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Performance benefits of

IBM Storwize V7000 with Easy Tier for


Oracle 11g workload

Configurations and performance benefits

Mayur Shetty

IBM Systems and Technology Group ISV Enablement


January 2011

© Copyright IBM Corporation, 2011.


Table of contents
1 Abstract.................................................................................................................................. 1
2 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 1
2.1 Overview ........................................................................................................................................... 1
2.2 Assumptions .................................................................................................................................... 1
2.3 Intended audience ........................................................................................................................... 2
3 IBM Storwize V7000 technology stack ................................................................................. 2
3.1 IBM Storwize V7000 overview......................................................................................................... 2
3.1.1 IBM Storwize V7000 functionalities............................................................................................. 2
3.1.2 IBM Storwize V7000 terminology ................................................................................................ 4
4 IBM Storwize V7000 and Easy Tier ....................................................................................... 5
4.1 Easy Tier Overview .......................................................................................................................... 5
4.2 Easy Tier functionality .................................................................................................................... 5
4.3 Easy Tier mechanism to move data............................................................................................... 6
4.3.1 Automatic mode .................................................................................................... 6
4.3.2 Manual mode.......................................................................................................... 6
4.4 Data relocation options with Easy Tier ......................................................................................... 6
5 Oracle random I/O workload tested...................................................................................... 7
6 IBM Storwize V7000 with Easy Tier configuration............................................................... 7
6.1 SAN configuration planning ........................................................................................................... 7
6.2 MDisk configuration ........................................................................................................................ 7
6.3 Adding solid-state drives to the storage pool configuration .................................................... 12
6.4 Volume configuration .................................................................................................................... 16
6.5 Mapping volumes to the host:...................................................................................................... 18
7 Monitoring and modeling tools .......................................................................................... 21
7.1 IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center(TPC) ............................................................................. 21
7.2 IBM Storage Tier Advisor Tool ..................................................................................................... 22
8 I/O workload calibration tools............................................................................................. 22
8.1 Vdbench overview ......................................................................................................................... 22
8.2 ORION overview............................................................................................................................. 23
9 Lab setup ............................................................................................................................. 23
10 Testing methodology ........................................................................................................ 24
10.1 IBM Storwize V7000 Storage configuration used for the test runs ........................................ 24
10.1.1 Easy Tier configuration ..................................................................................... 25
10.2 Linux host configuration used for the test runs....................................................................... 30
10.3 Vdbench test run description ..................................................................................................... 30
10.3.1 OLTP only............................................................................................................ 30
10.4 ORION test run description ........................................................................................................ 32
10.4.1 OLTP only............................................................................................................ 32
11 Easy Tier test results......................................................................................................... 32
11.1 Oracle OLTP workload using Vdbench ..................................................................................... 32

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
11.1.1 OLTP workload without Easy Tier configured ................................................ 32
11.1.2 OLTP workload of 100 percent random reads with Easy Tier configured ... 33
11.1.3 OLTP workload of 70 percent random reads and 30 percent random writes
with Easy Tier configured............................................................................................. 34
11.1.4 OLTP workload of 50 percent random reads and 50 percent random writes
with Easy Tier configured............................................................................................. 35
11.2 Oracle OLTP workload using ORION......................................................................................... 36
11.2.1 OLTP workload without Easy Tier configured ................................................ 36
11.2.2 OLTP workload with Easy Tier configured ...................................................... 38
12 Summary ............................................................................................................................ 40
Resources............................................................................................................................... 41
Trademarks and special notices ........................................................................................... 42

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
1 Abstract
This paper demonstrates the performance benefits of running an Oracle 11g database on IBM
Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier enabled. The paper also explains online transaction
processing (OLTP) workload and I/O workload that is generated using Oracle ORION and
Vdbench load generator tools.

2 Introduction
This section provides an overview on the various topics explained in this paper, the assumptions made,
and the intended audience that are likely to benefit from this paper.

2.1 Overview
This paper demonstrates the performance benefits that IBM® Easy Tier™ provides by seamlessly
migrating hot extents from hard disk drives (HDDs) to a higher performing solid-state drives within the
IBM Storwize V7000 solution. This might be either to internal solid-state drives in the IBM Storwize V7000
or to external storage systems that are virtualized by IBM Storwize V7000.

The other load generator tool that has been used here is Oracle Vdbench. The objective of Vdbench is to
generate a wide variety of controlled storage I/O workloads, allowing control over workload parameters
such as I/O rate, logical unit number (LUN) or file sizes, transfer sizes, thread count, volume count,
volume skew, read/write ratios, read and write cache hit percentages, and random or sequential
workloads.

The other load generator used to arrive at the configuration guidelines is the Oracle I/O Calibration Tool
ORION) calibration tool. This tool generates I/O using the same I/O software stack used by the Oracle
server software without having to install the server software and create a database. It can simulate
various workload types at different load levels to arrive at performance metrics for input/output operations
per second (IOPS), and latency (response time). It can also simulate the effect of striping performed by
Automatic Storage management (ASM).
The intention of this paper is not to demonstrate the maximum possible I/O benchmark or performance
number for the IBM Storwize V7000. Those benchmark and performance numbers are likely to be shown
in the Storage Performance Council SPC-1 and SPC-2 results posted by IBM on the SPC website. This
paper demonstrates how to configure Easy Tier, and explains how Easy Tier might benefit the
performance for an Oracle database workload by optimizing the utilization of solid-state drives.

2.2 Assumptions
The team assumes that the best practices that are documented in the IBM Storwize V7000 Introduction
and Implementation Guide from IBM Redbook® holds good for Oracle databases too.

