Active Data Moves to Fast SSDs

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-10-07 Print this article Print


The Storwize V7000 combines high performance with ease of use, Truskowski said. It also includes built-in advanced storage efficiency. This advanced storage efficiency includes IBM's Easy Tier technology, which helps manage the data for users. IBM System Storage Easy Tier software, which was invented by IBM Research and can improve performance by up to 200 percent, automatically moves the most active data (such as credit card transactions) to faster solid-state drives (SSDs) to prioritize and provide quick access to data for emerging workloads like analytics, while moving secondary data (less urgent data to be saved, for example, for regulatory requirements) to more cost-effective storage technologies.

"You want to move your more active data to solid state and your less active data to other areas," Adkins said.

Moreover, Easy Tier will be in the base offering of the V7000, along with other technology and features that have traditionally been available only on higher-end storage systems.

"If you look at the storage market, the midrange spot is one of the most highly competitive areas, and because of that, it's a key area to have strength," Henry Baltazar, storage and systems analyst at the 451 Group, told eWEEK. "So the two main features they are pushing are big," he said of IBM's midrange push with the Storwize V7000.

One key piece is Easy Tier, Baltazar said. "This is very important. The main thing holding back SSD is they are expensive-so you can't afford to create volumes of SSDs. So what Easy Tier does is it looks at a volume set and it specifically moves hot data to the flash. Take for instance e-mail. The whole thing is not going to be hot; just a percentage of that volume will be. So say you have 100GB of e-mail. Instead of using all 100GB with flash, if it's only the hot part you need, you can minimize that down to 5GB or 10GB on flash."

The other big takeaway Baltazar says he got from the IBM V7000 announcement is IBM's virtualization support.

"Because you're able to, if you have a lot of systems sitting around, you can put the Storwize system in front of them to aggregate all that space together," he said. "In the old days before virtualization, you had to buy silos of capacity, and silos are always inefficient-because one app could be using 90 percent of capacity and another only 20 percent. Virtualization allows you to more efficiently dole it [capacity] out. Another side benefit is a business impact benefit, in that it will make it easier for IBM to steal some accounts."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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