Disk Crack or Fact with Sun Storage 7000?

The Internet is littered with Oracle’s news today of Oracle’s enhancements to the Unified Storage System Product Line. I get emails about news all of the time from companies and PR agencies about news, briefings and offerings of more information. I generally appreciate them coming to me, though from a professional standpoint I am not timely or always polite in my responses.

Regarding Oracle’s Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage line, there was one line that caught my eye. In the midst of all kinds of information, there was mention of 1 and 2 TB SAS disk drives. “SAS” like S-A-S, not SATA. Here is the email I received today from the PR firm on behalf of Oracle:


I initially pulled a reality check and asked if that was not mistakenly SATA and I was ensured that it was SAS, and even directed to a product page which is shown here from the Oracle website:


It says “SATA” baby! But, have no fear – there are write accelerators in place. So, Rick, why would you not believe the press release and information at face value? The devil is in the details… These SAS drives are really SATA drives that have a SAS interface. The 1 TB and 2 TB drives available in the Sun Storage 7000 series are running at 7200 RPM, not the 10000 or 150000 RPM speeds that we would associate with enterprise storage.

Seagate, likely the arms dealer of these drives, has the Constellation ES series that would provide the best product for this application. Due to the 7200 RPM speed, this block of spinning rust would be relegated to nearline status versus enterprise status in most circles. I’ll go out on a limb and call it vSAS (virtual SAS) as it is really the SATA disk that we know and love in 1TB and 2TB sizes with the SAS-2 interface for transfers yet no mechanical differences as far as I can determine.

Not quite hard drive crack, but something we all should know going in. I’m not trying to pick a fight with Oracle or anyone, but I’m getting to the point where I like to look a little under the hood and there is nothing wrong with that. I guess we can just call it FUD-Guard.



9 responses to this post.

  1. Rick looks like someone has a typo somewhere regarding the sun (excuse me, Oracle) 7000 and high capacity SAS disk drives.

    The info I received from the AR folks (See below) makes mention of the 1TB and 2TB SAS (e.g. 3.5″ constellation 7.2K) type drives not to be confused with the smaller form factor 2.5″ SAS drives. Now there was a different Seagate announcement about the new 3TB desktop drive.

    As for a 4TB drive, well, perhaps with some compression or at least until they start shipping in the future. As to if the 3.5″ 7.2K RPM constellation is a SATA drive with a SAS interface, or, a traditional enterprise drive available with a SAS or SATA interface could make for an interesting discussion. However take a look at the prior path and you could link the 3.5″ 1TB and 2TB drives to prior generation 7.2K barracuda (e.g. the old and ancient enterprise drives from before the cheetah era). Those drives were available at one point also with FC interfaces.

    In other words, the interface (e.g. SATA) does not always determine what type of drive is on the internals, however sometimes it can. Not all 2.5” drives are desktop, not all 3.5” are enterprise.

    Here’s the info from the Oracle AR folks regarding the 7000 and new disk drives mentioned.

    Hope that helps
    Cheers gs

    From Oracle AR folks:

    Dear analyst,

    You will find below two press releases to be distributed today at 0800 EDT *UNDER EMBARGO TILL THEN* announcing enhancement to our Sun Storage 7000:
    – Sun Storage 7000 Product Line Adds Built-in Data Deduplication, Fibre Channel Support and Larger SAS Disk Drives
    – Signature Styles Simplifies Storage with Oracle’s Sun Unified Storage Systems

    Those enhancement include:
    – Deduplication
    – Compression
    – 1 and 2 TB SAS HDD’s, max native is 576TB

    Other USP’s are:
    – DTrace analytics
    – SSD
    – Widest of file and block protocols, with NFS v2/v3/v4, CIFS, HTTP, WebDAV, FTP/SFTP/FTPS and ISCSI, Fibre Channel, iSER, SRP, IP over Infiniband , RDMA over Infiniband
    – Hybrid Storage pools

    I will be organising a webcast in the coming weeks, stay tuned!

    Note: if you haven’t received my first newsletter, please accept this in lieu of an introduction –I recently started covering Storage within the Oracle IT Analyst Relations team.

    PS: please let me know if you want to be removed from my ‘storage analysts’ distribution list or if I should add some of your colleagues.

