individual bids, calculations for hardware, license and (in thecase of V-Max systems) software maintenance costs are based on “street” prices; i.e., discounted pricespaid by users in the organizations upon which installations are based.Details of installations, configurations and cost structures, along with sources of data and methodologyemployed for calculations, may be found in the Detailed Data section of this report.Platform ChoicesEMC’s V-Max and IBM DS8700 are the latest chapter in a 20-year rivalry in high-end disk systems.However, their vendors characterize them in very different terms: • V-Max platform, according to EMC, replaces Symmetrix DMX, the first models of which were introduced in 2003. The most recent generation of DMX-4 systems was introduced in 2007. V-Max systems implement a subset of EMC Virtual Matrix Architecture that, according to EMC, is designed to support up to 256 V-Max engines, “hundreds of petabytes” of virtualized disk storage and “tens of millions of IOPS.” Although Virtual Matrix Architecture incorporates a number of ambitious concepts, the V-Max system employs a more conventional system design that draws upon DMX-4 features and hardware packaging techniques employed in the company’s CLARiiON midrange systems. The Enginuity 5874 operating system also builds upon its Enginuity 5773 predecessor for DMX- 4 systems, although there are extensive changes in code content. V-Max systems support larger cache sizes than DMX-4 systems – up to 1,024 GB physical (512 GB effective) compared to 512 GB physical (256 GB effective) cache – and faster host interfaces than DMX-4 equivalents. The DMX-4 design, which employs channel and disk directors connected to a set of cache boards, has been replaced by “engines,” each containing redundant Intel Xeon-based integrated directors, along with cache, and I/O and disk ports. Up to eight engines may be configured in a V- Max frame. Communications between engines are through RapidIO external interconnects.International Technology Group 2
  3. 3. This structure is illustrated in figure 2. Figure 2 EMC V-Max Engine Structure Disk enclosure ports Cache Cache Integrated Integrated RapidIO director director RapidIO 2 processors 2 processors 8 cores 8 cores Front-end ports EMC also offers an entry-level model, the V-Max SE, which is built around a single system engine and supports up to 128 GB physical (64 GB effective) cache and 360 disk drives. V-Max SE systems cannot be upgraded to larger V-Max configurations. According to EMC, “the V-Max system provides more than three times the performance (of) Symmetrix DMX-4 systems.” The basis of this claim, however, is unclear. The base system appears, for the reasons detailed later in this report, to offer incremental rather than radical improvements in performance over DMX-4 equivalents. V-Max systems support use of EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) software, which is designed to automate reallocation of data to solid state, Fibre Channel (FC) and Serial ATA (SATA) drives on the same V-Max frame. (EMC refers to solid state drives as Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs). SSDs, a more commonly employed term, is used in this report.) A first FAST offering, FAST version 1, was delivered by EMC in December 2009. However, this version cannot allocate capacity to different tiers in increments of less than a logical volume. According to EMC that capability will be included in FAST version 2, which is scheduled for “mid-2010” or the third quarter of 2010. According to EMC, DMX hardware will not be upgradeable to V-Max systems. DMX scripts may run on V-Max systems, but will not support new functionality specific to the V-Max Enginuity operating system. • DS8700 platform is presented by IBM as the third hardware generation of the IBM DS8000 platform, the first models of which were introduced in 2004. A second generation of DS8000 Turbo systems was introduced in 2006. Compared to the previous generation of DS8000 Turbo systems, DS8700 systems incorporate faster IBM POWER processors (POWER6 4.7 GHz compared to POWER5+ 2.2 GHz), increased cache (384 GB compared to 256 GB), and higher-speed internal connects and device adapters. DS8700 systems also incorporate improved reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS), security and energy efficiency features.International Technology Group 3
  4. 4. IBM claims that, depending on applications and workloads, DS8700 systems deliver between 60 and 150 percent higher performance than the previous generation of DS8000 Turbo systems. These claims should, for reasons discussed later in this report, be regarded as reasonable. IBM does not currently offer an equivalent of EMC FAST software. However, the company has unveiled plans to deliver its own automated tiering solution in the second quarter of 2010. In general, IBM has preserved compatibility with earlier DS8000 systems. Disk drives and enclosures for these, along with existing scripts and tools, are supported on DS8700 systems. According to the company, only around four percent of operating system code has been changed.In terms of performance and functionality, the differences between current V-Max and DS8700 systemsare not wide. Both EMC and IBM plan to deliver automated tiering solutions capable of more effectiveSSD optimization during 2010.Significant competitive differentiation of V-Max systems will thus, to a large extent, depend upon futurecapabilities provided by Virtual Matrix Architecture. However, EMC has provided few details of thisarchitecture, and has announced timetables only for the delivery of some components during 2010.Virtual Matrix appears to be intended to evolve toward a distributed complex (according to EMC, it willemploy a “scale-out” or “federated” model), in which physically separate V-Max systems will beinterconnected using a high-speed fabric.Two reservations should be expressed about this architecture. First, realization would be difficult. Itwould be necessary not only to address latency issues, but also to provide high levels of integration acrosscomplex, diverse storage software solutions, many of which support highly business-critical systems.Even if Virtual Matrix Architecture proves to be viable, it would take years to implement.Second, Virtual Matrix Architecture, as described by the company to date, is specific to V-Max systems.Although it might, at some point, expand to include other EMC platforms, there is no indication that non-EMC platforms could be integrated.Virtual Matrix Architecture might be an appropriate option for organizations heavily committed to EMC.However, it would make it more difficult to implement broader organizational storage architectures thatextended across multivendor, multiplatform environments. And, without further clarification by EMC, itwould be a significantly higher-risk proposition than IBM’s DS8700 platform.Additional InformationThis ITG Executive Summary is based upon results and methodology contained in a Management Briefreleased by the International Technology Group. For copies of this Management Brief, please emailrequests to International Technology Group 4546 El Camino Real, Suite 230 Los Altos, California 94022-1069 ITG Telephone: (650) 949-8410 Facsimile: (650) 949-8415 Email: info-itg@pacbell.netCopyright © 2010 by the International Technology Group. All rights reserved. Material, in whole or part, contained in this document may not be reproduced ordistributed by any means or in any form, including original, without the prior written permission of the International Technology Group (ITG). Information has beenobtained from sources assumed to be reliable and reflects conclusions at the time. This document was developed with International Business Machines Corporation(IBM) funding. Although the document may utilize publicly available material from various sources, including IBM, it does not necessarily reflect the positions ofsuch sources on the issues addressed in this document. Material contained and conclusions presented in this document are subject to change without notice. Allwarranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such material are disclaimed. There shall be no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in thematerial contained in this document or for interpretations thereof. Trademarks included in this document are the property of their respective owners.TSE03003-USEN-00 International Technology Group 4