Feeds

IBM servers and storage to use Fusion-io currency

The two sides of Big Blue's SSD coin

Intelligent flash storage arrays

IBM is likely to introduce flash-enabled servers and a productised QuickSilver within the next six months or so.

Flash-enabled servers will use direct-attached flash solid state drives (SSD) to accelerate their operations. IBM's Project QuickSilver had 4TB of flash SSD connected to 14 clustered SAN Volume Controllers (SVC) and producing one million IOPS. The SVC sits in a Fibre Channel SAN and virtualises, thin provisions, and protects the storage arrays connected to the SAN.

The QuickSilver flash was composed of one or two 250GB Fusion-io ioDrives with PCIe interfaces in 29 host servers connected by Fibre Channel to the 13 SVCs. There were 41 ioDrives in total.

IBM is working with Fusion-io to bring out servers with ioDrive SSDs, according to IBM Distinguished Engineer Clod Barrera. The company has been shipping SATA interface SSDs with its blade servers for some time.

It appears that IBM will also bring out mini-QuickSilvers, SVCs fitted with ioDrive flash. The SVC makes that flash sharable over the network, it adds protection via replication (synch and asynch) and snapshotting, and it provides a point of management.

We might conceive of a mini-QuickSilver product being built with two SVCs, to protect against a single SVC failure. These would link via a switched SAS backplane to individual ioDrives, each fitted with a PCIe-to-SAS bridge and each connecting to both SVCs for redundancy. These ioDrives could have 250GB, 512GB, or 1TB capacities, possibly 1.28TB as Fusion aims to reach that capacity point next year.

The miniQuickSilver product could scale out at the SVC level and also at the SSD level. Although it would be a sharable SSD storage facility each QuickSilver would treat its own SSD as direct-attached storage. Because SVCs can be interconnected in a cluster using Fibre Channel links to a SAN switch then a miniQuickSilver could be included in an existing SAN as an extra and very fast tier of storage with data migration between the tiers according to policies.

None of the technology involved is leading edge. It seems unlikely that IBM would choose to place SSDs directly in its storage arrays, the tack taken by EMC and Compellent. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.