Oracle’s Flash-Friendly Sun ZFS Storage Is Ready for New SPARCs

Oracle today touted its new SSD-enabled storage system line as the perfect complement to its recently-announced SPARC T5 and M5 servers.

The NAS arrays range from the entry-level Sun ZFS Storage 7120, to the mid-range 7320 model and tops out at the 7420, which can scale to deliver up to 2.6 petabytes of storage capacity. Sun ZFS Storage Appliances are NAS storage systems that pull double duty as unified storage for Solaris environments.

Oracle’s latest NAS hardware embraces solid-state storage from the get-go. It offers built-in automated storage tiering by combining software with a flash cache, on-board DRAM and disk drives (7,200 RPM standard). Added intelligence helps the system optimize data placement, improving performance application performance.

“It is designed to recognize I/O patterns automatically and place data on the best storage media using Hybrid Storage Pools. For example, Oracle Solaris ZFS transparently executes writes to low-latency solid-state drive (SSD) media so that writes can be acknowledged quickly, allowing the application to continue processing,” explained Oracle in its technical documentation.

Moving data to disk is relegated to background operations, minimizing the hit to system performance. SSDs are invoked again to slash read latency times, and all the while, Oracle Solaris ZFS “transparently manages the process of copying frequently-accessed data into this cache to seamlessly satisfy read requests from clients.”

The end result: industry-leading SPC-1, SPC-2, and SPECsfs scores, boasts Oracle. Other capabilities include 40Gb/s InfiniBand client networking, up to 2 TB of memory for Big Data access and up to 14.5 TB of total flash cache.

And in a nod to the BYOD movement, the systems support Oracle’s Sun ZFS Monitor app. The Apple iOS app provides DTrace Analytics capabilities and allows administrators to remotely monitor their systems and keep an eye on storage services and I/O statistics using their iPhones or iPads.

Unsurprisingly, the storage systems offer deep integration with the Oracle software and IT management ecosystem, including Oracle Database, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager. This helps Sun ZFS drive efficiency via features like Hybrid Columnar Compression for Oracle Database, which can lead to 10x to 50x reductions in data volumes.

Data protection services are provided by the Oracle Snap Management Utility for Oracle Database. The software, custom developed for the storage appliance, provides automated backup, restore, cloning and provisioning services for Oracle Databases that reside on Sun ZFS.

Sun ZFS aligns seamlessly with Oracle’s refreshed enterprise server slate, remarked Oracle Storage senior VP Phil Bullinger.

“Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage Appliances are engineered with Oracle SPARC T5 and M5 servers and Oracle Database to deliver industry-leading performance for business-critical enterprise applications. No other storage system has this degree of integration with Oracle hardware and software,” said Bullinger in a company statement.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to Datamation, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.

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