All-flash IBM V7000 smashes Oracle/Sun ZFS box
Flash strikes again. IBM's newest storage array, the Storwize V7000, has trounced an Oracle/Sun ZFS array, delivering almost the same performance for less than half the price and 4 per cent of the capacity.
The SPC-1 benchmark tests the performance of a storage array doing mainly random I/O in a business environment. IBM's Storwize V7000, fitted with 18 x 200GB SSDs in a mirrored configuration, delivered 120,492.34 SPC-1 IOPS, at a cost of $181,029 – meaning $1.50/IOPS.
Oracle's Sun ZFS 7420 delivered 137,066 SPC-1 IOPS at a cost of $409,933, $2.99/IOPS, using 84TB of mirrored disk storage with single read and write accelerating SSDs. That means IBM delivered 88 per cent of the Oracle box's performance for 44 per cent of the price with 4.3 per cent of the capacity. Flash wins hands down.
These are mid-range performers, where price/performance is more important than absolute performance. At the high-end IBM's V7000 is the current SPC-1 record holder with 520,043.99 IOPS, gained using 1,920 x 146GB disk drives spread across 16 x 2-node V7000s, fronted by an SVC controller.
What would happen if we replaced those 16 disk-based V7000s with all-flash V7000s? Each of the disk-based ones delivered 32,502.7 IOPS. Let's substitute them with 16 all-flash V7000s, like the one above, and, extrapolate linearly; we would get 1,927,877.4 SPC-1 IOPS - nearly 2 million IOPS. Come on IBM: go for it. ®
hold on - apples and oranges?
18*200Gb of SSD is at most 3.6TB; the Sun product is 84TB. Are we making a sane comparison here?!
The unique feature of the ZFS storage appliance is the auto-tiering capability (ZFS functionality) -- how it can move hot data into the flash cache and DRAM and keep the LRU data in the slower storage. So, its great for certain workloads (I wouldn't run Tier-1 apps on either of these arrays)
Add to that built in functionality of replication, dedup, compression make a good value proposition for the ZFS array.
Like someone pointed out, cost/TB is what will potentially drive the decision-making process. The benchmark lists just the controllers with the 18x200GB SSDs with "Base software" and 8 enabled 8GB FC ports @ $181K. The Oracle ZFS appliance is listed at $409K with 84TB of Storage, providing 137K IOPs (ie more than the 120K achieved by IBM).
How exactly is the value proposition for the IBM more enticing than that of the ZFS array?
Apples vs Apples
A quick comparison of the IBM V7000 vs Oracle F5100 (both flash arrays)
IBM peaked at 120,492.34 IOPS with 3.5TB of SSDs (a cost of $181,029 – meaning $1.50/IOPS)
Oracle claims to be "well over 1 million IOPS with 2TB of SSDs" (a cost of $187,513 – meaning $0.18/IOPS)
While the Oracle figure is not the official SPC benchmark its close to 10x the IBM one.
Who is smashing who now???
From the article "What would happen if we replaced those 16 disk-based V7000s with all-flash V7000s? Each of the disk-based ones delivered 32,502.7 IOPS. Let's substitute them with 16 all-flash V7000s, like the one above, and, extrapolate linearly; we would get 1,927,877.4 SPC-1 IOPS - nearly 2 million IOPS. Come on IBM: go for it."
Checking the docs for the Oracle F5100 which would be an apples to apples comparison.
"scalable up to 80 TB and more than 50 million IOPS in a single rack"
No offence but next time you should compare similar technologies rather than comparing a cheetah to a house cat.