HDS Dynamic Provisioning for AMS

HDS announced support today for their thin provisioning (called Dynamic Provisioning) feature to be available in their mid-range storage subsystem family the AMS. Expanding the subsystems that support Thin provisioning can only help the customer in the long run.

It’s not clear whether you can add dynamic provisioning to an already in place AMS subsystem or if it’s only available on a fresh installation of an AMS subsystem. Also no pricing was announced for this feature. In the past, HDS charged double the price of a GB of storage when it was in a thinly provisioned pool.

As you may recall, thin provisioning is a little like a room with a bunch of inflatable castles inside. Each castle starts with it’s initial inflation amount. As demand dictates, each castle can independently inflate to whatever level is needed to support the current workload up to that castles limit and the overall limit imposed by the room the castles inhabit. In this analogy, the castles are LUN storage volumes, the room the castles are located in, is the physical storage pool for the thinly provisioned volumes, and the air inside the castles is the physical disk space consumed by the thinly provisioned volumes.

In contrast, hard provisioning is like building permanent castles (LUNS) in stone, any change to the size of a structure would require major renovation and/or possible destruction of the original castle (deletion of the LUN).

When HDS first came out with dynamic provisioning it was only available for USP-V internal storage, later they released the functionality for USP-V external storage. This announcement seems to complete the roll out to all their SAN storage subsystems.

HDS also announced today a new service called the Storage Reclamation Service that helps
1) Assess whether thin provisioning will work well in your environment
2) Provide tools and support to identify candidate LUNs for thin provisioning, and
3) Configure new thinly provisioned LUNs and migrate your data over to the thinly provisioned storage.

Other products that support SAN storage thin provisioning include 3PAR, Compellent, EMC DMX, IBM SVC, NetApp and PillarData.

Latest SPC-1 IOPS vs LRT Chart Of The Month

SPC-1* IOPS v LRT for storage subsystems under $100/GB with subsystem price ($K) as bubble size
SPC-1* IOPS v LRT with subsystem cost as bubble size, (C) 2009 Silverton Consulting, Inc.
This chart was included in our last months newsletter and shows relative costs of subsystem storage as well as subsystems performance on two axis SPC-1 IO operations per second and measured Least Response Time.

Having the spreadsheet, I can easily tell which bubble is which subsystem but have yet to figure out an easy way for Excel to label the bubbles. For example the two largest bubbles with highest IOPs performance are the IBM SVC4.3 and 3PAR Inserv T800 subsystems.

The IBM SVC is a storage virtualization engine which has 16-DS4700 storage subsystems behind it with 8-SVC nodes using 1536-146GB drives at a total cost of $3.2M. Whereas the 3PAR has 8 T-Series controller nodes with 1280-146GB drives at a total cost of $2.1M.

I am constantly looking for new ways to depict storage performance data and found that other than the lack of labels, this was almost perfect. It offered both IOPS and LRT performance metrics as well as subsystem price in one chart.

This chart and others like it were sent out in last months SCI newsletter. If you are interested in receiving your own copy of next months newsletter please drop me an email

*Information for this chart is from the Storage Performance Council and can be found StoragePerformance.org