2010-45: Of Expos, Briefings and SPC Benchmarks

ORIGINALLY POSTED 1st November 2010

14,207 views on developerworks

 It was nice to have a day back in the office today, the last couple of weeks have gone by in somewhat of a blurr, with several offsite customer visits, several more visiting Hursley, my vLab sesson at IP expo in London, then last week in Germany at the SVC User Group in Mainz and finally all wrapped up with a great couple of days at Storage Networking World in Frankfurt.

The European SNW is a smaller affair than its US sibling, but the general concensus was that in general more customers visit SNWE. Certainly by the end of the show I’d pretty much lost my voice from three solid days of talking – nothing to do with the #storagebeer sessions, and the onset of my wife’s cold! And of course, it was at the end of the event that the stand became quiet enough for Chris to come and have a chat with his trusty video phone. You can see that over on his blog [storagearchitect]

Needless to say I could probably take people through the value and features of Storwize V7000 in my sleep after a steady stream of interest on the IBM stand. I’ve been to many of these events, and never before have I seen so much interest in any of our products, and the sales/marketing team were overjoyed with the number of genuinely interested customers and follow ups that they came away with – again probably a record number for such an event.

I did manage to squeeze in a couple of the sessions including IDC’s view on the storage / IT industry and a couple of other analyst presentation. Meanwhile fitting in the usual press and analyst 1:1 sessions.

My own presentation was well attended (as all of the SNWE sessions tend to be) “Modular Virtual Storage – Changing Habits and removing the distinction between Enterprise and Midrange” – You can download this from the SNWE site with your login / attendee code.

The #storagebeers session on Tuesday evening was one of the best I’ve been to – great to meet the usual suspects and some new faces to put to names – who would have thought that Alex and I would have gone on so well – but then us Scots have to stick together. Its one of the nice things about #storagebeers that most of us take our vendor hats off (or at least let thm slip a little!) and you get a chance to meet the people behind their online personas.

On the Monday of last week I presented a technical dive into V7000, and the corresponding SVC 6.1 code updates, including a tentative roadmap to the members of the German SVC User Group community. Again it was great to see the main conference room in the Mainz Executive Briefing Center was standing room only, despite adding more seats to the room. Thanks to Michael Pirker and the team for organising another very successful day.

While I was away (and the roaming data rates on my personal mobile are crazy) I did hear that our first Storage Performance Council benchmark for the V7000 was published. I say first because we have a few in process still in the lab, and at submission stage.

This first benchmark returned 56.5K SPC-1 IOPs, and consisted of :

  • 120x 10K RPM SAS 300GB drives within the Storwize V7000 itself.
  • 80x 15K RPM FCAL 146GB drives in a DS5020 that was being virtualized behind the V7000.

You are probably aware that the initial GA of the V7000 supports up to five enclosures worth of disks, or 120 drives – with an early 1Q release adding the full ten enclosure (240 drive) system. We’ve benchmarked the full 240 drive system but cannot publish this until we support the full config, so in the meantime we submitted the above test which shows just part of the potential of the system. This config was chosen as representative of an existing customer who wants to keep using their existing storage system while adding the advanced software features and functions of the V7000 over the top.

It also shows that just by virtualizing the DS5020 behind the V7000 and using the wide striping abilities we boosted the base DS5020 SPC benchmark (of the same disk config) by almost 15% – yet another great demonstration of the performance benefits that the SVC and V7000 can provide. Chris Mellor at the register slightly mis-quoted me on launch day what I said was “we would happily support production workloads virtualized behind the V7000, not just archive data like some other vendors suggest their virtualization should be used for”

So today was back to the office, after a couple of days off at the end of last week, and while finishing off some final benchmarks, and the coming performance white paper its full steam ahead with the next product release… the fun never stops!

The full details of the SPC-1 Storwize V7000 submission can be found here :
http://www.storageperformance.org/results/benchmark_results_spc1#a00097

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