Building a Business Case for Decoupling Storage Performance from Capacity

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1 WHITE PAPER Building a Business Case for Decoupling Storage Performance from Capacity A Cost/Benefit Analysis of PernixData FVP Software 1

2 Maximizing Storage Infrastructure Companies of all sizes want to maximize their IT infrastructure investment by virtualizing strategic business applications. However, this often comes at a cost. An increase in Virtual Machines (VMs) can stress shared storage infrastructures, causing I/O bottlenecks that hurt application performance. The traditional solution to this problem - buying more storage hardware in the form of more disks or new Flash - presents several challenges. Upgrading or replacing a SAN can be quite disruptive as storage must be taken offline during the installation and configuration process. In addition, the SAN is too far away from the applications/hosts, minimizing potential performance gains. Perhaps more importantly, buying capacity to get performance often results in wasted money. Solving Performance Problems More Efficiently There is a better way to address storage performance problems. Flash Hypervisor software, like PernixData FVP, aggregates server-side Flash to accelerate reads and writes to primary storage. This allows IT administrators to scale storage performance independent of capacity, and without modifying existing applications or storage. This provides the following key benefits: 1x faster application performance. By accelerating reads and writes in server-side Flash, FVP accelerates storage I/O where it has the most impact, on the host where the application resides. On average, this delivers 1x faster response times, lowering VM latency from milliseconds to microseconds. Lower I/O latency means faster application response time, which leads to more efficient business operations. Reducing latency is perhaps the most critical benefit of a Flash Hypervisor, but it is also the hardest aspect to quantify the ROI and therefore it will not be explored further in this paper. Flash Hypervisor Advantages: 1x faster application performance Substantially more IOPS at a fraction of the cost More capacity at a lower price Decreased software license costs Increased VM density and minimized server hardware Substantially more IOPS at a fraction of the cost. A Flash Hypervisor delivers true scaleout storage performance, growing IOPS cost effectively with your virtual infrastructure. When FVP is used in conjunction with a single $ SSD, you can get approximately 5, IOPS. In comparison, a $1, SAN delivers the same 5, IOPS. Need more performance? Just add another inexpensive flash device and you have doubled your IOPS. It s that easy, and that cost effective. More capacity at a lower price. Since storage performance is coming from the server tier, you can optimize the SAN for capacity and data services. This means you can use less expensive, higher capacity drives in your SAN, lowering your cost per GB. Decreased software license costs. Storage performance at the server tier also means that VMs can be larger and more robust. As the VM gets bigger and can process more information, the required number of application licenses is reduced. Increased VM density and minimized server hardware. Increasing storage performance at the server means more VMs can be run on the host, increasing VM density and decreasing the need for additional servers. As stated above, the only viable alternative to increasing storage performance with a Flash Hypervisor and server-side Flash is to buy more storage capacity. This can be achieved in two ways: upgrade your existing array or purchase a brand new array. Both of these situations are examined in more detail below. 2

3 Improving the Performance of Existing SANs SANs are great for storage capacity and data services, but are not optimized for storage performance. The last thing you want to do is replace your existing SAN just to get more storage performance. So, your natural inclination may be to upgrade your SAN to get the additional performance you need. However, as the data below shows, an upgrade to the SAN is not needed to solve the core storage performance issue. A Flash Hypervisor solution extends the life of your existing array by delivering substantially more IOPS and significantly reducing the load on the SAN. Regional Law Firm Grows VDI Deployment A law firm in Pennsylvania needed more IOPS to support VDI and other critical applications. They looked at three options to alleviate their current performance problems and provide some additional room for growth, ultimately proving that a Flash Hypervisor delivered the best performance at the lowest cost. Option 3: Upgrade SAN with New Shelf of SAS Drives Upgrade SAN with New Shelf of SSDs Complement SAN with PernixData FVP + Server-side SSDs Price $, $5, $2, Up to 9% lower cost IOPS 3,7 9,, Up to 32x more IOPS $1.21 SAN Upgrade with SAS Drives $.72 SAN Upgrade with SSDs 95x Better $.17 PernixData FVP + Server-side SSDs Additional Benefit of Deploying PernixData FVP VDI deployment able to grow due to additional IOPS (deployment had stopped due to storage performance) 3

