Oracle’s Jason Schaffer on What the New ZS3 Series Offers to Oracle Database Customers

Earlier this week, Oracle unveiled the next-generation ZFS Storage Appliances, the ZS3 Series. The new ZS3 Series provides two key benefits to customers, Jason Schaffer, senior director of storage product management at Oracle, said in an interview. It accelerates high throughput business analytics and database queries – increases the performance – and it decreases the time it takes to tune the Oracle Database and storage to work together. The net result of this, Schaffer noted, is that it increases customers’ operational efficiencies and reduces their overall IT costs.

Powered by an advanced cache architecture and multi-threaded SMP OS, the ZS3 Series is being launched with two world record performance benchmarks, “both ideal for database environments,” said Schaffer. The new Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 achieved the highest ever Storage Performance Council SPC-2 Result for processing throughput. In addition, the new ZS3 storage delivered world-record SPECsfs2008_NFS overall response times. “For both large database queries and low latency database responsiveness, the new ZS3 Series outperforms everything else in the marketplace,” said Schaffer.

With this high performance, Oracle says, the ZS3 Series storage enables customers to perform critical business functions faster, including optimizing supply chains, closing quarterly books, evaluating a greater number of investment scenarios, and accelerating database queries. It also enables enterprises to respond to application needs dynamically while helping to reduce time-to-business value.

According to Schaffer, work has been done to also make the ZS3 series highly economical. “In both of the new benchmarks, the ZS3 Series has either the lowest or near the lowest dollars per I/O for price/performance, and what that means is that people who use the ZS3 with their databases can consolidate storage and/or have equal or better performance at a fourth of the price of other storage alternatives. 

And, to simplify Oracle Database deployments, increase database performance and reduce storage requirements, the ZS3 Series takes advantage of Oracle-only storage features and capabilities. “We have engineered the new ZS3 Storage Series to run Oracle Databases fastest and most efficiently,” noted Schaffer. This is enabled by three functions.

First, the new Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol (OISP) automatically and dynamically tunes the Oracle Database tuning with the ZFS Storage System. “We have engineered the two to work best together so you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of hours tuning and retuning,” said Schaffer. Through OISP, Oracle Database 12c communicates metadata to the Oracle ZS3 storage which can automate tuning, reducing manual processes by 65% while optimizing database performance and eliminating human error.

Second, the ZS3 Series takes advantage of the new Heat Map and Automatic Data Optimization (ADO) capabilities of Oracle Database 12c which enable different compression levels through the data lifecycle to deliver consistently high database performance and reduced storage capacity. ADO automatically and dynamically determines the best compression algorithms for that database environment in real time, and enables customers to achieve a broader, more comprehensive compression assortment with the ZS3 Series than they could otherwise,  explained Schaffer.

And finally, Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC), which was first introduced in Oracle’s database environment with 11g R2, compresses Oracle Database data by 10-50x, reducing the amount of storage and bandwidth required, leading to savings through storage cost avoidance, including data center infrastructure, cooling, switches, conduit, cables, racks, floor space, and maintenance.  “HCC enables you to compress the data by up to 10 or 50 times, and still increase the query speed by up to 5 times, so you are not only compressing but you are compressing without impacting performance," Schaffer pointed out. "You actually get better performance while still compressing the database environment. That function is only available if you buy Oracle storage, like the ZS3 Series, with your database – your 12C or your 11g environment.”

The new systems further the concept of hardware and software engineered together for greater efficiency, and Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol is a prime example of that, said Schaffer. “With application engineered storage we have engineered unique technology into the 12c Database and into this new series, the ZS3 Series, so that when combined, they automatically and dynamically tune for optimal performance and efficiency.”

More information is available about Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage Appliances and the Oracle Database.