Preferred reads with IBM FlashSystem
Many enterprise data centers have adopted disaster recovery (DR) solutions based on array-based replication. Thesearray-based replication schemes are central to the business, somuch so that the business becomes locked-in to the productsrom the array manuacturer. Businesses with array-basedreplication are reluctant to invest in alternative storagetechnology because introducing new products would lead to aork-lit upgrade at multiple data centers. Preerred reads are amethod to integrate solid state disks into these data center that takes advantage o existing array-based replication mechanisms,delivers extreme read perormance benets and maintainsavailability.Preerred reads are implemented at the le system or on a virtualization switch and provide mirrored writes and preerredreads. Writes are mirrored between the RAID system (which isproviding array-based replication) and a solid state disk.Preerred reads come rom a specied storage device (such as asolid state disk) or rom the storage device with the shortest read queue (the solid state disk). Preerred-plex is a eatureoered with Veritas. Preerred reads are also oered withIBM® and HP operating systems.
Brie discussion o array-based replication
Two mega trends have driven data center architectures overthe last 1 years: increasing adoption o disaster recovery andincreasing data center consolidation. The intersection o thesetrends has been at the storage array. Array manuacturers, suchas EMC® and IBM, were rst to the oreront with array oerings that provided massive capacities o storage and theability to remotely replicate that storage to DR sites. These same trends are increasingly causing perormancedegradation. The array controller has to add DR awareness toits already complex caching and storage rules. Hard disk drivesare getting denser to handle the surge in digital content andarrays are managing petabytes o storage capacity.Simultaneously, sotware is becoming more powerul and easierto use, resulting in surging user activity. The combination o these trends is over-loaded centralized storage systems withinadequate perormance characteristics.Over the last ew years, the number o options or DR hasgrown dramatically, but many companies are locked intoarray-based replication or the oreseeable uture. It isenormously complicated and costly to stop using array-basedreplication or use a new vendor’s array-based replication.
IBM Systems and Technology Group
Companies seeking to improve application perormance inthese environments are between a rock and a hard place. What is needed is a method to accelerate application perormance without breaking the disaster recovery process.
About fash storage
Flash storage is a proven technology. IBM® leads the industry with the most comprehensive fash portolio with itsacquisition o Texas Memory Systems, an IBM Company that has designed and manuactured solid state disks or over years. Solid state disks are non-volatile storage devices that useRAM as the primary storage media. Solid state disks store andaccess data directly on DDR RAM chips, which results instorage speeds ar greater than conventional, magnetic storagedevices. Non-volatility is achieved through the integration o redundant internal battery systems and disk backup systems.
: IBM FlashSystem™ 820
Solid state disks have the ollowing characteristics:
Lowest possible access times
Flash-based solid state disks have access times below 25microseconds, the best access times o any storage platorm. As a comparison, a hard disk drive at 5 milliseconds has 333times higher access times.
The enterprise solid state disk market includes products, suchas IBM FlashSystem 820, which can support 5.0 GB persecond o random data throughput.
High I/Os per second (IOPS)
Flash storage extraordinarily high random I/O perormancebecause o their low access times (latency).
Flash storage is inherently more reliable than hard disk drivebased systems because their data path does not requiremoving parts. IBM FlashSystem also incorporates redundant components and patented Variable Stripe RAID™technology to deliver no single point o ailure withinFlashSytem 720 and FlashSystem 820.