AIX > Storage > Disk

SSDs for Oracle 11g

IBM recently interviewed Larry Chiu, Distinguished Engineer, IBM Strategic Initiatives, about the benefits of using IBM System Storage Easy Tier, a built-in feature of the IBM Storwize V7000 disk system, to deploy solid state drives (SSDs) within an Oracle environment database. Chiu shares his thoughts on how IBM Oracle customers can get maximum efficiency, performance and cost-effectiveness.

Q: What are the business benefits of using SSDs?

A: SSDs play an important role in enterprise performance and scalability because they enable clients to maximize existing resources and scale them up as needed. A lot of enterprise applications require the capability to quickly scale up and down as business demands fluctuate, and SSDs can provide this type of acceleration for applications. Other key benefits include increased revenue opportunities, reduced infrastructure costs, improved availability and the capability to enable new applications.

Q: What are the challenges to using SSDs?

A: Clients commonly weigh several considerations when looking at SSDs. First is whether SSDs are suitable for their applications. It makes sense to run some applications on SSDs, and others not. For example, online transaction processing workloads, which are time sensitive, would benefit from the high-performance capabilities of SSDs. Another consideration is return on investment (ROI), since SSDs can be relatively expensive to buy and deploy. In essence, clients also want to take advantage of SSD technology while mitigating disruptions to normal business and IT operations and maximizing ROI.

Q: What’s the process for using IBM System Storage Easy Tier to deploy SSDs?

A: IBM wants to provide clients the shortest path to realizing ROI on SSDs, so we make it a priority to help them work through the decision-making process. We start by taking their existing infrastructure and determining what workloads are best suited to run on SSDs, as well as which configuration works best with those workloads. From that, we determine the estimated ROI. Once clients decide to store some of their data on SSDs, the Easy Tier functionality built into IBM Storwize V7000 can help simplify management of tiered storage by automating smart data placement. The clients can monitor feedback and assess if their workloads are being handled properly. We can also help them apply the right automation and autonomic technology to help manage the source device with as few disruptions as possible.

Q: How does Easy Tier take the guesswork out of deploying SSDs?

A: We really try to make it easy to do right-sizing, so clients can clearly see what their ROI will be. IBM Storwize V7000 also has a smart monitoring process, in which the system is in a learning mode to understand workload behavior. This gives us a detailed understanding of how the application is really using the system. At this point, clients can use the IBM Storage Tier Advisor Tool to generate a report, which indicates workload behavior in various parts of their storage system, as well as projections for ROI for using SSDs. The clients can see, for instance, if they use “X” amount of SSDs, they will realize “Y” percentage of performance improvement.

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