Another assumption is that the load generation tools, Oracles Vdbench and ORION, are appropriate for
determining storage performance for Oracle I/O workloads. A detailed description of both the tools is
provided in a later section. But briefly, ORION generates I/O using the same I/O software stack used by
the Oracle server software without having to install the server software. By using ORION, it is possible to
avoid addressing the subject of Oracle database server tuning, which is beyond the scope of this paper.
Also, Vdbench generates a wide variety of controlled storage I/O workloads, allowing control over
workload parameters such as I/O rate, LUN or file sizes, transfer sizes, thread count, volume count,

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
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volume skew, read/write ratios, read and write cache hit percentages, and random or sequential
workloads.

2.3 Intended audience


The intended audience of this paper is any technical lead, system administrator, storage administrator, or
an Oracle database administrator (DBA) who is planning on deploying the IBM Storwize V7000 for
running Oracle database. This paper provides a starting point for Easy Tier configuration, as well as
provides an idea on how Easy Tier optimally utilizes solid-state drives, and provides the performance
benefit for an Oracle database workload.

3 IBM Storwize V7000 technology stack


This section includes concepts related to the IBM Storwize V7000.

3.1 IBM Storwize V7000 overview


The IBM Storwize V7000 solution provides a modular storage system that includes the capability to
virtualize external storage area network (SAN) attached storage as well as its own internal storage. IBM
Storwize V7000 provides a number of preset configuration options which are aimed at simplifying the
implementation process. It also provides an active-active solution, and is a clustered, scalable, midrange
storage, as well as an external virtualization device.

Included with IBM Storwize V7000 is a simple and easy to use graphical user interface (GUI) that allows
storage to be deployed quickly and efficiently. The GUI runs on the IBM Storwize V7000 system so there
is no need for a separate console. The IBM Storwize V7000 solution consists of a control enclosure which
is a hardware unit that includes the chassis, node canisters, drives, and energy sources that include
batteries, and expansion enclosures which is a hardware unit that includes expansion canisters, drives,
and energy sources that do not include batteries. Within each enclosure are two canisters which are
hardware units that includes the node hardware, fabric and service interfaces, and serial-attached SCSI
(SAS) expansion ports, which determine the role of the enclosure

3.1.1 IBM Storwize V7000 functionalities


The following functionalities are available with the IBM Storwize V7000:

• Thin provisioning: With thin provisioning, applications can grow dynamically, but consume only
the space that they are actually using. Without thin provisioning, preallocated space is reserved
irrespective of whether the application uses it or not.

• Volume Mirroring: Volume Mirroring provides a single volume image to the attached host systems
while maintaining pointers to two copies of data in separate storage pools. Copies can be on
completely separate disk storage systems that are being virtualized.

• IBM FlashCopy®: FlashCopy creates instant application copies that can be used for backup or
application testing. FlashCopy makes better use of space with incremental copy where only
changed blocks are copied.

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• Metro Mirror: Metro Mirror provides synchronous remote mirroring function up to approximately
300 km between sites. As the host I/O completes only after the data is cached at both locations,
performance requirements may limit the practical distance. Metro Mirror is designed to provide
fully-synchronized copies at both sites with zero data loss after the initial copy is completed.

• Global Mirror: Global Mirror provides long distance asynchronous remote mirroring function up to
approximately 8,000 km between sites. With Global Mirror, the host I/O completes locally, and
the changed data is sent to the remote site later. This is designed to maintain a consistent,
recoverable copy of data at the remote site which lags behind the local site.
• Data migration: A data migration wizard can be used to import external storage system into the
IBM Storwize V7000.

• Easy Tier: Provides a mechanism to seamlessly migrate hot spots to a higher performing storage
pool within the IBM Storwize V7000 solution. This can be to internal drives within IBM Storwize
V7000 or to external storage systems that are virtualized by IBM Storwize V7000.

Figure 1: IBM Storwize V7000 virtualizing external and internal storage

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3.1.2 IBM Storwize V7000 terminology
Table 1 lists the Storwize V7000 terminology used in the paper. For an entire list of the Storwize V7000
terminology, refer to the IBM Storwize V7000 Introduction and Implementation Guide.

IBM Storwize V7000 term Definition


A hardware unit that includes the chassis, node
Control enclosure canisters, drives, and energy sources that include
batteries.
A hardware unit that includes expansion canisters,
Expansion enclosure drives, and energy sources that do not include
batteries.
A hardware unit that includes the node hardware,
Node canister fabric and service interfaces, and serial-attached
SCSI (SAS) expansion ports.
The process of controlling in which hosts have
Host mapping access to specific volumes within a cluster.
Array managed disks and drives that are held in
Internal storage enclosures and nodes that are part of the cluster.
A component of a storage pool that is managed by
Managed disk (MDisk) a cluster. An MDisk is either part of a RAID array of
internal storage or a Small Computer System
Interface (SCSI) logical unit (LU) for external
storage. An MDisk is not visible to a host system on
the SAN.
A collection of storage capacity that provides the
Storage pool capacity requirements for a volume.
The ability to define a storage unit (full system,
Thin provisioning or thin provisioned storage pool, or volume) with a logical capacity size
that is larger than the physical capacity assigned to
that storage unit.
A discrete unit of storage on disk, tape, or other
Volume data recording medium that supports some form of
identifier and parameter list, such as a volume label
or input/output control
Each MDisk is divided into segments of equal size
Extent called extents. When a volume is created
from a storage pool, the volume is allocated based
on the number of extents required to satisfy the
capacity requirements for the volume.
Table 1: IBM Storwize V7000 terminology

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4 IBM Storwize V7000 and Easy Tier
This section gives an overview of the Easy Tier feature in the Storwize V7000 and mechanism in which
Easy Tier moves the data between the tiers in the storage pool.

