Manual Tuning IBM System X Servers for Performance

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Core features Inherent to its design, XIV features: Workload balancing - The workload is evenly distributed over all hardware components at all times. All disks and modules are used equally, regardless of access patterns.


  1. System x Enterprise Servers;
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Pseudo-random distribution ensures consistent load-balancing even after adding, deleting, or resizing volumes, as well as adding or removing hardware. This balancing of all data on all system components eliminates the possibility of a hotspot being created. True virtualization - Unlike other system architectures, storage virtualization is inherent to the basic principles of the XIV Storage System design.

Physical drives and their locations are hidden from the user, which dramatically simplifies storage configuration.

Performance Optimization and Tuning Techniques for IBM Processors, including IBM POWER8 [Book]

With the XIV, you no longer decide or plan which type of data protection to use for storing data or plan how many drives you need to dedicate for a specific application. Just allocate the needed storage capacity and the system does the rest. Storage administrators can to respond to growing storage needs in minutes instead of hours or days with traditional storage systems.

Ease of management - Ease of management that goes below the surface, with a virtualized architecture, highly intuitive GUI, and clever implementation of role based management all add up to create a streamlined user experience with less administration. Fast rebuild - The XIV rebuild times are extremely fast due to the fact that it keeps track of what blocks contain data and only rebuilds these blocks.

Storage efficiency The following XIV characteristics contribute to storage efficiency Efficient capacity usage - Capacity utilization functionality, including space-reclamation for virtualized environments, space-efficient snapshots, and advanced thin provisioning, helps support savings in capacity and cost with less administration requirements. High-density storage - Enterprise-class, high density SAS disk drives create increased physical space efficiencies. The ability to store so much data in one system using fewer, large capacity drives, as well as the use of multi-core processors, can help to reduce power and cooling expenses for a more energy efficient solution.

Lenovo IBM 2810114 7825283

IBM XIV multi-tenancy allows secure isolation into domains of XIV storage resources among numerous tenants, with the ability of setting different quality of service QoS levels per domain. It enables the division of storage system administration tasks into logical domains, using role-based permissions. It also enables rapid deployments while minimizing the need for extensive planning, tuning or field-upgrades.

The ability to pay for functionality when it is required enables cloud providers to tailor services to customer needs even more cost-effectively. Management The highly intuitive XIV GUI and built-in management tools make administrative tasks easy and efficient, with little training or expertise required, from provisioning volumes to monitoring multiple systems. A simple and intuitive GUI enables storage administrators to manage and monitor all system aspects easily, with almost no learning curve.

The XIV TOP application allows the user to view and monitor performance information for defined volumes and hosts in real time. It can be used in a shell environment for interactive commands or as part of a script to perform lengthy or complex tasks.


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  • The mobile dashboard gives the user another way to monitor performance and capacity as well as receiving alert notifications from the XIV Storage System. IBM Hyper-Scale includes the following features: Hyper-Scale Manager - reduces operational complexity and enhances capacity planning through integrated management for large and multi-site XIV deployments.

    The Hyper-Scale Manager runs on a single instance of a virtual machine server or on several servers.

    Tuning IBM System X Servers for Performance

    Figure 5 illustrates how the Hyper-Scale Manager allows a storage administrator to work with volumes from multiple systems, in this case to create cross systems snapshots. Figure 5 - Hyper-Scale Manager Hyper-Scale Mobility - a powerful function that allows the user to move volumes between storage systems transparently, with no disruption to host applications. It is only available with Gen3 systems. Hyper-Scale Consistency - Cross system consistency or snapshot groups enables a coordinated creation of snapshots for inter-dependent consistency groups on multiple systems.


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    • Business Continuity The XIV Storage System provides a rich set of copy services functions suited for various data protection scenarios, and enables clients to enhance their business continuance and data migration capabilities. Synchronous mirroring is a data replication solution to use between two storage systems and which achieves a recovery point objective RPO of zero with a distance of less than km. In synchronous mirroring, a host write operation is completed on both the local and remote sites before an acknowledgement is returned to the host.

      Synchronous mirroring ensures local and remote always have the same copy of data for a zero RPO. Asynchronous mirroring is designed for a non-zero RPO at greater distances. Part 4 introduces the performance monitoring tools that are available to users of System x servers.

      Part 5 shows you how to analyze your system to find performance bottlenecks, and what to do to eliminate them. Some knowledge of servers is required.

      Skills in performance tuning are not assumed. Part 1.

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      Introduction Chapter 1. Introduction to this book Chapter 2. Understanding server types Chapter 3. Performance benchmarks for servers Part 2. Server subsystems Chapter 4. Introduction to hardware technology Chapter 5.

      Energy efficiency Chapter 6. Processors and cache subsystem Chapter 7. Virtualization hardware assists Chapter 8. Future articles will cover network and the use of logical volume manager. It's important to have this kind of structure for a successful measurement-and-tuning process. Too often, administrators miss or skip some of the steps. For the purposes of this article, it's assumed they're being followed.

      Changing the default boot mode will remove the xWindows console, which uses memory and processor for no good reason. Any time you want to use xWindows, you can still bring up an X session. For words to know, see "Terminology". Jaqui Lynch is an independent consultant, focusing on enterprise architecture, performance and delivery on Power Systems with AIX and Linux.