Oracle Goes All-Flash with Database-Friendly FS1 Storage Arrays

By Pedro Hernandez

Oracle is no stranger to flash storage, having offered hybrid systems like ZFS Storage ZS3 and ZS4-4 to improve database performance for its customers. Now, with the release of its new FS1 Storage System, the company is entering the increasingly crowded field of all-flash array providers.

The system, which can scale to 912 TB of flash-based storage capacity, features optimizations that are the result of a co-engineering effort with Oracle's Database and Applications divisions, according to the business database giant. With support for Oracle's Hybrid Columnar Compression technology and its 10:1 data compression ratio, the FS1 can shrink database storage requirements while accelerating Oracle database queries, the company claims.

Hybrid Columnar Compression offers nearly twice the data reduction of competing data deduplication schemes, the company said. Not that security-conscious organizations can dedupe their databases.

"While encrypted Oracle Database data can't be deduplicated, it can be compressed with Hybrid Columnar Compression, providing significantly higher levels of security to customers and maintaining Oracle Database best practices," noted Oracle.

In tests, an Oracle FS1-2 system managed 215,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) in a mixed read/write workload with 32 KB block sizes. Write throughput was rated at a whopping 5.4 GB per second and latency was measured in the sub-millisecond range.

In a two-node configuration, an all-flash FS1 "can support hundreds of Oracle databases," said the company. To get customers up and running quickly, the system ships with pre-tuned Flash Profiles for Oracle Database and enterprise applications, speeding the provisioning and deployment process.

Mike Workman, senior vice president of Oracle's Flash Storage Systems division, said in a statement that the new hardware was built to fight the enemy of online transaction processing (OLTP) and business-critical mixed workloads: high latency.

"Oracle All Flash FS1 dramatically reduces I/O wait times typically seen in today's highly virtualized, transaction-driven enterprises where low latency is critical to response time," Workman said. "This superior performance combined with unique features, such as Flash Domains and Flash Profiles, make the All Flash FS1 the platform for customers who want to significantly accelerate their applications in SAN and secure cloud environments."

IDC research director remarked that with the new systems, "Oracle enters the ranks of what IDC defines as the 'true All Flash Array (AFA) vendors'," in prepared remarks. "AFAs feature unique designs that are specifically optimized for flash media, delivering more consistent performance across their entire throughput range than Hybrid Flash Arrays, and making them the storage platform of choice for application environments that demand the highest levels of performance."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on September 09, 2015