4.1 Easy Tier Overview


Easy Tier is designed to determine the appropriate tier of storage based on data access requirements,
and then automatically and non-disruptively move data, at the sub-volume or sub-LUN level, to the
appropriate tier. This feature is designed to reduce, if not eliminate, the amount of manual effort involved.
In this new dynamic environment, data movement is seamless to the host application regardless of the
storage tier in which the data resides.

Figure 2: Easy Tier overview

4.2 Easy Tier functionality


Easy Tier performs the following three functions:
• Workload monitoring: During the workload monitoring stage, Easy Tier determines if the data
on the HDD tier needs to be promoted to the solid-state drive tier, or whether the data on the
solid-state drive tier needs to be demoted to the HDD tier.
• Workload analysis: Easy Tier can provide information on data access patterns that can be
used for solid-state drive capacity planning.
• Smart data migration: Easy Tier seamlessly relocates data to the appropriate tier. The data
movement is seamless to the host application regardless of the storage tier in which the data
resides.

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4.3 Easy Tier mechanism to move data
There are two different mechanisms based on which data can be moved between tiers in Easy Tier. They
are:

• Automatic mode

• Manual mode

4.3.1 Automatic mode


In this mode, Easy Tier monitors the access to extents on a logical volume and, based on storage
usage, automatically and nondisruptively relocates the hottest data (in the form of extents) to an
appropriate storage device in a managed extent pool.

A storage pool that is managed by Easy Tier requires at least one solid-state drive MDisk and one
non-solid-state drive MDisk. You can also create a mixed extent pool that is managed by Easy Tier
by:
• Creating a storage pool with solid-state drive and HDD MDisks.
• Adding solid-state drive MDisk to an existing HDD storage pool
• Adding HDD MDisk to an existing solid-state drive storage pool
• Merging an existing solid-state drive and an existing HDD storage pool

After a storage pool is formed, you can add additional MDisks to the managed storage pool or
additional storage pools can be merged with this storage pool. Volumes that are created in managed
storage pools are allocated on HDD extents based on the monitoring process and algorithms used by
Easy Tier, which might later be migrated to solid-state drives.

4.3.2 Manual mode


In this mode, you can dynamically relocate a logical volume between extent pools or within an extent
pool to change the extent allocation method of the volume or to redistribute the volume across new
MDisks that have been added. This capability is referred to as dynamic volume relocation.

4.4 Data relocation options with Easy Tier


Initial implementation will have the following two tiers:
• Generic solid-state drive which is tier 0

• Generic HDD which is tier 1

Internal drives have tiers chosen by IBM Storwize V7000, while external (SAN) MDisks have a tier
assigned by the user. Easy Tier between solid-state drive and SAS or Fibre Channel (FC) drives have
been tested, but nothing in the product disallows other combinations. For example, SAS to Near Line
SAS is allowed but will not be tested. Using Easy Tier with other disk configurations can lead to
unpredictable performance and need to be tested before production implementation. Easy Tier is

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designed to work with IBM Storwize V7000 internal solid-state drives or SAN based external solid-state
drives.

Easy Tier is supported in both mirrored volumes and thin-provisioned volumes. In the case of mirrored
volumes, both copies are independently managed by Easy Tier, while in thin-provisioned volumes only
the real storage is subject to Easy Tier management.

In the case of sequential volumes, where the extents are allocated one after another in one MDisk, they
can be measured but not managed by Easy Tier. Also, in image mode volumes, which are special
volumes that have direct relationship with one MDisk and which are used to migrate existing data in and
out of the V7000 cluster, the volumes can be measured but not managed by Easy Tier.

Easy Tier is also supported for FlashCopy source and target volumes. Metro Mirror and Global Mirror
primary and secondary volumes are also supported with Easy Tier, but the Metro Mirror and Global Mirror
volumes do not inherit characteristics of the primary as part of the disaster recovery activity.

5 Oracle random I/O workload tested


The Oracle I/O workload tested here is small-block (8KB), random I/Os.

Online transaction processing (OLTP) applications usually generate small random I/O workload, where
the response time of the I/O request is very important. OLTP workloads are transaction based, where the
performance is measured by IOPS and the response time. OLTP database block size usually ranges from
2 KB to 32 KB, with 8 KB being the average

6 IBM Storwize V7000 with Easy Tier configuration


This section talks about the configuration of various components that were involved in testing. It includes:
SAN configuration, MDisks configuration, storage pools, volumes, and hosts.

6.1 SAN configuration planning


For the best practices on SAN configuration planning, refer to the IBM Storwize V7000 Introduction and
Implementation Guide from IBM Redbooks.

6.2 MDisk configuration


In Storwize V7000, the internal drives cannot be directly added to storage pools. They need to be
included in a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) to provide protection against the failure of
individual drives. A RAID array is created as a MDisk, and during the array creation, wizards and presets
are available to suggest configurations to users based on the hardware attached to the system. The
recommendation is to use these presets for easy configuration and best performance.

The following content shows how to create arrays on the system using the GUI. The Storwize V7000
command line interface (CLI) might not be needed though it is flexible in most cases.

When you first setup the Storwize V7000, the initial setup wizard prompts the user to use the fully-
automated RAID setup. Now, start from the Getting Started screen on the GUI, as shown in Figure 3.

