Bending Benchmarks: Oracle Zooms ZFS with ZS3 Storage Appliance
Oracle has come out today with the ZS3 series of its ZFS Storage Appliances. Sometimes a later act is just incremental, sometimes you can feel the ground move. Here we think other major storage vendors are going to really feel it shake.
At first blush, the deliberately "application engineered" ZFS is best-in-class Oracle Database storage. As far as database supporting filers go, we don't think anything can beat the ZS3's performance nor its integral capacity optimizations. Part of this is a native hybrid design, part is the built-in Hybrid Columnar Compression which works upstream with the database and downstream with RMAN to keep compressing data as it gets less active, and to keep it compressed throughout its end-to-end workflow (query processing, network transfer, storage, archive, and backup). HCC also actually improves query performance for data that is becoming less transactional, and more analytical. Oh, and another part is that the appliance offers an API (Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol) that allows the database to automatically and directly configure storage to align perfectly with its usage (e.g. record sizes, logbias,...).
But don't put ZS3 down simply as database storage. It rocks as a unified platform for other high-performance high-write business critical apps too. It has wide multiprotocol support for FC, iSCSI, and InfiniBand, not to mention the breadth of file protocols that can run over IP (and IB). We've heard that Oracle can readily get in the database door on enterprise accounts, and then once IT storage folks "slide" some other workloads onto it, they begin to love it as a broader, fully featured, high performance mixed workload platform.
Don't believe the hype - check out the aggresive benchmarks that Oracle has posted for both SPECsfs and SPC-2. Not many other vendors will post both for the same array. And remember that the Oracle Database performance is out of the park. If you want to check out some more details, take a look at the new Taneja Group Product Profile of the ZS3.
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