IBM Helps Companies Gain Control of Their Information With Solid State Flash Technology

Solid state combined with new data management tools improve performance by up to 800% using DB2 database software.

May 21, 2009

4 Min Read
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SOMERS, NY, May 21, 2009 - IBM today announced that it is delivering new solid-state offerings across its hardware platforms using new smart data management software to enable customers to dramatically improve response times on Solid State Drives (SSDs), while reducing costs. Based on IBM's testing, the new offerings can improve performance by up to 800%, while also reducing the physical footprint of the amount of storage needed by approximately 80%, and energy consumption by up to 90%.

Solid-state drives uses Flash technology, similar to that used in MP3 players, but on a more advanced and larger scale. As it has no moving parts, or spinning disks, such as used in traditional storage, solid-state storage technology can conduct up to 20,000 transfers per second compared to one hard drive disk at approximately 200 data transfers per second. IBM is unveiling a more targeted approach than other solid state drive hardware vendors to implement flash technology by leveraging and integrating IBM hardware, software and research expertise.

IBM's solid-state lineup includes a suite of enhanced software tools that enable customers to migrate, monitor and dynamically place data on SSDs to maximize value. For example, smart data placement through IBM Data Facility Storage Management Subsystem (DFSMS) provides for targeted data placement on SSDs in an IBM zSeries and DS8000 environment. In another example for Power systems, IBM's most recent product line to incorporate SSDs, IBM provides SSD Data Balancer software tools that allow a system administrator to move hot data (frequently accessed) to SSDs, while moving cold data to traditional hard drives. This approach recognizes that most customers will have a hybrid environment using both SSDs and traditional disks.

This capability is vital to information-intensive industries, enabling faster credit checks, real-time financial analytics and enhanced fraud detection with a dramatic improved performance by up to 800% on IBM's DB2 database software. IBM today also announced an expansion of solid-state drives to include Power systems, joining IBM's System x servers, as well as its System Storage DS8000 devices, as offering SSDs.

Using the new technology, IBM can help clients manage and analyze critical business information dramatically faster while reducing costs:???A banking institution running on the System Storage DS8000, DB2 for zOS and SAP, can improve their business performance by more than 30% and reduced their physical storage footprint by 60% and thereby reducing their energy consumption by more than 70%. Improved performance and reduced costs in energy can shift the focus on the company's information and generating a new of intelligence to anticipate new customers' demands.

???Airline reservation, ticketing or stock trading systems depend heavily on ultra fast online transaction processing (OLTP) to respond quickly to their customers. The data transfer wait time for SSDs is 3x faster than HHDs, critical to help support peak periods experienced by companies who conduct the majority of their business online.

IBM Expands SSDs on Power

IBM today announced its newest product line to support solid state with new energy-efficient solid state drives for its Power Systems servers, offering faster I/O response rates than traditional disk drives to help clients optimize cost, performance and energy savings. Unlike traditional hard disk drives which are often run at 50 percent or less of their storage capacity to help maintain consistent performance, SSDs on POWER can be run much closer to 100 percent storage capacity and still provide excellent performance. The new drives will be supported on all POWER6 systems, from Blades to enterprise servers.

New Solid State Offerings on System xIn 2007, IBM's BladeCenter family of x86 servers became the first blades in the industry with SSD options with availability of two 15.8GB, two-watt drives that offer low-power requirements and high reliability. The dual-drive version offers disk-mirroring capability in the space of a single 2.5-inch HDD bay. Today, IBM is adding to its System x lineup of diskless drive options with new SATA-style SSDs. BladeCenter was updated with new 2.1 watt, 50GB SSD in a 2.5-inch disk package. A 50GB drive, designed for higher I/O performance, is available in either a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch form factor for blades and System x rack and tower servers. The SSDs support Windows, Linux, and ESX Server, VMware's hypervisor.

SSD on the System Storage DS8000

Solid-state drives on its System Storage DS8000 can help customers decrease back-end drive response times significantly, which is critical in offering solid state drive benefits for distinct application workloads. Since solid-state drives have no moving parts, they consume less energy to operate than spinning drives, helping customers better control data center costs. This combination is critical for organization looking to manage their storage environment more effectively by matching specific application needs with the appropriate storage tier. IBM also invested in integrating DS8000 with servers and system software to maximize the performance benefit of SSDs. The integrated solution will enable customers to optimize the hybrid environment with SSDs and HDDs.

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