The Best Network Attached Storage Choice for Oracle Database and Software Environments

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1 An Oracle White Paper November 2013 The Best Network Attached Storage Choice for Oracle Database and Software Environments A Comparison of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Against NetApp

2 Executive Overview... 1 Oracle s Application Engineered Storage Drives Increased Value... 3 Overview of the Storage Systems Being Compared... 4 Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver Twice the I/O Performance for Enterprise Data... 5 Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver Twice the Performance in SPECsfs2008 Benchmark... 7 Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver World Record Performance on the SPC-2 Benchmark... 8 Highly Scalable Multithreaded Operating System Up to 5x More Processing Power Up to 4x Faster Link Bandwidth Fast Streaming Data and Backup KB Block Size Dwarfs NetApp s 4 KB Limit for Block Protocols in Sequential I/O Applications x Larger Memory and 1.5x to 6x Larger L2 Cache for Performance Acceleration Advanced Data Optimization Lower Costs for Meeting Growing Storage Needs List Price Comparison Avoid Up to 10x Higher NetApp Software Licenses Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver Superior Efficiency to Help Control Rising Storage Costs Easier to Manage Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol for Oracle Database 12c Browser User Interface (BUI) and Real-Time Dashboard Third-party Confirmation of Management Efficiency NetApp Limitations That Complicate Management Better Management Visibility with DTrace Analytics Oracle ZFS Appliance Monitor Reducing Risk Through Advanced Data Integrity End-to-End Checksumming Self-Healing Triple-parity RAID and Triple Mirroring Extra Protection for Oracle Database Backups External Validation of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Ease of Management Most Cost-Effective Storage for High I/O Workloads Oracle Internal IT Surpasses 225 PB of Storage on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Summary Realize More Value from Storage Investments For More Information... 31

3 Executive Overview Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances offer significant advantages for Oracle Database and Oracle software solutions. This paper compares the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 and ZS3-4 storage systems to the NetApp FAS3250 and FAS6250 systems respectively. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances are the first application engineered storage environment and are co-engineered with Oracle Database and Oracle Applications to deliver increased value for Oracle customers. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances deliver enterprise-class network attached storage (NAS) capabilities with deep Oracle integration and leading simplicity, efficiency, performance, and TCO. They combine best-in-class storage analytics with an innovative storage architecture and management software to deliver unparalleled ease of deployment and use. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances also support common Storage Area Networking (SAN) access protocols, including iscsi and Fibre Channel, to increase deployment flexibility. In addition to 4,000 customers in a multitude of industries, Oracle is using this technology in-house, running more than 225 PB of storage on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances to support Oracle Cloud services and Oracle s internal global IT and product development initiatives. Some of these internal storage environments had originally been based on NetApp filers and were replaced in a consolidation effort that reduced the number of storage systems by a 3:1 ratio and resulted in significant improvements in performance and operational efficiency. Oracle Managed Cloud Services (formerly Oracle On Demand) has achieved nearly a 2:1 improvement in management efficiency after a major storage upgrade replacing NetApp filers with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances. 1 1 Additional details about Oracle's in-house use of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances can be found in the white paper titled, "Sun ZFS Storage Appliance and Oracle IT: Use Cases and Benefits." See pdf?ssSourceSiteId=ocomen. 1

4 Figure 1 highlights the key advantages of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances versus NetApp FAS3250 and FAS6250 filers. The remaining sections of this document provide further details about these advantages and how they are achieved. Figure 1. Comparison highlights. 2

5 Oracle s Application Engineered Storage Drives Increased Value Traditional IT architectures have evolved in such a way that applications, data, and storage have been treated as separate elements that are bundled together to deliver IT services. In today's environment, however, this approach is increasingly under pressure as enterprises struggle to deliver better performance and achieve greater storage efficiency. In its 2012 annual digital universe study, IDC made a projection that the total amount of digital information will reach 40,000 Exabytes by This represents an astounding 300x growth from 2005 to This massive growth of data means that a paradigm shift is needed in how we deploy IT infrastructure. Oracle believes that tomorrow s data centers will require a tighter integration between applications, data storage, and the servers that transform the data in order to meet ever-increasing performance and efficiency requirements. As highlighted in Figure 2, Oracle is integrating storage into its entire software and hardware stack to bring applications, data, and storage closer together. Oracle s goal is to help enterprises realize a big leap in performance and storage efficiency so that applications can be dramatically faster and much more data can be stored with less physical storage capacity. Figure 2. Oracle s strategy is to tightly integrate storage across its entire stack from application to disk. By addressing the full stack, Oracle is creating unique storage integrations that other storage vendors, including NetApp, cannot achieve. For example, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances offer unique integration with Oracle Database, including Hybrid Columnar Compression, which offers 10x to 50x 2 IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, December Available at 3

