Explore the basic storage form factors available for IBM Power Systems -- Flash, HDD and SSD products.
IBM flash-optimized products
IBM FlashSystem™ and PCIe Flash Adapters are built with native flash modules instead of form factor SSDs. The flash modules are combined with high performance controllers into highly optimized products. IBM FlashSystem are high capacity and can be attached through Fibre Channel connection to Power servers and can also be integrated with Power SAN environments. PCIe Flash Adapters are a high performance, lower price and lower capacity solution that can be contained inside Power servers without the need for external drawers or cables. PCIe Flash Adapters can provide very high IOPs with relatively low investment and consume no extra rack space.
Hard disk drive (HDD)
HDD stores and transfers data using spinning disks and moving arms. HDD are low cost/high capacity storage devices with relatively modest I/O performance (time required to read and write data). HDD are often acceptable for applications that require large storage capacity and are relatively insensitive to I/O performance. Many of today’s most important applications such as OLTP and real-time data bases require better I/O performance than HDD can deliver. HDD can therefore limit application performance and leave other expensive system resources under utilized. Increasing overall utilization with SSD or other flash based products can result in significant savings in hardware costs, licensing costs, floor space, and energy consumption.
Flash and solid-state drives (SSD)
Flash is the general term for semiconductor NAND memory. SSD is a standard package with pluggable connectors that contains flash memory. SSD contain no moving parts and associated delays. SSD provide significantly higher I/O operations per second (IOPS) than HDD and work at speeds much closer to those of system RAM memory, SSD can deliver high performance and capacity utilization. SSD and other flash based products are an attractive alternative to HDD that can significantly reduce acquisition and operating costs for applications gated by IO response times.
The combination of native flash modules, SSD and HDD allow each type of storage to perform at its best; the HDD can be focused on “cold” data that is not often accessed, while the high IOPS capability of SSD/Flash is focused on the “hot,” frequently accessed data. The high performance capabilities of SSD/Flash and the cost effectiveness HDD can complement each other in a hybrid configuration that achieves the most effective level of price/performance.
Now that we have discussed the fundamental differences and integration opportunities of HDD, SSD, and Flash we will examine 2 types of solid-state drive: Internal Solutions which is also called Direct Access Storage (DAS) and Storage Area Networks (SAN).