Storage Soup

Sep 13 2013   4:05PM GMT

Oracle optimizes its storage to optimize its databases

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Oracle launched two new ZFS-based storage appliances this week, gave them a new name and released benchmarks that the vendor claims show it is the fastest file storage system on the market.

The new Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances have two models — the ZS3-2 and ZS3-4. The systems are the next generation of what Oracle previously called the Sun Storage ZFS 7000 Series. Like the 7000 series, the ZS3-2 and ZS3-4 are optimized for Oracle software applications with the goal of running database queries and analytics faster.

Both new systems are available in single or dual-cluster configurations with up to 12.8 TB of read flash cache. The ZS3-2 has four eight-core Intel Xeon processors, 512 GB of DRAM cache, and scales to 768 TB with eight disk shelves. The ZS3-4 has eight 10-core Xeon processors, 2 TB of read flash cache and scales to 3.5 PB with 36 shelves.

Jason Schaffer, Oracle’s senior director of storage product management, claims the big enhancements are in the software designed to simplify deployment and improve performance of Oracle databases. These enhancements include Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol (OISP) that automates Oracle Database tuning and administration. OISP allows Oracle Database 12c to communicate metadata to the storage system to optimize performance. The ZS3 appliances also have new heat map and Automatic Data Optimization (ADO) capabilities to apply different compression levels depending on where the data is in its lifecycle. It also uses Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) to significantly compress Oracle Database data.

Oracle claims the ZS3-4 set benchmark “new world records” with its 450,702 SPECsfs operations per second throughput score for a dual-node NAS system, and its SPC-2 $22.53 price performance and aggregate throughput of 17,244 MB per second.

“Oracle applications will see a tremendous advantage of moving to ZS3 over competitive systems,” Schaffer said. “It’s designed to insure that any Oracle software running behind ZS3 will be the fastest and most efficient.”

In a report on the ZS3 series, SSG-Now founding analyst Deni Connor wrote that the automated database-to-storage tuning, heat map-drive tiering and HCC “separate ZFS storage from the rest of the competition in Oracle environments … Running an Oracle Database without these features enabled is like flying a plane without all the engines turned on – you’re still flying but you’re not getting the maximum output and velocity that’s available to you.”
You say you’re not running Oracle database apps? Never mind, then.

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