6 compression ratios, and Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol for Oracle Database 12c, which offers automated tuning of the storage environment. Storage integration is also driving innovation with Oracle engineered systems such as the Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, which have achieved a tenfold improvement in application performance and storage efficiency compared to traditional system architectures. Additional innovations with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances include integration with Oracle VM Storage Connect for Virtualization, Oracle Enterprise Manager for application to disk data center management, and many other Oracle hardware and software components. Oracle s integrated offerings also include Oracle Optimized Solutions for everything from Oracle E-Business Suite to Oracle WebCenter Content. Furthermore, all Oracle software products are tested across the full suite of Oracle hardware offerings to reduce the risk of production deployment issues for Oracle customers. Customers benefit from support from a single vendor as well. Examples of Oracle offerings that include Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance integration include: Oracle SuperCluster Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure Oracle Exadata Database Machine Backup and Recovery Solution Oracle Database Test and Development Solution Oracle Optimized Solution for Tiered Storage Infrastructure Oracle Optimized Solution for Oracle Database Oracle Optimized Solution for Agile Product Lifecycle Management Oracle s Integrated Desktop Virtualization and Storage Solution Oracle Fusion Middleware Disaster Recovery Solution These integrated offerings enable enterprises to achieve greater value from their storage investments by realizing greater application performance, reduced in-house integration costs, simplified storage management, and greater storage efficiency. Overview of the Storage Systems Being Compared To provide some context for readers who are unfamiliar with either Oracle or NetApp s storage product lines, this section provides an overview of the systems being compared in this white paper. The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance product line has two primary models, both of which are 2-node network attached storage (NAS) systems that have been co-engineered with Oracle Database and Oracle Applications to offer high performance and unmatched storage efficiency. 4

7 The comparable NetApp products are the NetApp FAS3250 and NetApp FAS6250 platforms. The NetApp FAS3250 is aimed at midsize enterprise environments and, like the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2, is a two-node storage system that can start small and grow by adding more disk shelves. The NetApp FAS6250 addresses the high-end data center storage market and can be configured with up to 24 storage controllers. Since Oracle s high-end appliance, the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4, is a two-node system, the two-node configuration of the NetApp FAS6250 storage system is being used for comparison purposes. However, it should be noted that the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 two-node system has delivered benchmark results that surpass similar four-node NetApp systems by a wide margin. (See performance results immediately following this section.) Table 1 provides specification highlights for the Oracle and NetApp storage systems being compared in this paper. TABLE 1. STORAGE SYSTEM FEATURE COMPARISON 1 ORACLE ZFS ORACLE ZFS FEATURE STORAGE ZS3-2 NETAPP FAS3250 STORAGE ZS3-4 NETAPP FAS6250 CPU cores Maximum Raw Capacity DRAM Capacity 768 TB 2.9 PB 3.5 PB 5.7 PB 0.5 TB 0.04 TB 2 TB 0.14 TB Maximum Read Cache TB 2 TB 12.8 TB 8 TB Maximum Write Cache 2.3 TB TB 10.5 TB TB Operating Data ONTAP GA or Data ONTAP and System Oracle ZFS Storage OS8 Oracle ZFS Storage OS8 higher and Data ONTAP later All listed specifications represent a two-node cluster configuration. 2 NetApp read cache specifications are from NetApp Flash Cache 2 data sheet at Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver Twice the I/O Performance for Enterprise Data Today's enterprise applications and cloud infrastructures depend more than ever on storage throughput for overall performance. With data growth accelerating, the speed with which data can be stored, retrieved, and protected can either make or break the success of an enterprise IT service. Even backup environments for enterprise applications are challenged to deliver faster performance so that larger volumes of data can be protected within increasingly short backup and restore windows. 5

8 Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances are the industry s first application engineered storage systems and they have been designed to deliver high performance along with outstanding efficiency for Oracle Database and Oracle Applications environments. The result is a high throughput hardware and software architecture in which the storage systems are database-aware and application-aware, and the database and applications are also storage-aware. A good example of Oracle s co-engineering work is the Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) feature of Oracle Database. HCC enables database tables to be stored in compressed format on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances to shrink typical data warehouses by more than 4x. When combined with Oracle s 4x faster InfiniBand storage network interconnect, this enables up to 16x faster loading of data warehouse data because there is 4x less data to load and it loads 4x faster. Other performance advancements from co-engineering include high-throughput optimizations for backup and restore using Oracle Direct NFS and high-speed InfiniBand connectivity between Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances and Oracle engineered systems such as Oracle Exadata and Oracle SuperCluster. These advancements are coupled with co-development, integration, and testing across Oracle s complete application to disk portfolio, enabling enterprises to: Accelerate business applications and increase user productivity Support larger user populations Protect increasing amounts of enterprise data such as in Oracle Databases with fast archival storage Replace more costly and complex NetApp storage infrastructures Deploy cost-effective storage solutions that have ample room to grow Table 2 shows a summary of the key performance advantages for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances. The subsections that follow provide benchmark details and describe the technical advantages of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances over NetApp filers. 6

