Spectrum Virtualize 7.7.1 & All-flash
ORIGINALLY POSTED 23rd Augudst 2016
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Just to make life as difficult as possible for the development and test teams, and not content with refreshing the lower end Storwize V5000 products earlier this year, today IBM is announcing a refresh to the Storwize V7000, FlashSystem V9000 and SVC platforms, some new all-flash variants of Storwize with the latest software version 7.7.1
The cornerstone of these announcements is the ongoing commitment to customer business value as we move more and more towards Flash dominated storage environments. These new platforms provide efficient boosts in effective end user performance through using the latest generation hardware and continues the evolution of the Spectrum Virtualize software as the industry standard when it comes to Software Defined Storage platforms.
Storwize V7000 Gen2+
Keeping in line with the ‘tic-tock’ style updates IBM Power systems make, we have updated the V7000 control canisters with a new more powerful latest generation controller electronics. Since this is a like for like in terms of canister footprint, enclosure support etc, this is being referred to as the ‘Gen2+’ version, or more precisely controller model 624 (replacing the 524)
Like Gen2, this comes as a 2U24 control enclosure only, and supports the latest generation Intel Xeon hardware with DDR4 memory support. The new CPU is rated at a much higher clock rate than before giving up to 45% increased throughput when compared with Gen2 and using Flash drives. The CPU itself also moved from 8 to 10 cores, allowing more offload of internal processes, and guarantees of sustainable Flash latencies.
Other than the control canisters themselves, the rest of the units remain unchanged, same 12F and 24F expansion enclosures, HDD and Flash drive support. Which means, in the future (as issued in a Statement of Direction today) we will in the not to distant future allow the non-disruptive upgrade in place of Gen2+ canisters (624) in existing Gen2 (524) control enclosures. Giving you investment protection and a nice seamless upgrade path to the latest hardware.
SAN Volume Controller (SVC) Node model SV1
For many years, SVC node hardware models had a subtle coding embedded in their model number. This was (Memory capacity, F for Fibre Channel, Speed of FC) for example 4F2, the original SVC nodes back in 2003 had a whopping 4GB of cache memory, and used 2Gbit Fibre Channel. This was continued up to the 8G4, where the capacity and speeds didn’t change over the previous 8F4, hence the F to G change. The scheme was completely broken a couple of years later when we released the CF8 nodes. The first to support 8Gbit Fibre Channel, and originally planned to have 12GB of cache (C – Hex!) but actually shipped with 24GB… From then on it was all a big discussion point, and the current generation DH8 was an evolution of the CG8 name, but now bore no resemblance to the capabilities – with 16Gbit and 64GB the respective node capabilities….
Anyway, I digress, and now the naming has moved to the less descriptive, SV1, which is the first node released after the renaming of the SVC software to Spectrum Virtualize.
As with the new V7000, this next generation SVC node hardware makes use of the latest Intel Xeon CPU’s, boosts up the clock speed and uses DDR4. These themselves also give the SVC throughput a boost of around 30%. Since almost everyone bought the DH8 second CPU option, the base model of the node comes with both Dual CPU sockets populated with 8 core CPU, and a base of 64GB of memory. The nodes themselves can be upgraded to 256GB per node, giving a single cluster the capability of 2TB of cache. The current 7.7.1 software will only utilise 64GB of cache per node, but another Statement of Direction (SoD) is being issued that a future software release will unleash the extra memory for use a read and some portion of it write cache.
Fundamentally the node concept has not changed from the DH8, its still 2U based and contents dual redundant batteries and power supplies and the option for up to 6 host interface cards with the same limit of 4x 4port Fibre Channel, but now 2x 4port CNA (10Gbps) FCoE or iSCSI. The node supports up to 2 RTC acceleration cards as before. The main change is the boot devices, which now make use of Flash drives, rather than HDD. This will allow the increase of write cache capacity in a future release (another SoD)
New Storwize V5030F and V7000F
IBM is also announcing new models of the Storwize V5000 and V7000, the Gen2 V5030F follows the all-flash model route and is available as a pre-build solution but only utilising Flash drives, either the Enterprise Flash Drives up to 3.2TB or the general purpose Flash Drives up to 3.84TB (with SoDs for 7.68TB and 15.36TB capacities soon) The general purpose Flash Drives (previously called RI or Read Intensive) are approximately half the price per TB of the enterprise drives. The new Gen2+ V7000F supports the same range of Flash drives, and will be available at the same time.
All the above will GA on 9th September.
To close, here is a summary of IBM’s All-Flash Solution portfolio :