With high-capacity and powerful NVMe flash storage such as the PowerMax storage system, there are often many databases and applications that are consolidated into one storage system. The PowerMax storage system uses Service Levels (SL) to determine the performance objectives and priorities of applications by managing the I/O latencies of the storage groups (SGs) in accordance with their SL.
By default, the PowerMax storage system assigns an Optimized SL to new SGs. This SL receives the best performance the system can give it, but has the same priority as all other SGs that are also set with the Optimized SL. In this case, it is possible that a sudden high load from one SG (such as an auxiliary application) might affect the performance of another SG (such as a key mission-critical application) because they all share the same system priorities and performance goals. Using specific SLs can prevent this situation.
Use cases for SLs include “caging” the performance of a “noisy neighbor”, prioritizing Production versus Test/Dev systems performance, and satisfying the needs of Service Providers or organizations using “chargeback” in which their clients pay for a service level.