9 TABLE 2. ORACLE ZFS STORAGE APPLIANCE PERFORMANCE ADVANTAGES SUMMARY 1 ORACLE ZFS NETAPP ORACLE ORACLE ZFS NETAPP ORACLE STOARGE ZS3-2 FAS3250 ADVANTAGE STORAGE ZS3-4 FAS6250 ADVANTAGE SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 210,535 benchmark results 2 ops/sec 100,922 ops/sec 2.1X 450,702 ops/sec 190,675 ops/sec (FAS 6240) Dual-Node World Record SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 overall response time msec 1.76 msec 36% faster 0.70 msec 1.17 msec 40% faster Maximum block size for transfers 128 KB 4 KB (block protocol) 32x 128 KB 4 KB (block protocol) 32x InfiniBand client support Yes No 4x faster link bandwidth Yes No 4x faster link bandwidth 1 All listed specifications represent a two-node cluster configuration. 2 SPECsfs2008 results for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances and NetApp FAS3250 and FAS6250 systems are as of September 10, 2013 and are available at SPECsfs2008 characterizes file server performance based on typical CIFS (Common Internet File System) and NFS (Network File System) workloads. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver Twice the Performance in SPECsfs2008 Benchmark The SPECsfs2008 benchmark offers an industry-accepted method for comparing storage performance with NFS (Network File System) workloads as well as CIFS (Common Internet File System) workloads. The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 (two-node) delivered 450,702 SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 ops/sec on the SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 benchmark, which set a new world record by delivering greater throughput than any other two-node (or single-node) result. The Overall Response Time (ORT) for the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 of 0.70 milliseconds also delivered a world record, beating every other ORT result to date on the SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 test. When compared to NetApp results for SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3, Oracle s result of 450,702 SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 ops/sec beat all 4-node and smaller results published by NetApp to date. On the same test, the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 delivered 210,535 SPECsfs2008_nfs ops/sec with an overall response time (ORT) of 1.12 ms. Figure 3 provides a comparison that shows Oracle s 2x performance advantage over both the high-end NetApp FAS6240 and the midsize NetApp FAS3250. It s notable that the high-end Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 also offers 73% better performance than a NetApp FAS6240 that is configured with twice as many nodes 3. 3 Results as of September 10, Oracle ZFS Storage ZS ,702 SPEC SFS2008_nfs Ops/sec, 0.70 msec ORT, Oracle ZFS Storage ZS ,535 SPEC SFS2008_nfs Ops/sec, 1.12 msec ORT. NetApp FAS ,675 SPEC SFS2008_nfs Ops/Sec, 1.17 msec ORT, NetApp Data ONTAP 8.1 Cluster-Mode (4-node FAS6240) 260,388 SPEC SFS2008_nfs Ops/Sec, 1.53 msec ORT. NetApp FAS ,922 SPEC SFS2008_nfs Ops/Sec, 1.76 msec ORT. For more information, see 7

10 Figure 3. Double the NFS performance based on SPECsfs2008 results for two-node systems and nearly double the performance of the four-node NetApp FAS6240 system. NetApp has not submitted SPECsfs2008 results for the newer NetApp FAS6250 system. To provide a relative comparison to Oracle s high-end NAS solution, Figure 3 shows the results of NetApp s earlier model, the NetApp FAS6240. The NetApp FAS6240 results can be viewed as a good proxy for file system performance on the NetApp FAS6250 because the FAS6250 is a newer replacement model that has a similar architecture and similar I/O characteristics. As an illustration of the similarity in file system performance between NetApp s previous generation systems and the latest models, consider that the published SPECsfs2008 results of the previous generation NetApp FAS3270 are quite similar to that of its newer replacement model, the NetApp FAS3250. In fact, the results for the new NetApp FAS3250 actually declined slightly with respect to the older model. 4 Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver World Record Performance on the SPC-2 Benchmark To verify SAN performance with the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances, Oracle ran benchmark tests in accordance with Storage Performance Council's SPC-2 benchmark. The SPC-2 benchmark provides a source of comparative storage performance for Big Data workloads such as video streaming or transfer of large files, which are frequently managed in Oracle Database. 4 Published SPECsfs2008 results for the NetApp FAS3250 system are 100,922 ops/sec and the older NetApp FAS3270 results were 101,183 ops/sec. For more information, see 8