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Figure 3: Getting started with the storage configuration

Figure 4 shows the internal solid-state drives with an Online status before the MDisk configuration.

Figure 4: Internal solid-state drive storage

You can choose to use the recommended (fully-automatic) configuration or a different configuration
for customization. (Refer to Figure 5). In this example, a different configuration has been used. In this

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step, first select the drive class. The GUI then provides a preset list based on the drive class. You can
decide whether to configure spares automatically, and optimize the array for performance or capacity.
You can also indicate the number of drives to be provisioned. The configuration summary seen at the
bottom of Figure 5 displays information on what the system will attempt to do, or indicate it cannot
meet the RAID creation requirement.

The team configured the internal SAS drives, and chose the preset of Basic RAID-10. In this
example, the team used 32 drives, optimized for performance.

Figure 5: HDD MDisk creation

With the Optimize for Performance option, all arrays in a pool will have the same performance
characteristics, and potentially leave unused drives in the system. The Optimize for Capacity option
uses all drives in the system, which means that some of the arrays may not meet the array width goals. It
will do this by reducing the number of drives in one or more arrays to be created by an equal amount, and
you will get an optimal performance layout (all arrays have the same width, or the width with one drive
more or one drive less, but the width will not be the same as the width goal).
Note: If the perfect number of drives exists, the Optimize for Capacity option creates the same layout as
the Optimize for Performance option. Both the algorithms are explained in the Implementing IBM
Storwize V7000 Redbook.

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Next, you need to decide whether to expand an exiting pool or create one or more new pools with the
arrays. In this example, a new pool dedicated for internal storage (as shown in Figure 6) has been
created.

Figure 6: Creating a new storage pool

Now, you will see the new storage pool creation progress and the command line result, if the Details
option is turned on (as shown in Figure 7).

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Figure 7: Details of the RAID arrays creation

When you navigate to the Pools page, you can notice that a new test_easytier pool has been created,
and it has four members mdisk0, mdisk1, mdisk2 and mdisk3, all having an Online status (as shown
in Figure 8).

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Figure 8: Storage pools and arrays status

You have now completed managing the internal HDDs. Next, you will see how to manage the internal
solid-state drives.

6.3 Adding solid-state drives to the storage pool configuration


Storage pool is a collection of MDisks providing real capacity for the creation of volumes. You can add
solid-state drive MDisks to the storage pool at any time to increase the capacity of the storage pool, and
to activate Easy Tier. All the MDisks in a storage pool are split into segments of equal size called extents.

You can choose to use the recommended (fully-automatic) configuration or a different configuration for
customization (refer to Figure 5). In this example, a different configuration has been used. In this step, the
team first selected the preset SSD Easy Tier option. In this example, the team used six drives optimized
for performance, and created three solid-state drive Easy Tier MDisks.

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Figure 9: Solid-state drive MDisk creation – step 1

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Figure 10: Solid-state drive MDisk creation – step 2

Figure 11: Adding the solid-state drive MDisks to an existing storage pool

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Figure 12: Details of adding the solid-state drive MDisks to an existing storage pool

Figure 13: Solid-state drive MDisks

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Figure 14: Easy Tier active with HDD and solid-state drive MDisks

6.4 Volume configuration


A volume is a logical disk that is presented to a host system by the IBM Storwize V7000. The IBM
Storwize V7000 storage translates this volume into a number of extents which are allocated across
MDisks present in the storage pool.

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Click Volumes by Pool from the pop-up menu on the side bar of the screen to open the Volumes by Pool panel.
Click New Volume to launch the New Volume wizard. Then select the storage pool from which you want to
create volumes. Enter the volume name and the size of the volume that you would like to create. Click on
the + sign to create additional volumes, as shown in Figure 15.

Figure 15: New Volume wizard

Figure 16 shows detailed messages that are displayed when you click Create and Map to Host in the
new volume creation wizard.

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Figure 16: Volumes by pool panel

6.5 Mapping volumes to the host:


A host system is connected to the Storwize V7000 through either a Fibre Channel connection or an iSCSI
connection. For this paper, the team used Fiber Channel to connect host to the IBM Storwize V7000.
Hosts are defined to IBM Storwize V7000 by identifying their worldwide port names (WWPNs) for Fibre
Channel hosts.

After viewing the details, when you click Continue, (as shown in Figure 16) the Modify Mappings dialog
box (as shown in Figure 17) is displayed. In this example, the volumes are mapped to host isvx7, which is
selected from the drop down list.

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Figure 17: Mapping volumes to host isvx7

Clicking Next takes you to the Modify Mappings screen, as shown in Figure 18.

Figure 18: Mapped volumes

On clicking OK, you can see that the volumes are mapped to the host, as shown in Figure 19.

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Figure 19: Host mappings

Move the mouse pointer over a volume name, in this case, vol01. Then right-click and click Properties.
This shows the details on the volume, in the three tabs: Overview, Host Maps, and Member MDisks.
Under the Member MDisk tab, in the # of Extents column, for vol01, it shows 500 for mdisk0, 500 for
mdisk1, 500 for mdisk2, and 500 for mdisk3. The reason for this is that the size of volume vol01 is 500
GB, and the extent size of the test_easytier storage pool is 256 MB. Therefore, 256x500 = 128 MB, which
is the size of the vol01 on mdisk0. There are four HDD MDisks in the storage pool, and therefore
128x4 = 512 GB, which is roughly the size of the volume vol01 that the team had created.
You will see later that as the test progresses Easy Tier analyzes the I/O pattern and develops a migration
plan for the hot extents in each of the HDD Mdisks. During the extent migration phase, you will see three
more solid-state drive mdisks in the member MDisk screen. The number under the # of Extents column
starts reducing as the hot extents migrate from the HDD MDisks to the solid-state drive MDisks, until all
the solid-state drive extents have been used.

