IBM Easy Tier with SATA and SSD

IBM has just published a very cool 33,000 IOPS SPC-1 benchmark result for the DS8000 using 96 x SATA and 16 x SSDs (not a FC drive in sight!) and with a max latency well under 5ms.

I’m impressed. This is a great piece of engineering.

Easy Tier was left to automatically learn the SPC-1 benchmark and respond (again, automatically). I won’t waffle on about it, but will just show you the graph of the various results seeing as the doc I took this from doesn’t say IBM Confidential anywhere : )

[Update: confirmed that the 192 drives in green are indeed 15KRPM drives]

I guess what we’d all like to see now is a significant drop in the cost of SSDs. I’m sure it’s coming.

More info on Easy Tier here.

Barry Whyte is on record as saying that Easy Tier will makes its way into SAN Volume Controller later this year. XIV does something vaguely analogous using distributed caches. Storage is fun!


4 Responses

  1. This is good to see without any FC drives in play! I’ll have to do some more reading on Easy Tier, but I’m curious how quick it’s able to complete the “migration” to achieve these results.

    Also, what drives were used for the green line (192 HDD RAID-5) Were those FC or SATA disks again?


  2. My assumption was that the drives would be 15K FC. Later in the doc when discussing DB2 performance it talks about “measurements collected using 15K FC HDD” but the direct connection isn’t actually made back to this graph.

    As for the time taken, I guess there are two phases 1) the learning phase; and 2) the actual migration; The 16 x 146GB SSDs appear to have been in RAID5, so if we say there was roughly 2TB of data on them, then I’m guessing (based on some SVC migrations I’ve heard about) that would take a couple of hours to migrate.

    The learning phase would be the length of one SPC-1 run I guess – i.e. run it once to learn, let the automatic migrations complete, then run it again. Benchmarks are more straight-forward than the real world. In the real world you would have to decide what time period you’re going to learn from (how many hours, days or weeks).


  3. […] have previously blogged about Easy Tier on the DS8000. It’s great to see IBM cross-pollinating the product set with features – it looks like […]


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