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App-Aware Storage Evolves: Oracle ZS4-4 NAS Sees 10,000+ DB Containers

We've been following Oracle storage closely with their recent FS1 launch and now the roll-out of a newly upgraded ZS4-4 NAS appliance. They are definitely intent on providing the best storage for Oracle databases while at the same time aiming to provide a compelling broader platform for many if not most other datacenter applications. The performance improvements here alone make the ZS4-4 a heavy weight storage contender.

Even without the amazing performance stats, the ZS4-4 is worth looking at in depth to understand the evolution of how storage in our book is going to increasingly get smarter about how to best serve downstream applications. In this case, the ZS4-4 now has direct support and visibility into how Oracle 12c "containers" are deployed within it. This pluggable database approach shares key database server overhead and can scale 5x more than just aggregating separate database instances next to each other,  using much less total system memory as it scales.

In this version ZS4-4 customers will get visibility into storage used by database container, enabling better exploitation of the larger database container capability. By being able to view storage utilization by container, Oracle estimates that database related storage issues can be identified with 67% fewer steps, and of course provide a much greater TCO for the combined stack of database and storage infrastructure together. We expect future versions of the ZS4 to leverage container level intelligence to provide additional storage-side QoS, data protection and optimizations.

The ZS4-4 in general uses DRAM the way other storage relies on flash. Because they now have so much DRAM (up to 3TB) in the box and have multi-threaded the OS, they can also take full advantage of 120 cores of processing power. As a powerhouse of a system, the ZS4-4 claims to double its previous versions performance, providing greater than 30GB/s throughput. Oracle claims that you might get 10,000 databases per beast here, which might be a key factor for service providers both internal and external.

This amped up ZFS implementation under Oracle's ministrations might just have grown into a real killer option for other data center NAS requirements as well. With this NAS upgrade, and the recent FS1 rollout, it looks like Oracle is plowing directly into the enterprise storage market. Both EMC and NetApp will need to take this Oracle market threat seriously.

  • Premiered: 12/02/14
  • Author: Mike Matchett
Topic(s): Oracle ZS4 NAS


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