živé.sk: A guaranteed way to significantly speed up servers

Flash memory for servers is much faster than traditional rotating disk arrays. Reliability is not an issue.

Do you need to speed up your servers? A simple solution is to replace classic rotary storage with storage systems based on SSD and flash memory. They offer multiple performance improvements and reductions in latency, no matter what applications you're running.

The price also speaks in their favor

But it's not just about speed. Flash memories have one more essential advantage over rotary disks - they consume much less power during operation.

Depending on the type of drives previously used, the savings in energy consumed for operation is at least 40%, and if efficient storage technologies can be applied, the savings can be much higher. The energy savings associated with cooling must also be considered, as flash memory produces less waste heat.

"The immediate savings in energy costs are at least 40%. If efficient storage technologies can be applied, the savings can be much higher,"
Stanislav Dzúrik, IBM Slovakia.

Other important variables come into play when calculating the benefits of flash solutions over traditional rotating disk drives in servers. In the case of flash-only solutions, it is not necessary to consider the use of different RAID types. The performance of flash memory is so high that this is not necessary. This makes the design and management of servers with flash memory significantly easier.

"In addition, it is possible to use inline compression or data deduplication 
on such systems, which in the case of good data compressibility and deduplicability brings significant CAPEX and OPEX savings," says Stanislav Dzúrik from IBM Slovakia.

He also adds that, based on experience, replacing 15k and 10k rotary discs with flash/SSD 
is cost-effective in terms of overall solution cost. High-capacity rotary discs do not need to be completely replaced. They can remain as an effective addition for data storage, for example for archiving.  

What services can be found in the IBM Cloud

Financing is not a problem

Solutions from IBM do not need to be purchased directly; advantageous forms of operating lease or the so-called "utility model" of renting are also available. In this case, the equipment is only leased - including hardware and software support - for three to five years. Monthly rentals are paid for 35 % of the installed capacity.

"Of the remaining 65% of capacity, the customer can allocate additional capacity on an ad-hoc basis at any time during the lease period. The additional payment for the allocated capacity is then issued to the customer for the period for which the capacity was allocated," explains S. Dzúrik. "Once the lease of the equipment expires, the customer has 90 days to migrate their data to another disk array or to migrate their data and start a new lease under this model." 

Reliable flash memory

Modern SSDs and flash memory are just as reliable as classic rotary disks. They are not dependent on moving parts and other mechanical elements, which are a frequent source of failures. Meanwhile, the disk array monitors the wear rate of the flash memory, and the administrator can see the current level directly on the console via the user interface.

Wear checking is important because all IBM FlashSystem 
disk arrays include the IBM FlashWatch program in the base price of the hardware warranty or contract support. Under this program, IBM will replace any flash module that is at the end of its lifetime at no charge. Regardless of the number of overwrites achieved within the agreed SLA.

"For IT technologies to perform the required tasks, they must be appropriately selected, properly deployed, and operated with sufficient professional care. "
Rudolf Bohuš, eGroup Solutions
Compared to conventional flash memory, IBM also offers something special - patented IBM FlashCore technology that significantly improves the lifetime, performance, and latency of traditional flash modules. Flash modules incorporating this technology are called FlashCore modules and are available for the FlashSystem 5100 series and above.

"FlashCore enables hardware inline compression and data encryption directly at the level of the flash module itself. Thanks to FlashCore technology, the lifetime of the flash media is increased up to several times, latency is constant and reaches values up to 150µs, and thanks to the pseudo-SLC cache mechanism up to twice the performance of conventional TLC flash media," explains the unique technology S. Dzúrik from IBM.

Huge difference in performance

When it comes to speed, storage systems based on SSDs and flash memory play in a different league compared to traditional rotary storage. The difference can be huge. The example of one information system used in the financial sector, in which specialists from eGroup Solutions, an IBM Platinum partner, implemented four pieces of flash systems from IBM, says it all.

They are embedded in a virtualized storage infrastructure and such appropriate integration and optimization brought significant speed-ups. Long-term monitoring has shown that the average execution time for I/O operations has been reduced from the original values of approximately 2.5-3 ms to values of less than a millisecond - approximately 0.9 ms. These figures speak for themselves, there is nothing to add.

Why choose IBM FlashSystem:

  • flash memory-based systems enable several times the speed up over rotary disk systems,
  • all applications that work in real-time can benefit from the use of flash, 
  • immediately visible is the saving in electricity - at least 40%,
  • under the IBM FlashWatch program, IBM will automatically replace any flash module that is at the end of its lifetime,
  • hybrid storage deployments that combine flash and rotating systems are also possible,
  • a suitable solution can be found for all types of commercial enterprises from the smallest to the largest, including government

Source: živé.sk

Read the article

To find out more, email us at ales@egroup.sk