11 As of September 10, 2013, the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 SPC-2 result showed the best overall performance result to date on the SPC-2 benchmark with a world record 17, SPC-2 MBPS while also delivering the second best current overall SPC-2 price-performance of $ This demonstrates the ability of the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 to simultaneously deliver both extreme performance and exceptional value to customers. NetApp has not submitted SPC-2 results for any of its systems, so a direct comparison to NetApp is not possible. However, Figures 4 and 5 show a comparison against competitive systems from IBM and HP, highlighting Oracle s leading performance and price-performance advantages. 6 5 Results as of September 10, 2013, for more information see SPC-2, SPC- 2 MBPS and SPC-2 price-performance are trademarks of Storage Performance Council (SPC). 6 Results as of Sept. 10, Source: Storage Performance Council, Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 delivered an overall score of 17, SPC-2 MBPS and a SPC-2 price-performance of $22.53 on the SPC-2 benchmark. Full results at IBM System Storage DS8870 delivered an overall score of 15, SPC-2 MBPS and a SPC-2 price-performance of $ on the SPC-2 benchmark. Full results at HP P9500 XP Disk Array delivered an overall score of 13, SPC-2 MBPS and a SPC-2 price-performance of $88.34 on the SPC-2 benchmark. Full results at IBM XIV Storage System Gen3 delivered an overall score of 7, SPC-2 MBPS and a SPC-2 price-performance of $71.32 on the SPC-2/Energy benchmark. Full results at IBM Storwize V7000 delivered an overall score of 3, SPC-2 MBPS and a SPC-2 price-performance of $71.32 on the SPC-2 benchmark. Full results at 9

12 Figure 4. Oracle offers leading performance with a world record result for the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4. Figure 5. Oracle price-performance outshines the competition. Highly Scalable Multithreaded Operating System Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances leverage the highly scalable, multithreaded Oracle ZFS Storage OS8 operating system based on the proven Oracle Solaris operating system base. This enterprise-grade operating system enables the appliances to take advantage of multiple cores and processors so they can provide faster performance and deliver innovative data services without performance degradation. 10

13 Up to 5x More Processing Power The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 system offers up to 80 cores in a dual controller system, which represents five times as many cores as the NetApp FAS6250 filer. Each controller in the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 system is configured with four 10-core Intel Xeon processors. This contrasts with only two 4-core Intel Xeon processors in each NetApp FAS6250 controller. For midsize systems, the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 offers 32 cores, which is double the 16 cores available in the NetApp FAS3250 filer. Each Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 controller is configured with two 8-core Intel Xeon processors compared to the two 4-core Intel Xeon processors in each NetApp FAS3250 controller. The extra CPU power available combined with the Oracle ZFS Storage OS8 operating system in Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances enables the appliances to perform complex processing for compression, deduplication, real-time DTrace Analytics, and other data services without slowing down I/O throughput. Up to 4x Faster Link Bandwidth Interconnect speed is also important for storage performance because limited bandwidth out of the storage device can become a bottleneck when multiple systems or applications are storing and retrieving data. Oracle is the only leading NAS vendor to support InfiniBand as a storage network interconnect for transferring data to and from network clients. The InfiniBand connection provides Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances up to 40 Gb/sec per port of bandwidth for I/O to application and database servers, a rate that is four times better than what NetApp can achieve with their 10 Gb/sec Ethernet connectivity. InfiniBand connectivity is also crucial when Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances are used to backup Oracle Exadata Database Machines as described in the section below. Fast Streaming Data and Backup Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances have been designed from the ground up to excel at both IOPS intensive workloads and streaming workloads. One of the most critical requirements for I/O throughput is for backup and recovery of Oracle Exadata Database Machines where Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances use their more powerful controller architecture and direct connection to the Exadata system s InfiniBand fabric to achieve over 25 TB/hr of backup and 15 TB/hr of restore performance. This results in shorter backup windows and excellent recovery point objectives (RPOs). The all Oracle solution also offers substantially lower TCO in addition to the significant price-performance advantage that Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances have over NetApp (see pricing section). Enterprises interested in backup as the primary application for their storage purchase should consider Oracle's Sun ZFS Backup Appliance, which provides an integrated, high-performance backup and recovery solution for Oracle s engineered systems. More information about the Sun ZFS Backup Appliance is available at 11

14 128 KB Block Size Dwarfs NetApp s 4 KB Limit 7 for Block Protocols in Sequential I/O Applications Another factor that affects I/O performance is the block size for block protocol reads and writes. The bigger block size of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances enables greater throughput for sequential I/O. NetApp has a fixed 4 KB block size, which slows performance for block sequential I/O by adding overhead for processing more blocks of data. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances offer a variable block size that can be up to 128 KB bytes. The fact that Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances offer a block size that is variable allows administrators to tune their environment by selecting a large block size if the primary application uses sequential I/O, or a smaller block size if the emphasis is on achieving higher duplication ratios for improved storage efficiency. 13x Larger Memory and 1.5x to 6x Larger L2 Cache for Performance Acceleration Both Oracle and NetApp appliances include a method of performance acceleration that leverages DRAM as an L1 cache, and a flash-based L2 cache to drive greater I/O throughput. However, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances support much larger memory and cache, which means there is a higher probability that requested data will be in cache or memory for faster data access and thus faster application performance. These DRAM and L2 cache size differences are important because I/O performance can be dramatically improved if data is read from or written to DRAM or SSDs rather than hard disk drives. The NetApp FAS3250 can hold a maximum of 40 GB of main memory in dual-controller system and a two-node NetApp FAS6250 system can hold a maximum of 144 GB of main memory. By contrast the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 supports up to 512 GB of main memory and the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 supports 2 TB. Thus the Oracle ZFS Storage appliances have roughly 13x the main memory capacity of their corresponding NetApp systems. For flash-based L2 cache, Oracle supports up to 12.8 TB of read-optimized SSDs in all Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance models. This is more than 1.5x the maximum flash cache in the NetApp FAS6250 (8TB) and more than 6x of the maximum flash cache in the NetApp FAS3250 (2TB). 8 Advanced Data Optimization Sophisticated file system algorithms on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances enhance client read and write performance by pre-staging data into memory (DRAM) and flash cache as well as writing new data into write-optimized SSDs when available. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances utilize Hybrid Storage Pools (HSPs) to automate performance acceleration and take advantage of the appliances large read and write cache areas. HSPs continuously monitor data usage patterns to determine whether and how to 7 Source: IBM System Storage N series Software Guide, pp 30. Published October Accessed at on October 31, Source: NetApp Flash Cache 2 data sheet at 12

