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ZFS Storage: All That Flash, All The Time

Back in February Oracle announced its NEW ZS5 Storage Appliance. The ZS5 Storage Appliance was designed to deliver high performance across the board for all applications.

Oracle has been building the ZFS Appliance from the beginning using a powerful SMP design. This design allows all the CPU Cores in its controllers to work effortlessly. The ZFS Appliance also runs a multithreaded OS (Solaris) and the controllers each have very large DRAM caches which gives them great performance, but the new ZS5 models now take advantage of all flash storage enabling the Oracle ZFS Appliance to power some very demanding applications while getting very fast query responses and rapid transaction processing times.

The new ZS5 Storage Appliance comes in two models, the ZS5-2 and the ZS5-4. Both use the latest Intel 18 core processors and both models can be configured with a large amount of DRAM. The ZS5-2 can scale out to 1.5TB of DRAM and the ZS5-3 can max out at 3TB of DRAM. That’s with 36 or 72 Intel CPU cores to make the ZFS really scream with performance. For the SSD’s Flash storage both models can be configured with all Flash SSD’s. Each disk storage shelf can be configured with 20 or 24 – 3.2TB 2.5-inch SSD’s. The ZS5-2 can connect to 16 storage shelves giving it a total of 1.2 Peta Bytes of all flash storage and the ZS5-4 can connect to 32 disk storage shelves giving it a total of 2.4 Peta Bytes of all flash storage.

The ZFS Appliance has a built in secret sauce that has been designed to work with the Oracle’s infrastructure stack, also known as the “Red Stack”. This has sped up applications and databases, specifically 12c databases, while delivering efficiency and storage consolidation. Oracle could do this by having their storage engineers work with their database engineers in designing the storage to take advantage of all the software features built into the Oracle database. The ZFS Storage Appliance is truly and engineered system.

A great new feature is that the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance easily integrates in to the Oracle Cloud, making cloud storage available to all users at the click of a button.

From the beginning the ZFS engineers created Hybrid Storage Pools (HSP). These HSP’s were made up of, DRAM, Read SSD’s, Write SSD’s and spinning SAS hard drives. Together the data was moved in and out of DRAM and through the Read or Write SSD’s and into the SAS drives. Today the ZFS engineers have created a Hybrid Cloud Pool, (HCP) which pretty much acts the same way but only in the Oracle public cloud.

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The best part of this integration to the Oracle Cloud is that it’s FREE! Another benefit is that the new ZFS Appliance also eliminates the need for external gateways. It is all built into the ZFS controllers.

Truth be told Oracle has been using the ZFS Storage Appliance in its own cloud since it purchased Sun Microsystems 7 years ago.

And finally, as you evolve your storage model, you’ll want to extend what you’re doing on-premises to the public cloud.  And, ideally, you’d do this easily and seamlessly with the new ZFS ZS5 Storage Appliance.

Written by Chris Brillante, Sr. Solutions Architect, Cintra NYC – May 2017

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