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Figure 20: Number of extents in a volume

7 Monitoring and modeling tools


In this section we talk about two tools that can be used with IBM Storwize V7000 to give an insight into
the performance of the storage, and to predict whether the addition of Solid State Drive (SSD) capacity in
conjunction with the Easy Tier function could benefit system performance.

7.1 IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC)


IBM Tivoli® Storage Productivity Center for Disk is an essential tool in an IBM SAN environment to help
ensure good data center reliability. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Disk offers the following
features:
• A graphical overview of the entire data center topology, from hosts to Fibre Channel switches to
storage.
• The ability to drill down into each object in the topology. For example, you can select a given
storage controller and expand it to view all the layers of the virtualization hierarchy.
• Collection of very detailed performance data on LUNs, RAID arrays, switches, and so on.

For example, for a given LUN over a specified time period, you can see the IOPS, the response time, the
throughput, and the read or write cache hit ratio.

A wide range of reports can be produced and used to analyze SAN-wide performance data.

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Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Disk allows you to monitor and report on all the layers of the
technology stack in an IBM SAN environment, and is an important component in the setup of a data
center.

For more information about IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, visit

ibm.com/systems/storage/software/center/

7.2 IBM Storage Tier Advisor Tool


The IBM Storage Tier Advisor Tool is a Microsoft® Windows® console application that analyzes heat data
files produced by Easy Tier and produces a graphical display of the amount of hot data per volume and
predictions of how additional solid-state drive capacity might benefit performance for the system and by
storage pool. This version of the Storage Tier Advisor Tool supports heat data files produced by Easy Tier
on SAN Volume Controller 6.1, Storwize V7000, and IBM System Storage® DS8000® 5.1, and
DS8000 5.1.5.

Heat data files are produced approximately one time a day when Easy Tier is active on one or more
storage pools and summarize the activity per volume as the prior heat data file was produced. On SAN
Volume Controller and Storwize V7000, the heat data file is in /dumps directory on the configuration node
and is named as dpa_heat.node_name.time_stamp.data. Any existing heat data file is erased
whenever a new heat data file is produced. The file needs to be off-loaded by the user and Storage Tier
Advisor Tool has to be invoked from a Windows command prompt console with the file specified as a
parameter. The user can also specify the output directory. The Storage Tier Advisor Tool creates a set of
HTML files and the user can then open the resulting index.html file in a browser to view the results.

8 I/O workload calibration tools


The Vdbench tool and the ORION tool can be used to generate Oracle-specific I/O load and to gather the
resulting performance statistics. This section provides an overview and description of both the tools but.
You can refer to the user guides for the tools for a complete understanding of the tools.

8.1 Vdbench overview


Vdbench generates a wide variety of controlled storage I/O workloads, allowing control over workload
parameters such as I/O rate, LUN or file sizes, transfer sizes, thread count, volume count, volume skew,
read/write ratios, read and write cache hit percentages, and random or sequential workloads.

There is no requirement for Vdbench to run as root as long as the user has read/write access for the
target disks or file systems and for the output-reporting directory.

Nonperformance-related functionality includes data validation with Vdbench keeping track of the
information regarding the nature of data and the location where it is written, allowing validation after a
controlled or an uncontrolled shutdown.

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8.2 ORION overview
ORION is a tool for predicting the performance of an Oracle database without having to install Oracle or
create a database. Unlike other I/O calibration tools, ORION is expressly designed for simulating Oracle
database I/O workloads using the same I/O software stack as Oracle. It can also simulate the effect of
striping performed by ASM.
Small random I/O: OLTP applications typically generate random reads and writes whose size is
equivalent to the size of the database block, which is typically 8 KB. Such applications care about the
throughput in IOPS and about the average latency (I/O turnaround time) per request. These parameters
translate to the transaction rate and transaction turnaround time at the application layer.

For each type of workload, ORION can run tests at different levels of I/O load to measure performance
metrics such as Mbps, IOPS, and I/O latency. Load is expressed in terms of the number of outstanding
asynchronous I/O. Internally, for each such load level, the ORION software issues I/O requests as fast as
they complete to maintain the I/O load at that level. For random workloads (large and small), the load
level is the number of outstanding I/O. For large sequential workloads, the load level is a combination of
the number of sequential streams and the number of outstanding I/O per stream. Testing a given
workload at a range of load levels helps the user understand how performance is affected by load.

9 Lab setup
This section lists the hardware and software configurations that were used in the lab exercises.

Table 2 describes the Storwize V7000 hardware used in the exercise.

Storage name IBM Storwize V7000

Software version 6.1.0.0 (build 49.0.1010130001)

SAS disk 300 GB 1000 rpm

Solid-state drive 300 GB

Table 2: Storage information

Table 3 describes the IBM Brocade switches used in the tests.

IBM name IBM System Storage SAN 24B-4

IBM machine type 2498

IBM machine model B24

Brocade name 300

Fabric OS 6.4.0a

Table 3: FC switch information

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
23
Table 4 below describes the host node that was used for the tests.

Server type X86_64

Processor Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU @ 2.93GHz

Memory 64 GB

Host Bus Adapter (HBA) model QLogic Corp.

Operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.5


(Tikanga)

Kernel version 2.6.18-194.26.1.el5

Multipath software Linux 5 DM Multipath

Table 4: Host information

Table 5 provides the versions of both the tools that were used to generate the I/O workload.