15 use the different storage media on the appliance. The flash cache (sometimes called L2 cache) is comprised of read-optimized SSDs that are populated based on an intelligent algorithm. The algorithm not only takes into account the most recently used data but also intelligently predicts which data has a high probability of reuse and places this hot data in the read-optimized SSDs as well. With HSPs, as much as 85 percent of I/O is dynamically served from DRAM. Write I/O performance also benefits from write-optimized SSDs when they are available. The write-optimized SSDs act as a low latency data store to improve throughput by enabling writes to be committed to disk at a later time. This fast write I/O performance in turn, improves overall business performance and productivity. Not all types of write I/O benefit from a solid-state write cache. Administrators can tune application I/O on a per-share basis to optimally use write cache. When using Oracle Database 12c, the Oracle Database instance dynamically and automatically advises the ZFS Storage Appliance on the most effective use of write cache. (See Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol for Oracle Database 12c. ) Lower Costs for Meeting Growing Storage Needs Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances are more cost-effective than NetApp filers for a variety of reasons. Lower initial purchase price The following subsection provides a list price comparison showing 66 percent savings over a similarly configured NetApp FAS3250 solution and 49% percent savings over a similarly configured NetApp FAS6250 solution. Reducing storage purchases By using industry leading Hybrid Columnar Compression with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances, customers using data warehousing, OLTP and mixed-use Oracle Database environments can reduce their storage footprint and acquisition costs as further described in the later subsection on storage efficiency. By reducing physical storage requirements, customers will also reduce floorspace, power and cooling requirements. Handling larger loads The increased performance and greater storage efficiency offered by Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances mean that customers do not need to purchase a larger system to meet greater I/O throughput requirements or to store more data. Meeting performance and capacity requirements with a smaller storage system also yields additional savings in data center space, power, and cooling costs. Reducing annual software maintenance fees Because most data services are included in Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances, software license fees are often greatly reduced compared to NetApp. (See Avoid Up to 10x Higher NetApp Software Licenses ). Since software maintenance fees are usually a percentage of the original license fees, the difference in original software license fees is also likely to result in lower annual software maintenance costs. 13

16 Reducing administration costs An Edison Group study described in the later section titled, Easier to Manage, states that better management efficiency translates directly into reduced storage administration expenses of approximately 36 percent compared to NetApp filers. 9 Avoiding integration costs Because the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance is pre-integrated with a number of Oracle solutions and is fully tested with other Oracle hardware and software, the time and cost for on-site integration and testing can be reduced. List Price Comparison Table 3 shows undiscounted list prices for comparably configured Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances and NetApp filers. 10 The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 system is approximately one-third the cost of the NetApp FAS3250, offering a 66% savings. Similarly, the Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 system offers a 49% percent savings over the NetApp FAS6250 system. The prices shown in the table are for hardware only and do not include any storage software licenses. Software license costs will add further to this pricing disparity when comparing storage systems to be deployed in a heterogeneous environment that has requirements such as network access via NFS protocol, Fibre Channel connectivity, remote replication, or the ability to restore from snapshots. The following subsection describes how software license fees can be significantly higher for NetApp systems than for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances. TABLE 3. LIST PRICE COMPARISON HARDWARE LIST PRICE ORACLE ADVANTAGE Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 1 $268,306 NetApp FAS $785,682 66% Savings Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 3 $487,738 NetApp FAS $955,100 49% Savings 1 The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-2 configuration includes two controllers with a total of 512 GB DRAM, four 8-core CPUs, 584 GB of write-optimized SSDs, and eight disk shelves with 172 x 900 GB 10,000 RPM SAS-2 drives, yielding 155 TB of capacity. 2 The NetApp FAS3250 configuration includes two controllers with a total of 40 GB RAM and four 4-core CPUs. It includes 14 disk shelves with 336 x 450 GB 15,000 RPM SAS-2 drives for a total of 151 TB of capacity. 3 The Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 configuration includes two controllers with a total of 2 TB DRAM and eight 10-core CPUs. It also includes 20 disk shelves with 472 x 300 GB 15,000 RPM SAS-2 drives and 584 GB of write-optimized SSDs, yielding a total of 142 TB of capacity. 4 The NetApp FAS6250 configuration includes two controllers with a total of 144 GB RAM, 2 TB Flash Cache (PAM II), and four 4-core CPUs. It includes 14 disk shelves with 312 x 450 GB 15,000 RPM SAS-2 drives for a total of 151 TB of capacity. 9 Gaining Business Advantage through Storage Management Efficiency with Oracle s Sun ZFS Storage Appliance." Edison Group, February NetApp pricing is based on NetApp State of New York List Price, June 7, The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance pricing is based on Oracle list prices as of September 10,

