Oracle Launches Advanced New ZFS Storage Appliances

Unlike some other engineered-together Oracle systems, the ZFS storage appliances do not require Oracle servers and software.

Oracle on Sept. 10 unveiled several new ZFS (zettabyte file system)-based storage appliances, the ZS3 Series. The new systems use an advanced cache architecture and multi-threaded SMP (symmetrical multiprocessing) operating system, which the company claims enables higher throughput, lower latency and better price/performance compared to competing products from NetApp, EMC, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Unlike some other engineered-together Oracle systems, the ZFS storage appliances do not require Oracle servers and software, Jason Schaffer, Oracle senior director of Storage Product Marketing, told eWEEK.

"These will run quite well with commodity and other types of legacy hardware and software," Schaffer said. "However, for them to run optimally and get the highest level of performance, we of course recommend our own servers and Oracle Database 12."

ZS3 is the only storage system with real-time, dynamic application-aware performance and health analytics, enabling customers to visualize CPU, cache, protocol, disk, memory, networking and system-related data—all at the same time, Schaffer said. ZS3's intelligent caching algorithms enable up to 70 percent of all I/O to be served from DRAM—up to 2TB per system--which is markedly faster than standard NAND flash and spinning disk hard drives.

The storage arrays also take advantage of Oracle-only storage features and capabilities, such as the new Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol (OISP), which automates Oracle Database tuning and administration. Through OISP, Oracle Database 12c communicates metadata to the Oracle ZS3 storage, which can automate tuning and reduce manual processes while optimizing database performance and eliminating human error, Schaffer said.

The ZS3's SMP operating system fully uses a next-generation architecture, massive cache and multi-core processors to provide users with over 32G bps of sustained bandwidth within a single system. This enables ZS3 to support thousands of virtual machines per system, thus handling extremely highly threaded I/O that saturates conventional NAS filers, leading to filer sprawl.

DTrace Storage Analytics, a standard feature of Oracle ZFS storage appliances, enables customers to troubleshoot 44 percent faster with 38 percent less complexity than NetApp FAS3270, according to an independent study, Schaffer said.

Finally, the ZS3 Series features an enhanced Hybrid Storage Pools cache design, which delivers a 4X increase in space efficiency for better caching of critical data and write performance enhancements. The ZS3 Hybrid Storage Pools architecture has been flash optimized and multicore-enabled since 2008.

The ZFS storage appliances are orderable this week and will be available later this month, Schaffer said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...