    Kind regards,
    Ludovic Leforestier
    Oracle Analyst Relations (WW Storage, France)
    office> +44 118 924 5304 / 45304 | mobile> +44 7764 666 746 | e-fax> +44 709 220 2089 | email> ludovic.leforestier@oracle.com | time zone> GMT/BST
    AR Portal (internal) | Oracle AR contacts (oracle.com) | Analyst reports (oracle.com) | Oracle RSS feeds | Read *.7z files | Utilities blog (internal) | Hardware blog (internal) | Oracle Corporation UK Ltd is a company incorporated in England & Wales. Company Reg. No. 1782505. Reg. office: Oracle Parkway, Thames Valley Park, Reading RG6 1RA

    Oracle Enhances Unified Storage System Product Line
    Sun Storage 7000 Product Line Adds Built-in Data Deduplication, Fibre Channel Support and Larger SAS Disk Drives
    Redwood Shores, CA – June 29, 2010
    News Facts
    • Enhancing its industry leading unified storage portfolio, Oracle announced significant upgrades to the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System product line.
    • The enhancements include built-in inline data deduplication that can be combined with inline data compression, 4 and 8 Gbit/sec Fibre Channel protocol support, multiple storage pools, and new 1 and 2 TB SAS disk drives – doubling maximum system capacity to 576TB.
    • These features help customers dramatically reduce the costs of storing, consolidating and managing data with increased storage efficiency, expand the use of the Sun Storage 7000 System product line into Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (SANs), and improve overall capacity and availability.
    • Oracle is the first storage vendor to bring the power of advanced DTrace Analytics to Fibre Channel SANs. Storage analytics enable storage administrators to quickly locate and manage SAN workload hot spots and bottlenecks, understand how configuration and application changes affect the storage system, and provision Flash storage capabilities without guesswork.
    • As part of Oracle’s commitment to delivering complete, open and integrated systems, the Sun Storage 7000 System Product Line is engineered and supported with Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle Database, Oracle Applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Sun System software products, as well as third party products. For example, Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g Grid Control provides an integrated Oracle Database to Sun Storage 7000 view, enabling simple diagnosis of application delivery problems and storage impact during application and database deployment.

    New Features Reduce Costs, Expand Use and Increase Capacity
    • The Sun Storage 7000 System product line reduces rapidly growing storage costs while simplifying the way customers manage storage. Unlike competing products, Oracle’s Flash-accelerated Hybrid Storage Pools ensure that customers don’t have to trade performance for lower storage costs.
    • The enhanced product line provides integrated deduplication and compression, delivering significant space and cost savings. Data deduplication can typically reduce storage requirements by 50 to 80 percent depending on data type while compression provides a multiplicative effect on space savings. Unlike competing products, the deduplication and compression on the Sun Storage 7000 System product line work in real-time, requiring no separate post-processing tasks.
    • The support for multiple storage pools enables greater optimization of storage for dynamic environments with multiple applications and user environments, a key requirement for cloud computing.
    • With the addition of Fibre Channel protocol support, customers can for the first time use the Sun Storage 7000 System product line’s advanced analytics, and Flash-accelerated performance in Fibre Channel SAN environments.
    • The Sun Storage 7000 System product line has one of the widest coverage of file and block access protocols for a unified storage system. Fibre Channel connected Unified Storage is ideal for consolidated private clouds that need to serve a variety of application protocols, and is a cost-effective upgrade for existing bulk storage/consolidation environments that use Fibre Channel to connect.
    • New 1 and 2 TB SAS drives double capacity over previous systems, use a faster disk interconnect to move data at up to 6Gbit/sec, and offer improvements for added high availability. Unlike other products with file systems limited to 16TB, the Sun Storage 7000 System product line simplifies storage deployment and management by enabling its maximum capacity of 576TB to be accessed as a single file system, or thousands of individual file systems and LUNs.
    • The Sun Storage 7000 Systems are the latest addition to Oracle’s complete portfolio of cloud-ready software and hardware products, designed to enable customers to start small and grow into next-generation cloud computing infrastructure.

