Business white paper

Get the most out of the all-flash data center with HPE Gen6 Fibre Channel

Introduction

Enterprises are increasingly recognizing the benefits of investing in all-flash storage not just for the most demanding, performance- and latency-sensitive applications, but for use with all types of production data and business-critical applications. In addition to the well-known performance benefits and operational savings offered by flash storage as compared to spinning-disk, the dramatic increase in I/O throughput and reduction in latency also improves host server CPU efficiency, which can produce dramatic cost savings for software licensing linked to server CPU and core counts. With such a strong correlation between storage performance increases and licensing cost savings, it makes sense that ensuring the realization of maximum performance gains in reality - not just in theory - should be a priority for any new flash storage deployment. Doing so would certainly seem prudent if the goal is to ensure full economic benefit and return on flash storage investment.
To maximize the performance value of their flash storage investment, users must look not just at the storage, but also at the choice of connectivity to the host servers. HPE StoreFabric Gen6 Fibre Channel features 32 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) connectivity that the SAN performance of HPE 3PAR StoreServ All-Flash Storage, even when connecting at speeds below the 32 Gbps maximum data rate. In addition to faster throughput speeds and increased inputs/outputs per second (IOPS), Gen6 Fibre Channel provides enhanced monitoring and diagnostics capabilities available in HPE StoreFabric Power Pack+ Software that provide visibility into network latency levels and IOPS to the Virtual Machine (VM) level. These functions ensure not only the fast and consistent performance that Fibre Channel provides, but also greater visibility into SAN network performance to prevent a wide range of issues from impacting operations.

Why HPE StoreFabric Gen6 Fibre Channel for Flash?

Getting the maximum value out of the low-latency, high-throughput designs of all-flash and flash-enhanced hybrid storage designs requires both fast connectivity and consistency of performance through highly deterministic data delivery. Benchmark testing with simulated workloads show that faster SAN network speeds improve the overall ability of flash storage to maximize IOPS, even if the storage connectivity speed is less than the maximum network throughput. Integrating a flash array with 8 Gb Fibre Channel connectivity into a Gen6 storage fabric with 32 Gb connectivity to HPE ProLiant DL Gen9 family of servers, for example, enables the completion of up to four times more queries in the same time.