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    What is IBMi Single Level Storage? And Why You Should Care about It?

    Single-level Storage is one of the unique and most attractive architectural features underlying the IBM iSeries server and its other business hardware. But what does it look like to work with a supercomputer or deep learning system?

    It is one of IBM’s crown jewels and can display all volumes – memory, solid-state, and turntable – as a single address space. The OS only sees an extensive set of default addresses (64-bit eligible since 1991 and 48-bit eligible since 1978!). This means system administrators and application developers don’t have to worry about existing storage systems.

    To complete the concept of single-level Storage, IBM iSeries has another valuable mechanism known as integrated storage management. Simply, the storage manager is responsible for the retention of objects on the disk, memory, and handling bits and bytes in the disk. There are many advantages to this unique method of addressing and warehousing. But before moving ahead, let’s get to know in detail about it.

    What is Single-Level Storage?

    Single-level Storage specifies “two-dimensional” levels of “unlimited” computer storage to addresses, pages, or objects. Pages can be in primary Storage (RAM) or secondary Storage (disk). The current location of the address is not essential for processing. IBM iSeries is responsible for finding and processing pages on a computer system rather than a system engineer or programmer. If the page is in primary storage, it will be available immediately. IBMi brings the page to the primary volume if the page is on disk. I/O processes do no explicit secondary storage.

    When the system/38 was being engineered, it was recognized that unexpected changes were taking place in the basic hardware technology. While it doesn’t take a crystal ball to realize that change is inevitable, it would be nice to have someone who can predict the future of storage technology. But as we all know, there is no crystal ball. This reality led to the development of individual-level stores. The main advantage of a single-level storage (SLS) architecture is that it distinguishes top-level code from the storage technology. The technology-independent machine interface is combined with TIMI, SLS and is a crucial design element that has allowed IBMi to take full advantage of new capabilities.

    Single-level storage memory and disk space form a single entity; You do not need to know where your programs or files are stored. You ask for it by name when you enter something, and IBM iSeries will find it automatically. If it is already in memory? Excellent!

    If not, the storage manager component will find it anywhere on disk and store it in memory. You don’t have to worry about where or what type of disk is used. You can easily add additional storage space to your existing disk configuration with a solid-state drive. Disk distributes seamlessly to storage management support systems regardless of their capabilities or technical framework.

    Features of IBMi Single-level Storage

    Let’s have a look at some of the technology features, including integrated storage management with IBMi, including:

    1. You can Optimize the Use of Solid-state Drives

    This capability is an extension of automatic storage management. IBMi can automatically store frequently accessed data on solid-state drives; IBMi manages your Storage with SLS.

    But did you know that with the magic of SLS, you can also get instant benefits of very fast IPL by putting your load source on SSD? Many IBM iSeries customers have gone from spinning discs to solid-state drives entirely. And shortening the IPL time was one of the many benefits.

    2. Facility to Add More Disk Capacity and Automatically Adjust Extra Storage

    It is essential that your data and files are distributed across disk units to reach parallels when accessing that data; You don’t want a single disk unit to be a hindrance. IBMi Storage Manager will do this for you automatically. You already have controls, such as tracking and balance for fine-tuning, but IBMi will take care of it all for you once you’ve configured the environment.

    3. You are Deprived of the Need of Managing the Allotted Space

    On many systems other than iSystems, you will find dedicated storage space for file systems. Once the file system is complete, you will receive errors unless you increase the size of the file system or delete the files to free up space. There may be a lot of space available on the physical disk, but it is not allocated to the specified file system.

    4. IBMi Manages the Physical Location of Objects

    The address translator maps the available physical memory to the actual memory on the drive (either HDD or drive) or the SAN server. IBM iSeries address an object in its own memory space. IBM i “do not know” (or care) that the thing is physically in memory or on a slow disk storage device.

    When implementing Single-level Storage through IBMi, page errors are divided into database errors and non-database errors. Database errors occur when pages linked to a relational database object, such as a table, view, or index, are not currently in primary storage. Non-database mistakes happen when any other type of item is not currently in primary Storage.

    5. IBMi Rarely Forms a Disc Bound

    IBMi treats all secondary volumes as a set of data, unlike a set of multiple file systems, as is the case with UNIX, Microsoft Windows, or Linux systems. IBM iSeries deliberately spreads the pages of all objects on all disks so that objects can be stored and retrieved more quickly. As a result, IBMi servers are rarely disk-bound. Single-level storage operating systems also allow CPU, memory, and disk resources to interchange freely at runtime to eliminate performance bottlenecks.

    6. Single Level Storage Saves your Money

    Because IBM iSeries manages the physical location of objects, you get better performance, but you also don’t need staff to fine-tune your server or improve your file layout. In additionto single-level Storage, you need a database administrator or system engineer to locate your files and restructure the database for optimal performance.

    For 80% of IBMi users in the USA, this results in annual savings of $40K (part-time consultants) to $140,000 (full-time employees).

    IBMi History

    Frank Saltis originally conceived IBM’s design for single-level storage in the late 1970s as a way to create a transitional application for computers with 100% solid-state memory. The idea was that drives would become obsolete and be replaced entirely by some solid-state memory. IBM iSeries is designed for the hardware-independent memory format used for secondary storage. However, this did not happen because solid-state memory has rapidly become cheaper, drives have also become cheaper. The price ratio continues the drive side: much higher capacity than solid-state memory, they have much less access and much less cost.

    Integrative Systems is Here for Your Help

    Hope you have understood the importance of single-level storage. In case you have any queries related to IBM AS400 iSeries or need a modification partner for your software, feel free to connect with Integrative Systems.

    We are 20+ years old company, based out of Chicago, USA. Feel free to share your requirements with us [email protected] and someone from team will get back to you, as soon as possible.

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