Vdbench 5.02

ORION 11.1.0.7.0

Table 5: Workload tools version

10 Testing methodology
This section describes the test methodology that was used for showing the performance benefits of the
Easy Tier functionality in an IBM Storwize V7000 storage system. It provides the metrics that were
collected during the Vdbench and the ORION runs and also explains the storage configuration used for
the test runs.

10.1 IBM Storwize V7000 Storage configuration used for the test runs
This section explains the storage configuration for the various test runs.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
24
10.1.1 Easy Tier configuration
The Easy Tier configuration used in this test is as follows.
1. The Easy Tier storage pool included seven MDisks, where MDisk 0, MDisk1, MDisk 2, and MDisk3
consisted of HDDs while MDisk4, MDisk5, and MDisk6 consisted of solid-state drives. (Refer to
Figure 21.)

Figure 21: HDD and solid-state drive MDisks in the Easy Tier storage pool

2. Each MDisk in the HDD tier had a capacity of 1.1 TB, and included eight member drives each of
capacity 300 GB configured in RAID10. (Refer to Figure 22 and Figure 23.)

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
25
Figure 22: Overview of the HDD MDisk

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
26
Figure 23: Member drives in the HDD MDisk

3. Each MDisk in the solid-state drive tier had a capacity of 278.9 GB, and included two member
drives, each of capacity 300 GB configured in RAID 10. (Refer to Figure 24 and Figure 25.)

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
27
Figure 24: Overview of the solid-state drive MDisk

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
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Figure 25: Member drives in the solid-state drive MDisk

4. Four volumes, each of capacity 500 GB, were created from the Easy Tier storage pool. (Refer to
Figure 26.)

Figure 26: The four volumes used for testing Easy Tier

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
29
5. The four volumes are then mapped to the host through the FC ports. (Refer to Figure 27.)

Figure 27: Volumes mapped to the host

10.2 Linux host configuration used for the test runs


Device multipathing was configured on the Linux® host as per the instructions provided in Red Hat
Enterprise Linux 5 DM Multipath DM Multipath Configuration and Administration Edition 3.

10.3 Vdbench test run description


This section describes the Vdbench tests that were run and the workload that the test had simulated.

Vdbench controls individual IOPS and workload by sending new I/O requests to each volumes internal
work queue. This work queue has a maximum queue depth of 2000 per volume. The I/O threads for each
volume then pick up a new request from this queue to start the I/O.

When an volume cannot keep up with it’s requested workload and the volumes internal work queue fills
up, Vdbench will not generate new I/O requests for this and all other volumes until space in this queue
becomes available again.

10.3.1 OLTP only


This test used 8 KB block sizes, and varying percentage combinations of reads and writes. The
following combination of reads and writes were tested:
• 100% reads
• 50% reads and 50% writes
• 70% reads and 30% writes

The example below show the parameters that were used while running the 50% reads and 50% write
test:

sd=sd1,lun=/dev/dm-0,size=500g,openflags=o_direct
sd=sd2,lun=/dev/dm-1,size=500g,openflags=o_direct

sd=sd3,lun=/dev/dm-2,size=500g,openflags=o_direct

sd=sd4,lun=/dev/dm-3,size=500g,openflags=o_direct

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
30
wd=wd1,sd=(sd1,sd2,sd3,sd4),xfersize=8k,rdpct=50,seekpct=100

rd=run1,wd=wd1,iorate=5000,pause=60,elapsed=172800,interval=30

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
31
10.4 ORION test run description
This section describes the ORION tests that were run and the workload that the test was simulating.

10.4.1 OLTP only


The OLTP workload in ORION generated 100 percent random reads whose size is equivalent to the
database block size, typically 8 KB.

The following example shows the parameters passed to ORION tool for this test.
# ./orion_linux_x86-64 -run oltp -testname mytest -simulate raid0 -cache_size=0 -duration 7200

# cat mytest.lun

/dev/mapper/mpath83
/dev/mapper/mpath84

/dev/mapper/mpath85

/dev/mapper/mpath86

11 Easy Tier test results


This section describes the results from the Vdbench and Oracle ORION tests that were performed with
Easy Tier enabled on the IBM Storwize V7000.

11.1 Oracle OLTP workload using Vdbench


This section describes the results of the Vdbench tests with and without Easy Tier enabled in the IBM
Storwize V7000.
11.1.1 OLTP workload without Easy Tier configured

The bullets below describe the storage setup, the workload generated, and the results that were
observed.

• For this test, four volumes were created on a storage pool which consisted of four HDD MDisks.
Each MDisk was 1.1 TB in size, and configured using RAID 10 with 8 x 300 GB drives. The stripe
size of the storage pool was 256 MB.

• The workload generated by Vdbench was 100 percent random read with 8 k block size. For this
workload, the I/O rate has been fixed to 5000. The test was run for a duration of 30 hours.

• As shown in Figure 28, it has been observed that the team got around 3720 IOPS, and the
response time was around 8.63 ms.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
32
4000 50

45
3500

40
3000
35

2500

response time(ms)
30
IOPS
Response Time(ms)
iops

2000 25

20
1500

15
1000
10

500
5

0 0
16:50:01
17:51:31
18:53:01
19:54:31
20:56:01
21:57:31
22:59:01
0:00:31
1:02:01
2:03:31
3:05:01
4:06:31
5:08:01
6:09:31
7:11:01
8:12:31
9:14:01
10:15:31
11:17:01
12:18:31
13:20:01
14:21:31
15:23:01
16:24:31
17:26:01
18:27:31
19:29:01
20:30:31
21:32:01
22:33:31
test run time

Figure 28: Base run without Easy Tier

11.1.2 OLTP workload of 100 percent random reads with Easy Tier configured
The bullets describe the storage setup, the workload generated, extent migration, and the test results
observed.
• For this test, seven volumes were created on a storage pool, of which four MDisks were of HDDs
and three MDisks were of solid-state drives. Each HDD MDisk was 1.1 TB in size and configured
using RAID 10 with 8 x 300 GB drives. Each solid-state drive MDisk was 300 GB in size and
configured using RAID10 with 2 x 300 GB drives. The stripe size of the storage pool was 256 MB.

