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SOSS in action

by Hu Yoshida on Dec 17, 2008

This week Hitachi made a few announcements to increase performance for the USP V family. Monday we announced the general availability of a flash-based SSD drive option in the USP V and USP VM. While on Tuesday we announced the certification of the USP V and USP VM with the new High Performance FICON (zHPF) enhancements that was announced for the IBM z System.

As you know, flash-based SSDs rely on high-speed memory to store and retrieve data and are designed without any mechanical components, which provide an extremely fast and energy-efficient solution for heavy I/O workloads for high performance enterprise storage applications. HDS is offering this as an internal, high performance tier of storage  that is supported by all the dynamic capabilities of the USP virtualization platform – dynamic provisioning, thin provisioning, and tiered storage – which can compliment and optimize the performance and cost of existing disk-based virtualized storage systems.

Why is this so great? While the SSD option is perfect for customers who require high performance for business-critical applications it is much more expensive than spinning disk. With the ability to thin provision the SSD, avoids the waste of allocated unused space as well as the ability to move data to lower cost tiers when high performance is no longer required helps to minimize the cost of this investment, while maximizing the performance benefit across existing assets.

Moving on, High Performance FICON involves architectural changes to the z/Architecture and the FICON interface architecture to reduce overhead and improve performance and RAS (reliability, availability, and serviceability). IBM claims that zHPF can improve throughput through a single DS8000 port by 100%. Our certification with zHPF means that the USP V and USP VM are compatible with ESCON, FICON, FCP and zHPF connectivity on select configurations of IBM System z10, zSeries 990, 890, 900 and 800 running operating systems including z/OS V1.9, z/VM V5.3, z/VSE V4.1 and Linux on System z Novell SUSE SLES 9 and SLES 10. See the Qualification letter which was issued by IBM here.

Many businesses still rely on mainframes for their most performance critical applications. The combination of zHPF channels with flash-based SSDs, can provide a major improvement in this environment.

SSD drives will provide the most improvement for intensive random read requests in open or mainframe workloads.

With our Services Oriented Storage Solutions strategy, we are able to leverage these new announcements with existing services to further reduce cost, complexity, and risk for open and mainframe storage requirements.

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Comments (8 )

Stephen Foskett on 17 Dec 2008 at 1:35 pm

The addition of SSD to USP is a great move for HDS, and the USP ought to make great use of them. Please let us know when these drives become available for purchase!

Customer Storage Expert on 17 Dec 2008 at 8:43 pm

Hu, these are great updates. Do you know when z/OS V1.10 is going to be supported? My Company would also like to use have a 3 data center configuration where DC2 and DC3 are replicating with dual HUR (Sync) from DC1.

I have been working and running mainframe for 17 years and I have to say I’ve always been partial to IBM for mainframe storage; however these updates support more IBM options than IBM supports and the support for zLinux is important to us. Can you add what support you have for zTPF and zLinux? A link to where this information is on your site would suffice.

One other question – when is HDS going to start selling Mainframes in the US again? I just decommissioned my last skyline a couple of years ago and there is no one to compete with IBM’s monopoly.

Hu Yoshida on 07 Jan 2009 at 2:58 pm

Hello Stephen, the SSD drives are available now.

Hu Yoshida on 07 Jan 2009 at 3:15 pm

Hello CSE, good to hear from mainframe storage users. I will have a mainframe product manager contact you with the latest information on mainframe support.
While we still sell Hitachi mainframes in Japan that use our proprietary Hitachi OS, we exited the mainframe business in the US about 10 years ago. Since the US market required us to sell the IBM OS on every manframe we sold, we could not be competitive with IBM with their hardware/OS bundle. However, by maintaining our mainframe skills in Hitachi Japan, we are able to provide timely support for storage on IBM mainframes.

[...] These new storage automation technologies really become essential once high-dollar flash storage is added to the mix. If you’re paying 30 times more for a flash drive, you want to make sure you’re making the best use of it that you can! Look at IBM’s recently-announced SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and solid state drive (SSD) combination, for example: It will almost certainly have fine-grained thin provisioning of SSDs, and should be able to dynamically move data between flash and disk storage and even between different storage arrays, but I still have questions on how granular this capability will be. HDS can do similar things with their USP-V. NetApp’s V-Series NAS systems will do dynamic allocation, thin provisioning, and data deduplication to enable a better return on the flash drive investment. I’d love to see 3PAR, Compellent, Dell/EqualLogic, and HP/LeftHand apply their solid dynamic allocation tech to solid state storage as well! [...]

[...] These new storage automation technologies really become essential once high-dollar flash storage is added to the mix. If you’re paying 30 times more for a flash drive, you want to make sure you’re making the best use of it that you can! Look at IBM’s recently-announced SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and solid state drive (SSD) combination, for example: It will almost certainly have fine-grained thin provisioning of SSDs, and should be able to dynamically move data between flash and disk storage and even between different storage arrays, but I still have questions on how granular this capability will be. HDS can do similar things with their USP-V. NetApp’s V-Series NAS systems will do dynamic allocation, thin provisioning, and data deduplication to enable a better return on the flash drive investment. I’d love to see 3PAR, Compellent, Dell/EqualLogic, and HP/LeftHand apply their solid dynamic allocation tech to solid state storage as well! [...]

[...] These new storage automation technologies really become essential once high-dollar flash storage is added to the mix. If you’re paying 30 times more for a flash drive, you want to make sure you’re making the best use of it that you can! Look at IBM’s recently-announced SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and solid state drive (SSD) combination, for example: It will almost certainly have fine-grained thin provisioning of SSDs, and should be able to dynamically move data between flash and disk storage and even between different storage arrays, but I still have questions on how granular this capability will be. HDS can do similar things with their USP-V. NetApp’s V-Series NAS systems will do dynamic allocation, thin provisioning, and data deduplication to enable a better return on the flash drive investment. I’d love to see 3PAR, Compellent, Dell/EqualLogic, and HP/LeftHand apply their solid dynamic allocation tech to solid state storage as well! [...]

Lim, Rob on 09 Jun 2010 at 9:05 pm

When HDS storage box is use for IBM z Linux environment and using FCP channel. What should be the host type definition in Storage box? IBM ESS/DS use host type zLinux or zVM.

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