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Oracle® on FlashArray//X: Scalable, Efficient and Fast

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A great number of applications driving the enterprise are running on top of an Oracle® database. These applications, and the users that count on them, expect rapid response times. Pure Storage FlashArray//M accelerates operational databases and data warehouse solutions, through low-latency, high Input/output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and high throughput with minimum rack space usage and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

So, you might ask yourself what is left? Is it possible to reduce latency even more and gain additional performance? The answer is yes.

Meet the next radical innovation from Pure Storage: FlashArray//X. The first mainstream 100% Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) enterprise all-flash array designed for the cloud era.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.23.22 PMPure Storage has been using a software defined approach to connect flash. But there are always going to be choke points in the input/output (I/O) path from the application to the media.  The primary bottleneck has been the protocols (SAS, SCSI, SATA, et cetera) used to address storage on SSD.

SAS (based on the SCSI command set) and SATA (based on the ATA command set) are historic protocols developed for mechanical media. They do not have the characteristics to take advantage of the benefits of flash media.

So, the industry has come up with the NVMe standard. NVMe is a modern communications protocol designed specifically for flash storage systems.

The FlashArray//X is an expansion of the FlashArray product family and includes the following:

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.54.35 PMDirectFlash software – a module inside the Purity platform that uses global flash management at the system level. Typically, this flash management software would run inside each SSD.
  • DirectFlash modules – which use DirectFlash software to connect directly to raw flash. The modules make 100 percent of the flash in it accessible to the FlashArray//X70 Controllers, which enable NVMe communication.

The aim of the technology is to ditch performance bottlenecks that prohibit raw flash from being used and optimized efficiently.

Why is this important? High sustained latency in mission-critical applications can have a nasty compounding effect – for example, if the database can’t write to its redo log fast enough for a single write, everything stalls until that write can complete, then moves on. If this becomes a chronic condition, the user experience will be unacceptable as requests get piled up. FlashArray//X is the answer!

If you’re grappling with performance issues in your Oracle® environment, or simply trying to squeeze more performance out of existing servers, I’d strongly recommend start looking into how FlashArray//X can help you achieve that goal. The performance efficiency achieved by using NVMe will definitely contribute to speed up your Oracle® applications and databases. To learn more visit