4 Health Services Administrator Lowers Latency for VMware Horizon View A healthcare company in Alaska was seeing significant wait times when users powered-on their Horizon View VMs. Boot times were so long that users went to get a cup of coffee and complained to the IT team. The company also wanted to upgrade to VMware Horizon View 5.3 but was concerned it would create additional performance issues due to the increased I/O resources required by 5.3. They compared an upgrade to their iscsi storage array vs. PernixData FVP. They found they could reduce wait times considerably at a lower price point with PernixData. Upgrade SAN with New Shelf of SSDs Complement SAN with PernixData FVP + PCIe Flash Price $5, $38, 2% lower cost IOPS 1,, x more IOPS $5. 5x Better $.17. SAN Upgrade with SSDs PernixData FVP + PCIe Flash Additional Benefits of Deploying PernixData FVP FVP supporting 7 VMware Horizon View desktops across 3K square miles VDI boot times reduced from 5 to 8 seconds (82% drop in latency)

5 Regional Bank Accelerates Citrix XenDesktop VMs When a regional bank in the Southeastern United States first tried VDI in a small proof of concept, everything performed great. However, as they grew their Citrix XenDesktop user base, application latency became unacceptable, resulting in numerous user complaints. When they explored options for getting more IOPS, they discovered PernixData FVP provides so many IOPS that their VDI deployment is now future proofed. Upgrade SAN with New Shelf of SAS Drives Complement SAN with PernixData FVP + Server-side SSDs Price $1, $17, 83% lower cost IOPS,8 3, 2x more IOPS 22 $ x Better $. SAN Upgrade with SAS Drives PernixData FVP + Server-side SSDs Additional Benefits of PernixData FVP Citrix XenDesktop latency dropped below. ms 1K IOPS per desktop, future-proofing the VDI environment MS SQL Server data cube analysis finishing in 3 minutes (previously couldn t complete in hour window) On a cost per IOPS basis, PernixData customers are getting 1 to 5x better value compared to upgrading their SAN, and getting up to 2x more IOPS, making it the clear choice from a cost, performance and value standpoint. 5

6 Optimizing the Purchase of a New SAN Sometimes it is necessary to purchase a new SAN. In this situation, it is worthwhile to explore how a Flash Hypervisor can substantially expand your options and allow for a more cost-efficient purchase. Because a Flash Hypervisor decouples storage performance from capacity, you can chose a SAN that delivers the most capacity at the best price. The amount of IOPS delivered by the SAN has less importance as storage performance is delivered from server-side flash, resulting in substantially more IOPS than can be achieved by a SAN alone, while providing greater capacity. From a value standpoint, this is a win-win situation. Healthcare Provider Architects Storage for Growth A healthcare company based in the South was preparing to dramatically increase the volume of claims processed daily. They were concerned they didn t have the storage performance or the capacity to keep up with the demand, so they looked at replacing their SAN. Their reseller proposed two solutions: purchase a new high-end SAN (with storage performance dependent on capacity) or buy a mid-range SAN with PernixData FVP. Based on the analysis, selecting the PernixData is a better value and an easy decision. High-end SAN with a Mix of Disk and Flash Mid-range SAN + PernixData FVP + Serverside SSDs Price $1,331, $8, 51% lower cost Usable Capacity (TB) % more capacity IOPS 1, 29, x more IOPS $32. x Better $ x Better $ COST PER GB US DOLLARS $2. IOPS GB High-End SAN with Mix of Disk and Flash Mid-Range SAN + PernixData FVP + Server-side SSDs

7 Additional Benefit of PernixData FVP Additional capacity and performance to complete 7% more transactions within current hour window for processing all claims The PernixData FVP option is less expensive on both a cost per IOPS and cost per GB basis, providing a more cost-effective solution for both additional performance and capacity. Summary The business case for deploying a Flash Hypervisor is clear. PernixData FVP software with server-side Flash, delivers substantially more performance at a fraction of the cost of a SAN alone. This helps avoid or delay SAN upgrades, or reduces the cost of SAN hardware when a replacement is required. In addition to the cost savings, you get substantially more IOPS, which results in better application performance and lower server hardware and software costs. Copyright 213 PernixData, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. PernixData, FVP, Flash Hypervisor and Flash Cluster are trademarks of PernixData, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other brands, products, marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks or service marks of, and are used to identify, products or services of their respective owners. 7

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