17 Avoid Up to 10x Higher NetApp Software Licenses Oracle has a rich suite of storage software available for integration with Oracle software and hardware environments, and most of the storage software components are included in the base cost of an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. Even Oracle's DTrace Analytics is included at no extra charge. The only items licensed separately are the Remote Replication and Cloning features, and the Oracle Snap Management Utility for Oracle Database. The Remote Replication and Cloning features are priced at $30,000 and $15,000 respectively. The Oracle Snap Management Utility for Oracle Database is priced at $16,500 for an Oracle ZS3-2 system, and $33,000 for the Oracle ZS3-4 system. Thus, the most one could pay in software license fees for a fully configured Oracle ZFS Storage ZS3-4 system is $78,000. By contrast, a fully configured NetApp FAS6250 filer could include more than $850,000 in software license fees. If there is a need to graphically analyze performance data on the storage system, the NetApp software license fees really add up quickly. Performance analysis is included Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances with DTrace Analytics, the industry s first comprehensive and intuitive business analytics environment for storage systems. The most comparable capability from NetApp is their Insight Performance software, which is priced at $350/TB for the first 500 TBs and $322/TB for the next 500 TBs. For an 800 TB FAS node cluster, it would cost $271,600 to purchase the NetApp license for this capability. Table 4 shows the a la carte pricing for NetApp software. 11 Note that prices shown are for two licenses in cases where two licenses are required for a dual-node system. Also note that software prices are much higher for the larger NetApp FAS6250 filer. The first data protocol is included in the cost of a NetApp system and all other items are purchased independently as needed. The last row of Table 4 shows the total cost for customers that need purchase all of the software licenses in the table. There s no need to pay this much for NetApp software. Most of these capabilities are included in Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances at no extra cost. 11 Source: NetApp State of New York List Price, June 7,

18 TABLE 4. NETAPP STORAGE SOFTWARE PRICES NETAPP FAS3250 FAS3250 PRICE NETAPP FAS6250 FAS6250 PRICE PART NUMBER (400 TB SYSTEM)* PART NUMBER (800 TB SYSTEM)* NFS protocol** SW-3250A-NFS $0 SW-6250A-NFS $0 CIFS protocol SW-3250A-CIFS $23,450 SW-6250A-CIFS $77,950 iscsi protocol SW-3250A-ISCSI $23,450 SW-6250A-ISCSI $77,950 Fibre Channel protocol SW-3250A-FCP $23,450 SW-6250A-FCP $77,950 SnapManager SW-3250A- $49,780 SW-6250A- $79,230 SNAPMANAGER SNAPMANAGER SnapManager for Oracle SW-SMO-INC $7,900 SW-SMO-INC $7,900 SnapRestore SW-3250A -SRESTORE $11,060 SW-6250A -SRESTORE $21,090 SnapMirror SW-3250A -SMIRROR $43,690 SW-6250A -SMIRROR $106,130 FlexClone SW-3250A -FLEXCLN $20,570 SW-6250A -FLEXCLN $52,780 Insight Performance SW-INSIGHT- $140,000 SW-INSIGHT- $271,600 PERFORM-TB PERFORM-TB OnCommand Balance SW-3250A-OCBAL $13,330 SW-6250A-CL-OCBAL $28,330 TOTAL (Less first NFS license) $356,680 $800,910 * All prices represent a two-node cluster configuration and are sourced from the NetApp State of New York List Price, June 7, ** NFS protocol price is listed as $0 because the first protocol is included in the cost of NetApp systems. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances Deliver Superior Efficiency to Help Control Rising Storage Costs Storage is often the largest item in IT budgets, making storage efficiency a hot topic. Greater utilization of storage resources decreases storage consumption, which not only reduces capital outlays but can also save on management resources and data center floorspace, power, and cooling costs. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances offer leading storage efficiency, including the following key advantages over NetApp filers: Hybrid Columnar Compression that can achieve 10x to 50x compression. Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol, which provides a communication path between Oracle Database 12c and ZFS Storage Appliances automating the tuning of storage parameters and reducing manual labor by 65%. Highly efficient storage for development and test environments through the use of virtually unlimited, space-efficient snapshots and clones that support full system operation on compressed data. 16

