Fujitsu just announced a new enterprise storage family, the ETERNUS DX8000 S3, with two new systems, the new ETERNUS DX8700 S3 and ETERNUS DX8900 S3.
New ETERNUS DX8000 S3 storage system hardware
The new systems come with a new S3 Quad Star architecture. With this new design, the DX8000 S3 storage systems have front-end routers (FRT) that can connect any host port to any storage control module (CM) in the system. FRT’s can cross connect up to 24 CMs for the ETERNUS DX8900 S3 and up to eight CMs for the ETERNUS DX8700 S3. It appears as if there are always four FRT’s in a DX8000 S3 storage system.
The ETERNUS DX8900 S3 can scale in pairs of CMs from two CMs to 24 CMs, while the DX8700 S3 can scale from two to eight CMs. A DX8700 S3 can be field to a DX8900 S3 storage system. The new DX8000 S3 CMs support the PCIe3.0 bus and feature up to 1TB of DRAM for the DX8700 or 6TB of DRAM for the DX8900. The new DX8900 S3 storage system has eight times the IO performance, eight times the sequential bandwidth and two times the bus bandwidth of the biggest, previous generation system.
The DX8000 S3 storage family offers up to 22.4TB for DX8700 or 67.2TB for DX8900 of Extreme Cache, a new, PCIe-based flash cache, directly connected to each CM. Extreme Cache is a read-only, CM level cache extension for all or a defined subset of LUNs in an ETERNUS DS8000 S3 storage array.
Backend drive enclosures are dual path, SAS3 (12Gb/s) connected for redundancy to two control modules. The DX8700 S3 supports up to 1536 drives with ~4.6PB of storage capacity and the DX8900 offers up to 4,608 drives with up to ~13.8PB of storage capacity.
New ETERNUS DX8000 S3 software functionality
Fujitsu also announced availability of their ETERNUS SF V16 Software Suite. The new software offers Auto QoS (quality of service) management, which operates in conjunction with Automated Storage Tiering (AST) to guarantee customer data response time. Auto QoS customers can either specify a response time for each LUN or optionally, select high, middle or low performance for a volume. In both cases, Auto QoS operates across the storage cluster array hardware and software to insure customer data receives the IO performance they have requested. The chunk size for AST has been reduced to 252 MB for finer granularity of performance management.
In addition, the new ETERNUS SF software suite supports Business Continuity (BC) with ETERNUS Storage Clusters. The new BC services operate between primary and secondary DX8000 S3 storage clusters using bi-directional synchronous mirroring to supply uninterrupted access to customer data. With BC, the secondary storage system can take over the primary storage volumes when a primary storage cluster or site outage occurs. This allows properly configured hosts to continue to access their data across storage outages.
Another item of new functionality is Fast Recovery that improves disk rebuild drive times by up to five to six times. Fast Recovery can rebuild a 2TB disk in just 90 minutes instead of nine hours with previous rebuild capabilities.
Finally, Fujitsu ETERNUS DX8000 S3 storage systems also now support VMware VVols. VVols provides a much easier way for VMware administrators to configure, monitor and backup VM storage under vSphere 6 vCenter service consoles.
It seems major storage vendors have refreshed their enterprise storage lines, from EMC’s VMAX3 product family, HP’s new 3PAR 20800 series, to Hitachi’s new G1000 series of storage system with the only exception being IBM. But none have the internal-scalability to go to 24 CMs like the DX8900 S3.
The new Auto QoS is a good first step but they need to take it farther (IOPs and bandwidth) to match some of their high-end competition. Although the DX8000 S3’s new BC seems to be right on the money with HDS and EMC’s BC capabilities.
It’s good to see Fujitsu introducing new hardware technology and software functionality like the cluster scalability, Auto QoS and BC, but a 24 CM DX8900 S3 seems a bit of a stretch. Then again, perhaps in the near future highly scalable IO performance and high capacity interconnectivity may become more of a norm. In any event Fujitsu seems well positioned to take on the high-end enterprise storage market.
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Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.