Oracle Ties Sun ZFS Storage Into Oracle Software

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Oracle has integrated its software into the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance line for a new generation of the systems that also doubles storage capacity and triples processing power, the company said on Monday at Oracle OpenWorld.

The appliances use a hybrid storage architecture that incorporates both hard disk drives and SSDs (solid-state drives) in order to ensure fast access to data. In the new generation, they are also integrated with Oracle's database, applications, Fusion Middleware, Oracle Linux and Solaris operating systems and Oracle VM, in order to provide high performance in enterprise business systems, Oracle said in a press release.

Sun's ZFS storage line has long been built around standard Intel processors with both SSDs and spinning disks, an architecture the company has said can balance performance with cost. Its ZFS (Zettabyte File System) is designed to provide detailed information about the use of the platform.

ZFS was a prize from Sun's storage division, one of the company's smaller divisions, when Oracle acquired Sun earlier this year, according to some industry observers. Oracle is now tying the products of that acquisition to its own offerings in the quest to build highly integrated data-center platforms. It positioned the ZFS Storage Appliance line as part of its portfolio for cloud infrastructure. On stage on Monday at OpenWorld, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison embraced the "cloud" terminology he had once dismissed, calling Oracle's Exalogic Elastic Cloud "one big, honkin' cloud."

Three new data protection offerings for Oracle Applications, included in the new generation of the ZFS Storage Appliance line, are among the fruits of the new integration. Oracle RMAN (Recovery Manager) optimizes backup, Oracle Database Cloning boosts database performance using Oracle Data Guard, and the Oracle Fusion Middleware is designed to simplify disaster recovery, the company said.

The ZFS Storage Appliances include in-line deduplication and compression, which takes place as data is transferred. Oracle claims this can increase storage efficiency by as much as 90 percent. Deduplication eliminates unnecessary duplicate bits to reduce the amount of storage space required. The appliances also make use of DTrace Analytics software for storage analytics.

The systems can connect with other data-center resources using all major protocols, Oracle said. These include InfiniBand, Fibre Channel, iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface), NFS (Network File System) and CIFS (Common Internet File System).

The four new models of Sun ZFS Storage Appliances range in configuration from one with just 12T bytes to systems that can include more than 1P byte of storage capacity. Most of the new products will ship within 30 days, but Oracle did not provide pricing or other availability details on Monday.

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