• The workload generated by Vdbench was 100 percent random read with 8 k block size. For this
workload, the I/O rate has been fixed to 5000. The test was run for a duration of 30 hours.
• As shown in Figure 29, the team observed that they got around 3720 IOPS, and the response
time was around 8.63 ms during the analysis of the I/O pattern by Easy Tier. All the extents at
this point were on the four MDisk with HDD drives.
• The team then observed that the hot extents of the volumes migrated from the HDD MDisks to
the solid-state drive MDisks.

• After the migration of the extents, the team observed around 5640 IOPS and a response time of
around 4.85 ms for the workload.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
33
8000 45

40
7000

35
6000

30
5000

response time(ms)
25
iops

4000
IOPS
Response Time(ms) 20

3000
Analyze I/O Pattern
& Develop Migration Plan Extent Migration Post Extent Migration 15

2000
10

1000
5

0 0
17:01:34
18:03:04
19:04:34
20:06:04
21:07:34
22:09:04
23:10:34
1:12:04
2:13:34
3:15:04
4:16:34
5:18:04
6:19:34
7:21:04
8:22:34
9:24:04
10:25:34
11:27:04
12:28:34
13:30:04
14:31:34
15:33:04
16:34:34
17:36:04
18:37:34
19:39:04
20:40:34
21:42:04
22:43:34
test run time

Figure 29: Random read with Easy Tier

11.1.3 OLTP workload of 70 percent random reads and 30 percent random writes with
Easy Tier configured
The bullets describe the storage setup, the workload generated, extent migration, and the test results
observed.

• For this test, seven volumes were created on a storage pool, of which four MDisks were of HDDs
and three MDisks were of solid-state drives. Each HDD MDisk was 1.1 TB in size and configured
using RAID 10 with 8 x 300 GB drives. Each solid-state drive MDisk was 300 GB in size and
configured using RAID10 with 2 x 300 GB drives. The stripe size of the storage pool was 256 MB.

• The workload generated by Vdbench was 70 percent random reads and 30 percent random
writes with 8 K block size .For this workload, the I/O rate has been fixed to 5000. The test was
run for a duration of 30 hours.

• As shown in Figure 30, the team observed that they got around 4000 IOPS, and the response
time was around 8.00 ms during the analysis of the I/O pattern by Easy Tier. All the extents at
this point were on the the MDisk with HDDs.

• The team then observed that the hot extents of the volumes migrated from the HDD MDisks to
the solid-state drive MDisks.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
34
• After the migration of the extents, the team observed around 5414 IOPS and a response time of
around 3.88 ms for the workload.

8000 40

7000 35

6000 30

5000 25

response time(ms)
IOPS
iops

4000 20
Response Time(ms)

3000 15

Analyze I/O Pattern


& Develop Migration Plan Extent Migration Post Extent Migration
2000 10

1000 5

0 0
2:39:35
4:22:05
6:04:35
7:47:05
9:29:35
11:12:05
12:54:35
14:37:05
16:19:35
18:02:05
19:44:35
21:27:05
23:09:35
0:52:05
2:34:35
4:17:05
5:59:35
7:42:05
9:24:35
11:07:05
12:49:35
14:32:05
16:14:35
17:57:05
19:39:35
21:22:05
23:04:35
0:47:05
2:29:35
test run time

Figure 30: A graphical representation indicating 70 percent reads and 30 percent writes with Easy Tier

11.1.4 OLTP workload of 50 percent random reads and 50 percent random writes with
Easy Tier configured
The bullets describe the storage setup, the workload generated, extent migration, and the test results
observed.
• For this test, seven volumes were created on a storage pool, of which four MDisks were of HDDs
and three MDisks were of solid-state drives. Each HDD MDisk was 1.1 TB in size and configured
using RAID 10 with 8 x 300 GB drives. Each solid-state drive MDisk was 300 GB in size and
configured using RAID10 with 2 x 300 GB drives. The stripe size of the storage pool was 256 MB.

• The workload generated by Vdbench was 50 percent random reads and 50 percent random
writes with 8 K block size .For this workload, the I/O rate has been fixed to 5000. The test was
run for a duration of 30 hours.

• As shown in Figure 31, the team observed that they got around 4342 IOPS and the response
time was around 7.39.ms during the analysis of the I/O pattern by Easy Tier. All the extents at
this point were on the four MDisk with HDDs.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
35
• The team then observed that the hot extents of the volumes migrated from the HDD MDisks to
the solid-state drive MDisks.

• After the migration of the extents, the team observed around 5000 IOPS and a response time of
around 3.00 ms for the workload.