19 These features enable a comprehensive approach to maximizing storage utilization to help control rising costs. 10x to 50x Compression with Oracle s Unique Hybrid Columnar Compression Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances are the only NAS systems to support Hybrid Columnar Compression for efficiently storing and accessing data in read-oriented Oracle Database environments. Data warehouses are the most common use case for this capability, but it also can be utilized in OLTP and mixed-use environments where database archives are required for business or regulatory reasons. Hybrid Columnar Compression can achieve a 10x to 50x compression ratio. NetApp filers do not support Hybrid Columnar Compression, so customers who are currently running read-oriented Oracle Database environments with NetApp NAS devices can see an immediate 3x to 5x reduction in their storage footprint by migrating to Oracle ZFS Storage appliances. Furthermore, the Hybrid Columnar Compression format is also used to transfer data to the database server so customers will see the full 10x to 50x reduction in I/O traffic and reduced memory utilization for these databases on their servers. Because of this, Hybrid Columnar Compression also enables faster query response. Figure 6 highlight test results for compression ratios and query times from a sample of Oracle customers in retail, financial, and telco environments. The tests were performed using Oracle Database with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances and showed up an average of 12x compression ratio, and an average of 5x faster queries. Hybrid Columnar Compression has been demonstrated to increase performance for most data warehouse and data protection workloads. Figure 6. Hybrid Columnar Compression available only with Oracle storage. Flexible File Compression in Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Software Not all workloads are the same and different compression algorithms will work better for different workloads. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance software includes more compression algorithms than NetApp systems, allowing administrators to choose the compression algorithm best suited for their particular application environment. The best way to determine the effect of compression for a given 17

20 application environment is to run tests with actual data using various kinds of compression, and then observe the results on disk utilization and application performance. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance software provides built-in compression that can help reduce the amount of space required to store user data. This in turn increases the effective storage capacity available to applications. Having compression built into the file system (as opposed to deploying an appliance between the client application and storage) not only simplifies the management of complex storage architectures, but can also help minimize the impact on application performance. In addition, there are some cases in which compression can improve system performance due to the fact that compression results in fewer bytes of data, and therefore less I/O traffic to and from disks. Compression typically provides good results for unstructured data in a file sharing environment, often yielding as much as 50 percent or more savings in storage space as opposed to non-compressed data. The four levels of compression available in Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances include: LZJB (fastest) GZIP-2 (fast) GZIP (default) GZIP-9 (best compression) These compression options give administrators the opportunity to flexibly tailor the compression approach for different workloads, enabling optimization of workload performance and space efficiency. More Efficient Oracle Database Clones for Development and Test Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances greatly simplify the process of replicating the database for development and test purposes and also offer features that help conserve storage space when multiple copies of data are required. In many cases, multiple clones are required because there are many development and test activities associated with large production systems. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances make it affordable for developers to have their own copies of the database using the cloning feature on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances. To establish multiple copies of the full Oracle Database for development and test purposes, a full backup of the production database is first created and stored on an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance using Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN). If desired, this backup copy can be kept current by using RMAN Incrementally Applied Backups to apply updates on a continuous basis. The full database backup on the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance can then be cloned as many times as needed for development and test environments. The cloning feature of the appliance stores only changed data, thus allowing developers to each utilize their own copy of the database without requiring much physical storage space. An important advantage of using Oracle storage for these cloned databases is that Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances can provide full system operation on cloned data while preserving the space savings provided by Oracle's Hybrid Columnar Compression. Oracle storage systems enable snapshots of 18

21 compressed database tables to be cloned without decompression overhead, and then used in the compressed format for development, test, quality assurance, reporting, etc. By contrast, NetApp storage systems require that this data be decompressed before its secondary use because Hybrid Columnar Compression is not supported on third party storage systems. This will result in a 10x to 50x greater storage capacity requirement for the database tables that were compressed using Hybrid Columnar Compression. Easier to Manage Many organizations are realizing that the rate of growth of their data is such that old approaches to managing the data are no longer viable. Today s enterprises need tools that simplify storage management so administrators can manage larger volumes of data and do it more efficiently. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances are co-engineered with Oracle Database to fully automate the storage management processes and greatly reduce administration and provisioning effort. Another important capability for storage management is visibility into performance issues and data usage patterns. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances give administrators a big edge over NetApp administrators by providing visibility and analytics that are unmatched in the industry. The subsections below describe the features and technical advantages of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances and these are contrasted with NetApp s limitations that complicate management of NetApp filers. Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol for Oracle Database 12c With Oracle Database 12c, Oracle has made further advancements in how Oracle storage and Oracle Database work together. Oracle Database 12c communicates critical tuning parameters to Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances, allowing the storage to automatically configure itself for efficient performance. The combined solution greatly simplifies the process of tuning the database and storage environment for enhanced performance. Since many of the storage management processes for Oracle Database 12c have now been automated, storage tuning steps can be reduced by more than 65 percent. Many organizations that have previously deployed Oracle Database with a NetApp storage environment can reap the benefits of reassigning their storage management specialists to other strategic projects because of the reduced workload. This not only helps reduce administration costs but also helps address the current shortage of skill and experience in storage management. Browser User Interface (BUI) and Real-Time Dashboard Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances come with an elegantly simple to use graphical browser user interface (BUI) that gives administrators access to storage management with the rapid familiarity of a point-and-click browser user interface. A real-time dashboard (Figure 7) acts as an administrative home page from which all administration tasks can be initiated. The dashboard provides continuous monitoring of key performance metrics as well as a real-time feed of relevant alerts. Administrators can use the dashboard for at-a-glance usage statistics or as an entry point for running more-advanced 19

