The secret flash sauce

After the announcements from Oracle Open World and new TPC benchmark, a lot of focus has been on Sun and the innovation DNA that drives the company.  The announcements focus on flash and their increasing use in computing:

So what is the secret sauce in these?  These are essentially caching data and are made up of 94GB (4 x 24GB modules) of single-level cell NAND flash, in the F20 card and a staggering 1.92TB (80 modules) for the F5100 flash array.

The F5100 Flash Array has 64 SAS lanes (16 x 4-wide ports), 4 domains and SAS zoning, It can perform 1.6m read IOPS and 1.2M write IOPS, with a bandwidth of 12.8GB/sec.

This read IOPS figure is equivalent to 3,000 hard drives in 14 rack cabinets. The F5100 uses 1/100th of the space and power, of such a collection of hard drives.

This is an amazing database accelerator for Oracle and MySQL. The unit can be zoned into 16 partitions, one for each of up to 16 hosts. The device can form part of a Sun ZFS hybrid storage pool, embracing solid state and hard disk drives.

Further Notes: Sequential Read = 9.7GB/sec; Read/Write Latency (1M transfers) = 0.41ms/0.28ms; Average Power 300 watts (Idle = 213W ; 100% = 386W).  More spec info here.

So if you have need to speed up your Databases, Storage grids, HPC computing or Financial modeling look at what flash SSDs can offer.

Download the Sun Flash Analyzer and install on your server and see where SSDs can help accelerate system performance today.

It won’t be long before all computers come with flash as standard as either a separate or hybrid disk to speed up response times . . . OpenSolaris can already do this today with ZFS Storage Pools.


7 responses

  1. It may seem like a nit, but the F5100 power calculator:
    suggests that the 80 module F5100 consumes 386 Watts at 100%, not 300 so that would I think be other than 1/100th 🙂

  2. Hi Rick, good catch – it’s not helpful if I provide information but don’t supply any context. I can’t find the calculations I used yet but it seems 300 Watts equates to 50% workload.
    Cheers, Iain

  3. But is it only 50% workload to get the 1.6M read iops? Everything I have seen posted on the F5100 suggests it is 1.something million IOPs total.
    BTW, the modules in the F5100 – they are "the same" as the modules which go into the F20 PCIe card right?

  4. It’s 300 watts on average (50%) power, ranging from 213 to 386, I’ve corrected the sentence above.
    The 1/100 is comparing the typical requirements for the 3,000 hard drives in 14 rack cabinets which gives 1.6m read IOPS.
    From what I’ve seen it is the same 24GB flash module in each, although the F20 PCIe Card spec page has this caveat "[1] Please note, all specs are preliminary."

  5. I am perhaps being dense, but are you saying then that when doing 1.6 M Reads the F5100 is only consuming 300 Watts, not 386? That is still the implication of that 1/100th comparison.

  6. No, the comparison is comparing a 1RU F5100 to 7 racks with 3000 15K RPM disk drives.
    Both are capable of producing 1.6M IOPS and at average power, the F5100 uses 300 watts.
    Using the Sun Storage F5100 can reduce the need for massive pools of costly and power-hungry 15K RPM mechanical disk drives. Instead, you can deploy more economical high-capacity disk drives to optimize your storage efficiency and reduce costs.

  7. So you *aren’t* claiming that at 1.6 M IOPS the F5100 draws only 300 watts right? For the power calculator says it draws 300 Watts only at 50% utilization, which would, presumably be 0.8M IOPS.

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