8000 30

7000
25

6000

20
5000

response time(ms)
IOPS
iops

4000 15
Response Time(ms)

3000 Analyse I/O


Pattern Extent Migration Post Extent Migration 10

2000

5
1000

0 0
1:30:25
3:12:55
4:55:25
6:37:55
8:20:25
10:02:55
11:45:25
13:27:55
15:10:25
16:52:55
18:35:25
20:17:55
22:00:25
23:42:55
1:25:25
3:07:55
4:50:25
6:32:55
8:15:25
9:57:55
11:40:25
13:22:55
15:05:25
16:47:55
18:30:25
20:12:55
21:55:25
23:37:55
1:20:25
test run time

Figure 31: A graphical representation indicating 50 percent reads and 50 percent writes with Easy Tier

11.2 Oracle OLTP workload using ORION


OLTP applications generate small random I/O where the size is equivalent to the database block size,
typically 8 KB.
For the Oracle ORION OLTP read-only workload IOPS and latency are reported. As shown below the
performance metrics are displayed as graphs where the y-axis reports the number of IOPS or the latency
in milliseconds (ms), while the x-axis reports the workload value. In Oracle ORION the workload is
represented by the number of outstanding asynchronous I/O. Orion issues asynchronous I/O requests at
an increasing rate and then measures performance metric values for each workload.
11.2.1 OLTP workload without Easy Tier configured
For this test, four MDisks were created on a storage pool, the four MDisks were HDDs drives. Each HDD
MDisk was 1.1 TB in size and configured using RAID 10 with 8 x 300 GB drives. Four 500 GB volumes
were created and presented to the host from the storage pool. The stripe size of the storage pool was 256
MB.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
36
We observed that for this with 21 outstanding asynchronous we got 6109 IOPS. We also observed that at
a sustained load level of 21 outstanding small reads, we got an I/O turn around time of 13.09 ms.

The graph below was generated by loading the iops.csv generated at the end of ORION run into Excel
and charting the data, illustrates the IOPS seen at different small I/O load levels.

IOPS

7000

6000

5000

4000
iops

IOPS

3000

2000

1000

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
outstanding asynchronous i/o

Figure 32: Oracle ORION IOPS result for an OLTP workload without Easy Tier configured

A comma-separated value file containing the latency results for the small random workload is generated
at the end of the test. The graph in Figure illustrates the small I/O latency at different small I/O load level
for the test.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
37
Latency

14

12

10

8
latency(ms)

Latency(ms)

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
outstanding asynchronous I/O

Figure 33: Oracle ORION Latency result for an OLTP workload without Easy Tier configured

11.2.2 OLTP workload with Easy Tier configured


For this test, seven MDisks were created on a storage pool, of which four MDisks were of HDDs and
three MDisks were of solid-state drives. Each HDD MDisk was 1.1 TB in size and configured using RAID
10 with 8 x 300 GB drives. Each solid-state drive MDisk was 300 GB in size and configured using RAID10
with 2 x 300 GB drives. The stripe size of the storage pool was 256 MB.

We observed that after analyzing the I/O pattern Easy Tier migrated the hot extents of the volumes from
the HDD MDisks to the solid-state drive MDisks.

We also observed that with 21 outstanding asynchronous we got 10713 IOPS. We also observed that at a
sustained load level of 21 outstanding small reads, we got an I/O turn around time of 7.47 ms.
The graph below was generated by loading the iops.csv generated at the end of ORION run into Excel
and charting the data, illustrates the IOPS seen at different small I/O load levels.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
38
IOPS

12000

10000

8000
iops

6000 IOPS

4000

2000

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
outstanding asynchronous I/O

Figure 34: Oracle ORION IOPS result for an OLTP workload with Easy Tier configured

Comma-separated value file containing the latency results for the small random workload is generated at
the end of the test. The graph in Figure illustrates the small I/O latency at different small I/O load level for
the test.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
39
Latency

12

10

8
latency(ms)

6 Latency(ms)

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
outstanding asynchronous I/O

Figure 35: Oracle ORION Latency result for an OLTP workload with Easy Tier configured

12 Summary
We observed that there is no need for manually tuning the storage to see the performance benefits, as
Easy Tier takes care of it automatically. In the paper we have also observed the ease at which Easy Tier
can be configured and deployed.

With Tier Advisor and Easy Tier, the users are now be able provision SSDs accurately for their Oracle
workloads. The Storage Tier Advisor Tool provides a high-level summary of workload characteristics and
hot extents of the volumes that are monitored. It also provides assistance for SSD capacity planning with
Easy Tier. When Easy Tier is enabled it observes the I/O pattern, and then migrates the data from the
HDD MDisks to the SSD MDisks non-disruptively.

This combination of Easy Tier and The Storage Tier Advisor Tool provides a high impact, combined with
low investment of efforts for the end user.

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
40
Resources
The following websites provide useful references to supplement the information contained in this paper:
• Deploying Oracle 11g RAC Release 2 with IBM Storwize V7000 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
ibm.com/support/techdocs/atsmastr.nsf/WebIndex/WP101772

• Practice guide: Backup and restore of native Oracle Database solutions using IBM Tivoli
Flashcopy Manager Version 1.0
ibm.com/support/techdocs/atsmastr.nsf/WebIndex/WP101771

• IBM SAN Volume Controller Performance Configuration Guidelines for Implementing Oracle
Databases with Automatic Storage Management (ASM)
ibm.com/support/techdocs/atsmastr.nsf/WebIndex/WP101481
• IBM Business Partner support and resources
ibm.com/partnerworld/pwhome.nsf/weblook/index_us.html

• IBM Publications Center


www.elink.ibmlink.ibm.com/public/applications/publications/cgibin/pbi.cgi?CTY=US

• IBM Redbooks®
ibm.com/redbooks

• IBM developerWorks®
ibm.com/developerWorks

Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
41
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Performance benefits of IBM Storwize V7000 with IBM Easy Tier for Oracle 11g workload
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