22 DTrace Analytics that show detailed usage statistics. An easy-to-learn command-line interface (CLI) can also be used for scripting, including remote access using the SSH protocol for security. Figure 7. The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance real-time dashboard helps simplify management. Third-party Confirmation of Management Efficiency The intuitive management interface on Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances enables administrators to accomplish many administrative tasks with fewer steps than are required for NetApp filer management. A study by Edison Group confirmed that Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances could be managed more efficiently than comparable NetApp filers and could also offer faster deployment and easier troubleshooting. The Edison Group study identified the following advantages for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances 12 : 36 percent faster for provisioning and configuring Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance storage pools and connectivity 36 percent faster for administrative tasks using BUI and provisioning wizard. 12 Oracle s Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Comparative Management Costs Study." Edison Group, August

23 44 percent faster to monitor and troubleshoot issues using DTrace Analytics NetApp Limitations That Complicate Management There are several limitations with NetApp filers that complicate administration and management. Some key issues and their ramifications include: RAID levels supported are not as robust as Oracle RAID levels NetApp does not support RAID 10, which offers the highest level of performance with drive redundancy. Figure 8 highlights the differences in RAID levels supported by Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances versus NetApp filers. Figure 8. Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance RAID levels vs. NetApp RAID levels. Aggregate sizes are limited to 70 TB for FAS3250 and 100 TB for FAS6250. When using Aggregates, administrators cannot create file systems larger than 105 TB on NetApp FAS3250 filers nor more than 100 TB on NetApp FAS6250 filers. On the NetApp FAS3250, the maximum volume size is further limited to 70 TB. 13 By contrast, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances use the 128-bit Oracle Solaris ZFS file system, which provides 1.8 * (18 quintillion) times more capacity than even 64-bit file systems. Limited observability makes performance tuning much more difficult. NetApp Insight Performance software is much more limited than Oracle s DTrace Analytics and does not offer detailed visibility into NetApp storage system s behavior and performance. DTrace Analytics enables administrators to find out what operations are impacting storage performance and 13 Source: NetApp FAS3200 series tech specs at and NetApp FAS6200 series tech specs at 21

24 which client host systems or applications are involved. When tracing a performance issue, administrators can use DTrace Analytics to identify which database or application is causing the issue, what server it resides on, and even a specific VM on that server. This level of visibility is not possible with NetApp Insight Performance. Better Management Visibility with DTrace Analytics Because NetApp s management interface does not provide detailed visibility into storage systems and I/O traffic patterns, enterprises trying to optimize storage performance must use a trial and error process that often leads to subpar results. Many are forced to seek the help of NetApp service engineers to pinpoint bottlenecks and identify remedies for improved performance. When service level issues arise, data logs are commonly sent to a NetApp service engineer for analysis, a process that can take hours or days rather than the few minutes it can take to pinpoint issues with Oracle s DTrace Analytics software. DTrace Analytics provides the industry s first comprehensive and intuitive business analytics environment for storage systems. It uses built-in instrumentation to provide real-time visibility throughout the data path, empowering administrators to act quickly to identify performance issues and perform in-depth analysis of key storage subsystems. Graphical displays of performance and utilization statistics can be used to pinpoint bottlenecks and optimize storage performance and capacity usage all while systems continue running in production. Figure 9 shows an example of the kind of data that can be visualized with DTrace Analytics. The top part of the screen shows NFS operations per second broken down by client. This kind of detail makes it easy to identify peak usage periods and also provides insight into which clients are putting the heaviest load on the storage system. The bottom part of the screen shows network I/O coming in and going out of the storage system, giving administrators a chance to see how the storage system is responding in terms of total throughput. 22

25 Figure 9. DTrace Analytics screenshot showing real-time storage performance statistics. DTrace Analytics provides many ways to view performance information. Administrators can drill down into the I/O traffic patterns from applications running on different systems to find the source of performance issues (Figure 10). This level of observability is an industry first and enables administrators to identify application bottlenecks that might previously have gone undetected. Figure 10. Administrators can use DTrace Analytics to drill down into the storage system s statistics. Not only does DTrace Analytics give administrators the tools they need to respond to issues and maintain SLAs but it also enables them to proactively manage the environment by providing answers for questions such as: How do write-optimized and read-optimized SSDs help specific storage workloads? Are CPU, memory, or networking causing bottlenecks? What is the read/write/metadata mix of a particular workload? How do configuration and application changes affect the storage system? 23

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