IBM Cranks Up Storwize V7000 Capacity to 4 PB
May 20, 2014 Alex Woodie
Organizations with really, really big storage needs may find what they’re looking for in the new Storwize V7000 storage array that IBM announced April 28. The second generation Storwize V7000 Model 524 that IBM ships in June features up to 4 PB of raw storage capacity, up from the 1.44 PB of raw capacity it previously offered.
That mindboggling figure can be achieved by clustering four of the new Storwize V7000 systems and outfitting as many of the 1,056 drive slots with the largest drive available–the 4 TB SAS near-line drive spinning at 7,200 rpm. The exact storage number will vary, in part because of the requirement to have the Model 524 SFF (small form factor, or 2.5-inch) Control Enclosure at the head of each rack. (The biggest SFF drive is the 1.2 TB SAS drive spinning at 10,000 rpm.) In any event, it’s a lot of freaking data.
IBM also pumped up the processing power. IBM is now running an eight-core Intel processor and 32 GB of cache in each of the two “node canisters” (or controllers) that make up a single SFF Control Enclosure (giving it a total of 64 GB cache). Compare that to the first-gen V7000 controllers, which featured 4-core Intel processors and 8 GB of cache (16 GB total).
Users have the option of goosing the cache to 128 GB per system when using the “Real-Time Compression” workload. That feature, which compresses data stored on the arrays as it comes in and decompresses it as it exits, is guaranteed by IBM to deliver 50 percent compression rates.
Users can cram up to 24 SFF drives into each V7000 Control Enclosure. They can cram another 24 SFF drives into each SFF Expansion Enclosure and another 12 each into the LFF (large form factor, or 3.5-inch) Expansion Enclosure. IBM lets users load a variety of high-performance flash and standard disk drives into these enclosures, which are connected via four-wide 8 Gb SAS links. Users can mix and match different capacities and types of drives within their SFF and LFF enclosures, and mix different types of enclosures within each rack and cluster. It’s all very configurable.
The Storwize V7000 Model 524 includes six 1 Gb Ethernet ports standard for iSCSI connectivity and can be configured with two I/O adapter features to provide up to sixteen 8 Gb Fibre Channel ports or up to eight 10 Gb Ethernet (iSCSI/ FCoE) ports. Total system I/O capacity is said to approach 40 Gbps.
IBM says in its announcement letter it intends to enhance Storwize V7000 Model 524 to support 16 Gb FC connectivity. It also intends to support the cache upgrade feature on uncompressed workloads, not just when Real-Time Compression is being used, as is the case now.