EMC made a big splash early this month with its Project Lightning announcement, but at just about the same time IBM made a quieter announcement, packing an SSD cache into its XIV storage system to help with demanding workloads such as analytics, cloud computing, and virtualization. In fact IBM made a point of claiming that TCO for the XIV generation 3 was 69 percent lower than with the equivalent EMC system.
It’s easy to get caught up in the clash of the titans, especially if you’re running databases on AIX-based IBM Power Systems, as the AIX storage options out there are limited. However, AIX users have a choice beyond the usual suspects: Kaminario’s K2 is one of the few pure SSD array solutions with full support for AIX. Here are some reasons you may want to consider the K2 for your I/O-intensive Power System workloads.
The K2 is a Pure SSD Solution – As with EMC’s Project Lightning, IBM’s XIV system uses SSD as a kind of cache band-aid for slow disk storage, moving data in and out of cache according to complex algorithms. The disadvantage: As with Project Lightning, the IBM cache is for reads only, so you won’t get the fast writes you get with the K2; you won’t get the performance until the right data is moved into the cache; you’re likely to get some cache misses; and all that cache data is duplicated on disk storage, which is not the most efficient solution.