The Dell EMC PowerMax family was specifically created to fully unlock the performance benefits that NVMe offers to applications. NVMe is a set of standards that defines a PCI express (PCIe) interface that is used to efficiently access Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) storage media. PowerMax NVM media includes both NAND-based flash storage and dual-ported Storage Class Memory (SCM) drive technology such as Intel Optane.
In the PowerMaxOS Q3 2019 release, PowerMax added support for SCM drives together with Machine Learning (ML) algorithms for data placement when both NAND and SCM drives are used. The update also introduced end-to-end FC-NVMe (NVMe over Fiber-Channel Fabrics) to optimize data access between server and storage, and 32 Gb front-end modules that allow faster connectivity speed per port.
In the PowerMaxOS Q3 2020 release, PowerMax added support for 25 GbE iSCSI front-end ports, allowing users to deploy faster IP-based SAN backbones in data centers. This feature enables users to implement a lower-cost SAN for converged and virtualized workloads, and provides room for future growth and scalability as throughput demands increase. iSCSI benefits include the ability to run existing applications at lower cost and to provision virtual machines with iSCSI storage interface directly connected to PowerMax. Additionally, 25 GbE Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) is also supported for PowerMax remote replication.
The iSCSI protocol can achieve flexibility and operating efficiencies because the protocol allows SCSI traffic to be encapsulated over a standard TCP/IP connection and transported over an Ethernet-based network. This means that host-standard Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) and network switches can be used to carry storage traffic, eliminating the need for a specialized storage network using separate switches and host bus adapters (HBAs).
At the same time, the PowerMax family continues to provide all the features required by enterprise applications such as six-nines (99.9999%) availability, encryption, replications, data reduction, and massive consolidation. These features are now delivered with I/O latencies that are measured in microseconds.
This white paper explains the benefits and best practices of deploying Oracle databases on Dell EMC PowerMax storage systems using 25GbE iSCSI connectivity for SAN.