    Supporting Quotes
    • “We are committed to providing a complete, open and integrated storage portfolio that reduces costs and simplifies storage management without compromising on performance,” said Mike Shapiro, vice president of Storage, Oracle. “Oracle’s Sun Storage products, and specifically the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage product line, deliver innovative technologies and breakthrough economics for modern datacenter requirements such as private clouds, storage consolidation, and data protection.”
    • “With the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System, we were able to consolidate eight separate storage systems from six vendors into a single, unified storage system with one vendor providing support, maintenance and meeting all our storage needs,” said Elvis Cernjul, vice president, Information Technology, Signature Styles. “The Sun Storage 7000 System’s built-in deduplication and compression capabilities further reduced our storage costs while the system’s 3x faster performance and high availability features enable us to more quickly access data and provide better support for our customers.
    • “The virtualized datacenter requires storage infrastructures that support specific innovative capabilities in order to optimize efficiency and dexterity,” said Roger Cox, Research Vice President, Gartner. “Our research confirms that disk arrays that support unified storage architectures provide the necessary dexterity to meet changing requirements while simplifying management, thereby improving total cost of ownership (TCO). Functions such as thin provisioning coupled with integrated data deduplication and compression optimize storage utilization, reducing acquisition costs, as well as significantly reducing power, cooling and space consumption.”

    Supporting Resources
    • Oracle’s Sun Storage portfolio
    • Oracle’s Sun Unified Storage system portfolio
    • Oracle Sun Storage 7000 data sheet

    About Oracle
    Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world’s most complete, open, and integrated business software and hardware systems company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at http://www.oracle.com.

    Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

    Signature Styles Simplifies Storage with Oracle’s Sun Unified Storage Systems
    Leading Women’s Apparel Company Reduces Management Complexity and Costs While Boosting Performance
    Redwood Shores, CA – June 29, 2010
    News Facts
    • Signature Styles, a leading marketer of women’s apparel and accessories, is using Oracle’s Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System product line to reduce costs and simplify storage requirements while also increasing performance.
    • Comprised of the Spiegel, Newport News and Shapefx brands, Signature Styles needed an enterprise-class storage system to house the company’s critical customer data, as well as voluminous creative and advertising content for its mail order catalogs and Websites.
    • Using the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System product line, Signature Styles was able to consolidate eight storage systems from six vendors into one unified storage system with a single, simple point of management.
    • With the system’s replication and snapshots features, Signature Styles was able to eliminate tape backups and implement a cost effective, robust disaster recovery solution that can recover files and customer data in seconds.
    • The Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage product line’s built-in inline deduplication and compression capabilities led to 73 percent compression ratios on unstructured data, significantly reducing the company’s storage costs.
    • The system delivered a 3x increase in performance while decreasing cooling requirements by 30 percent compared to their previous infrastructure.
    • The storage system’s Flash Hybrid Storage Pools improves MySQL database response times when accessing Signature Style’s customer data.
    • Using Oracle migration tools, Signature Styles was able to migrate 23 TB of data from its legacy storage systems to the new Oracle system in less than three days with no downtime and zero data corruption.
    • Signature Styles also uses Oracle’s Sun Servers and Oracle Solaris to run the company’s customer analytics.

    Supporting Quote
    • “Moving to Oracle’s Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems has delivered significant benefits, most importantly simplified storage management and cost savings,” said Elvis Cernjul, vice president, Information Technology, Signature Styles. “With Oracle, we now have a unified storage solution that delivers built-in innovative technologies like snapshots and mirroring that have altered the way we do business. Everything in our environment relies on Oracle’s Sun Storage 7000 – our powerhouse storage system.”

    Supporting Resources
    • Oracle’s Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System product line
    • Oracle’s Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System data sheet

    About Oracle
    Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world’s most complete, open, and integrated business software and hardware systems company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at http://www.oracle.com.

    Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


  2. Greg: Thanks for commenting. I did catch one of the references and should have it already corrected.


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rick Vanover. Rick Vanover said: New post: Disk Crack or Fact with Sun Storage 7000? http://bit.ly/dt90Bi […]


  4. No worries Rick,

    You bring up a good topic point about being aware of the different types of hard disk drives (HDD) and that not all are the same. There are different comparison metrics (capacity, RPM/performance, form factor, duty cycle, dual port (SAS and FC) vs. single port (SATA), internal processing performance and cache vs. less cache and processing, encrypted vs. non encrypted, enterprise vs. desktop vs. mobile and so forth.

    A point of clarification however on enterprise storage in that there is tier 1 high performance (e.g. 15K and 15.5K RPM as well as 10K) FC and SAS 2.5″ and 3.5″ HDDs along with tier 2 high capacity also known as FAT (e.g. lots of storage capacity space) 7.2K (some 10K and 5.4K) SAS and SATA 2.5″ and 3.5″ HDDs in addition to tier 0 SSD/Flash (along with all of the variations).

