EMC zBoost for VMAX Redefines Mainframe Performance Because Microseconds Matter

The adage that time is money is more than just a saying. Whether you’re using your credit card at rush hour, changing a flight minutes before take-off or buying a stock at the market’s opening bell, mere fractions of a second can make a significant financial difference – microseconds can equal millions. At EMC, we store and protect data associated with billions of mainframe transactions a day1 that serve-up your banking, insurance, reservation, investment and other data, and we’re making these transactions even faster with zBoost technology which can significantly improve performance.

zBoost is a free software-only enhancement for VMAX systems. It delivers up to a blazingly fast 60% performance improvement2 and up to 40% lower2 response time for mainframe workloads. zBoost also can improve the response time of VMAX across a wide variety of mainframe workloads.

zBoost achieves these significant improvements by leveraging VMAX’s multicore engines with SMT2 (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) technology as well as 100% zHPF (System z High Performance FICON) functionality. zBoost has the intelligence to reallocate cores of the of the processors within the VMAX’s engines to the FICON connection workloads,  “boosting” FICON performance. As a result, compared to non-zBoost VMAX systems, VMAX 20K and 40K mainframe storage systems with zBoost can support significantly more I/O per processor engine or require less engines for same I/O workload, potentially saving physical space and energy.

In the graph below, we’ve compared the throughput of a single FICON channel with and without zBoost to illustrate just how dramatic this performance improvement can be:

v3 zBoost graph 1 IOPS improvement

zBoost’s I/O response rate benefits can be seen below in this graph of a VMAX 40K workload. Response time improvement varies by workload and can be significant.

v3 zBoost graph 2 response time improvement

zBoost technology does not require any application or hardware changes to your existing VMAX mainframe systems.

zBoost technology is a nocharge upgrade for existing and new VMAX 40K and 20K mainframe customers and is non-disruptively installable. zBoost complements the VMAX’s industry-leading reliability and availability as well, helping you leverage your investment in the world’s premier storage system for the enterprise.

For more detailed insight into the benefits of our latest FICON performance enhancements, download the zBoost whitepaper at: http://www.emc.com/collateral/white-papers/h14023-zboost-vmax-mainframe-performance-enhancements.pdf

1 estimate based on http://www.share.org/p/bl/et/blogaid=234
2 as compared to non-zBoost VMAX DASD performance

About the Author: Fidelma Russo