You are currently on IBM Systems Media’s archival website. Click here to view our new website.

MAINFRAME > Storage > Servers

Handling Scalability and Performance With Ease

How IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo adjusts to changing workloads.

How IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo adjusts to changing workloads.
Illustration by Dan Hubig

Today's global business environment presents new demands for data every day. IT departments are expected to process bigger batches within the same tight deadlines - while keeping costs down and improving service. How can these seemingly incompatible goals be achieved? It's simple. The IBM* System Storage DS8000* Turbo models from IBM are designed to have the scalability and performance necessary to nimbly handle even the toughest workloads and deadline demands. Meanwhile, the IBM Enterprise Choice warranty options and total cost of ownership (TCO) tools assist customers in meeting budgets without sacrificing quality.

"The DS8000 was conceived as a well-performing box," says Lee LaFrese, senior performance engineer at IBM's Tucson Systems Technology division facility. "It had all the features that would make for excellent performance whether it be transaction-based performance, batch running within a window, backing up, and restoring data and copy services." Not content to rest on the DS8000's laurels, IBM engineers asked "where can we improve and how can we improve?" notes LaFrese. The answer was the Turbo. "The DS8000 Turbo is an evolutionary change, not a revolutionary change," he says. "What we did with the DS8000 Turbo is ride the technology curve, put in faster hardware where it made sense and exploit it for the good of our customers."

Boosting Scalability

Like the previous DS8000 models, the Turbo models use System p* 570 servers. But the Turbo has increased the gigahertz rating on the processors, to provide processing power supporting up to a 15-percent processor improvement. Microcode enhancements are another key improvement. "People were clamoring for as much scalability as possible for advanced functions such as FlashCopy*," says LaFrese. The DS8000 had good background copy performance with FlashCopy, but didn't scale as much as we wanted. With the Turbo, algorithm enhancements have "improved scalability, so as the amount of data increases, the performance improves," LaFrese says.

Removing Constraints

Two key architectural elements are helping "customers achieve world-class performance and supporting continuous availability - while growing the amount of data without constraint," according to Harry Yudenfriend, IBM distinguished engineer, IBM System z9* Software Design. IBM's fiber connectivity (FICON*) architecture has the capability to multiplex and pipeline I/O requests. These attributes of FICON technology enable a new generation of Parallel Access Volumes (PAV) functions, known as HyperPAV. "HyperPAV is new disk technology provided by the IBM DS8000 storage system for IBM zSeries* and System z* processors that can help reduce or virtually eliminate the queuing of I/O operations," says Yudenfriend. "Many customers can see improved I/O performance while also reducing the system resources needed by the host processors. This means that customers may be able to reduce the number of I/O resources (device numbers or subchannels) used in zSeries and System z (platforms)."

As volume sizes grow with the old technology, "the more aliases you need to avoid queuing delays," notes Yudenfriend. "HyperPAV instantaneously assigns aliases to bases as needed, so customers need an order of magnitude fewer alias addresses to maintain the same I/O rates."

"The DS8000 Turbo is an evolutionary change, not a revolutionary change. What we did with the DS8000 Turbo is ride the technology curve, put in faster hardware where it made sense and exploit it for the good of our customers." -Lee LaFrese, senior performance engineer, IBM

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at savage.shirley@comcast.net.



Advertisement

Advertisement

2019 Solutions Edition

A Comprehensive Online Buyer's Guide to Solutions, Services and Education.

Handling Scalability and Performance With Ease

How IBM System Storage DS8000 Turbo adjusts to changing workloads.

IBM Systems Magazine Subscribe Box Read Now Link Subscribe Now Link iPad App Google Play Store
Mainframe News Sign Up Today! Past News Letters