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Storwize V7000 Offers Perfect Pools of High-Performance Storage Virtualization

Storage virtualization allows an IT infrastructure to appropriately map huge chunks of data stored in various media as a single pool of storage to the client file system. With the advent of new and powerful technologies, the enterprise market is getting more and more competitive. Hence, it’s important to continue providing innovative solutions in light of today’s complex and ever-changing business demands. IBM Storwize V7000 is among the most powerful and easy-to-use innovative disk systems, offering improved efficiency and flexibility through built-in SSD optimization, thin provisioning and storage virtualization technologies.

Storage Controllers

Storwize V7000 is a midrange storage controller, based on the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC). SVC provides storage network-based virtualization by creating a pool of managed disks from diverse, attached storage subsystems, which are then mapped to a set of virtual disks for use by attached host computer systems. This allows systems administrators to view and access a common pool of storage on the SAN, which, in turn, enables them to use storage resources more efficiently and provide a common base for advanced functionality. SVC performs several functions for the SAN storage it controls, such as:

  • Creating a single pool of storage
  • Managing logical volumes
  • Mirroring logical volumes
  • Providing advanced storage functions for the SAN, including large scalable cache, data migration, copy services and space management

Storwize V7000 Overview

The Storwize V7000 storage system is a high-performance, highly efficient and easy-to-use virtualized storage system consisting of a set of drive enclosures. It can feature up to two control enclosures and 18 expansion enclosures. It scales up to 480 disks and 480 TB of raw capacity. Control enclosures contain disk drives and two-node canisters. The control enclosure supports attachment of up to nine expansion enclosures with configurations up to 360 TB of physical storage capacities.

A collection of control enclosures managed as a single system is commonly referred as a clustered system, which allows block storage to both scale up and out, thus improving performance and capacity. On the other hand, expansion enclosures contain drives and are attached to control enclosures. Control enclosures include the serial-attached SCSI (SAS) interface hardware that enables the node canisters to use the drives from the expansion enclosures.

Storwize V7000 supports SAN interconnect over 8 Gbps Fibre Channel (FC) for host and external storage connectivity and 1 GbE iSCSI host connectivity. Those with 10Gbps Ethernet ports also support attachment to next-generation Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) networks using FC over Ethernet (FCoE). This support enables the connection of Storwize V7000 to servers for host attachment and to other Storwize V7000 systems for clustering or for mirroring using FC or FCoE interfaces. The same ports may also be used for iSCSI server connections. On a similar note, VMware virtual environments can be improved with Storwize V7000 by using the vStorage API for Array Integration. This new API delegates certain VMware functions to the Storwize V7000 for enhanced performance. In the vSphere 4.1 release, this offload capability to Storwize V7000 supports full copy, block zeroing and hardware-assisted locking.

Ankur Agrrawal is a software developer in IBM STG India, who focuses on storage virtualization, cloud computing, computer architecture and OSs.

Subhojit Roy is a member of IBM SVC team. He has more than 19 years of experience in the core storage domain that includes storage virtualization and SAN technologies.

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