    The clarification and of course open to discussion or debate depending on one’s view of enterprise, tier 1, tier 2 etc . That is enterprise does not have to indicate performance or capacity or judged on the RPM (speed) of the disk rather its design objective is for continued use or deployment with storage systems/solutions vs. desktop or mobile/laptop type devices. Now that does not preclude someone from putting a traditional enterprise class HDD into a laptop (e.g. a 7.2K Barracuda) with a SATA interface, or, a 1TB desktop class drives into a high density near-line or off-line storage system enclosure.

    My point is simple that HDD vendors (e.g. Fujitsu, HGST, Seagate, Toshiba, WD, etc) have many different types, models and categories of drives.

    For example Seagate (See link http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/enterprise ) has enterprise class drives that range from high performance tier 0 SSD, tier 1 15.5K 3.5″ Cheetah or 2.5″ Savio along with tier 2 3.5″ and 2.5″ high capacity SAS and SATA devices. Likewise Seagate has the desktop Momentus XT (HHDD), Thin and traditional all in various speeds and categories with different design and deployment objectives.

    Thus, just like there are many different types of round tires that can go onto various automobiles to meet different objectives from on-road, off-road, cruising high performance to utility, cheap and cheerful to long duty life, multiple size diameters or support for speed, rough vs. smooth ride, for truck or vehicle, small car to SUV and so forth. So to are there many models of disk drives. Not all 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDD the same, not all enterprise HDD are the same nor desktop HDD the same.

    Look beyond the capacity or RPM and particularly price per GByte (unless that is your only objective) instead to where and how you will use the HDD. If its performance with lots of capacity at a good price and energy efficiency then look at medium capacity 15.5K that provide a good IOP to cost, IOP to watt of energy. If you are looking for the best IOPS per watt, IOP per cost, minimal capacity then it’s probably going to be tier 0 SSD/flash or perhaps one of the new HHDD (Hybrid Hard Disk Drives).

    Likewise if it’s simply get as much spinning disk capacity as possible at lowest cost, then that might be a 2TB 7.2K SAS or SATA HDD, however you might also find the 5.4K desktop models or others to be more effective again depending on what your specific needs are. For example in my office laptop I have a 7.2K RPM SATA drive for good desktop performance while in my traveling laptop performance is not my primary concern (its battery life and portability) I have a 5.4K RPM drive (I use a 64GB SATA Flash drive for moving data around and waiting for a HHDD to test out).

    Thanks again for bring up and getting a discussion going on a good and important yet not commonly discussed topic theme.

    Cheers gs
    Greg Schulz – Author “The Green and Virtual Data Center” (CRC) and “Resilient Storage Networks” (Elsevier)
    http://storageioblog.com and http://twitter.com/storageio


  5. Greg: Thanks for the comments. My main sticking point is that someone may read it as SAS and assume one thing, yet be getting another.


  6. Rick whats the sticking point and concern?

    Is it that Oracle is not saying that it is a 7.2K SAS drive vs. 10K or 15.5K? If so, fair enough, however then the same should hold true for vendors who do not spell out that their SAS drives are 10K vs. 15.5K or FC drives that are or were 7.2K vs. 15K and so forth.

    Or is the concern and sticking point something other than RPM?



  7. That’s correct, it is just called SAS but no mention of RPM as for what I can see.


  8. That makes sense Rick and is quite common of vendors mentioning FC, SAS or SATA along with capacity however not saying what the RPM or form factor for that matter is.

    On the other hand, I also see vendors talk about RPM and theoretical individual HDD performance providing the illusion perhaps that the some of all of the HDD performance is that of what a storage system will provide which often is not the case. Sometimes its better, sometimes even worse meaning that there are controllers that can leverage faster drivers while others are simply bottlenecks or speed bumps. After all, just because a drive has a particular interface or RPM speed for that matter does not guarantee you will see that level of performance, Ymmv ;)…

    Goes to show there is still a lot more focus or perception around capacity vs. performance and other attributes.



  9. […] specifically noticed Oracle and HP offering the 2TB SAS drive. The Oracle offering first showed up to me on the Oracle Unified Storage System product line with 2TB SAS drives, and I […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: