Not only is XIV Gen3 proving now to be just about the most robust thing you could ever wish to own, with significant improvements over Gen2, but IBM has just announced some interesting additional enhancements to Gen3, both new hardware and new version 11.2 firmware.
- A major improvement in performance through improved SSD caching algorithms (including storing checksums in RAM rather than on SSD)
- New 6 core Intel E5645 CPUs refresh (15 x 6 = 90 physical cores) and optimisation for hyper-threading (180 logical cores) including some processor affinity optimization for iSCSI.
- Up to twelve 10G iSCSI ports and 9K jumbo MTU support with tested performance up to 13.7GB/sec sequential read
- A lot of work has been done on the light-weight IP stack, using Infiniband techniques for DMA so as to remove locking and CPU overhead. This driver runs in user space with very low CPU overhead and can drive iSCSI at full line rate (12 x 10Gbps).
- The work on iSCSI also has benefits for IP replication, with multiple sessions being used to improve robustness and improve performance, as well as enhancements to concurrent code load.
Some of the other cool things in 11.2 include:
- The rebuild time for 3TB data (3TB drive 100% full) used to be 76 minutes, which was industry leading, now with 11.2 of the firmware that time has been halved to just 38 minutes, and the rebuild time is virtually unaffected by system user load!
- Space reclamation enhancements.
- More efficient power supplies.
- An export to csv option is now available on every information table in the system
So in summary you could say the big points are:
- Availability is now best in industry
- Real-world IOPS performance is well into six figures with single digit latency, and it just keeps getting better
- iSCSI has been made awesome/enterprise-class – quite unlike some other iSCSI implementations around
- The rebuild time for 3TB of data is so far beyond what the opposition can do that it looks like sorcery
If you haven’t thought about XIV for a while, it’s time you took another look.
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