General performance benefits
- PowerMax cache provides extreme read and write performance—The PowerMax storage system supports up to 16 TB of raw DRAM-based cache. While a portion of PowerMax cache is used for system metadata, the majority is used to support extreme performance for applications’ read and write operations.
- 32 Gb front-end modules—with the PowerMaxOS Q3 2019 release, PowerMax now supports front-end connectivity of 32 Gb per port allowing faster speeds per port for applications’ read and write operations. These modules support both FC and FC-NVMe connectivity.
- End-to-end FC-NVMe—with the PowerMaxOS Q3 2019 release, PowerMax now expands its NVMe backend connectivity to support end-to-end NVMe over Fabrics between server and storage, allowing additional protocol optimizations as compared to FC.
- Host I/O limits and Service Levels—Some customers prefer to leverage the ability to enforce performance limits, such as for non-production workloads or multitenant designs (for example, for chargeback or for Service Providers). The PowerMax Host I/O limits feature caps the IOPS or bandwidth of specific storage groups (SGs). Similarly, Service Levels (SL) set performance goals on SGs.
For more information, see PowerMax Service Levels.
- Write persistent cache—PowerMax cache is mirrored for writes and vaults if there is a power failure. It is therefore considered persistent, and as a result, all application writes are acknowledged to the server as soon as they are registered in the cache, providing extremely low write latencies.
- Write-folding—Database writes tend to update the same block (or adjacent blocks) multiple times in a short period of time. The PowerMax write-folding feature allows multiple updates in cache (DRAM), persisting periodically the latest update to NVMe flash media. Thus, the media is better preserved, and storage resource utilization is improved by avoiding unnecessary writes.
- Write-coalescing—When the PowerMax storage system writes the cached data to the NVMe flash media, it can often aggregate and optimize the writes to larger I/O sizes than the application writes, eliminating unnecessary I/O operations.
- FlashBoost—Database read I/Os that are serviced from PowerMax cache are already extremely fast. However, if the data is not in cache (that is, a “read-miss”), the PowerMax storage system expedites the data transfer by sending it from the back end (NVMe flash media) to the front end (server) and only then placing it in cache for possible future reads.