Accelerating Application Performance on Virtual Machines

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1 Accelerating Application Performance on Virtual Machines...with flash-based caching in the server Published: August 2011 FlashSoft Corporation 155-A W. Moffett Park Dr Sunnyvale, CA copyright 2011 FlashSoft Corporation. Reproduction & Distribution by Permission Only.

2 Summary Since FlashSo- introduced its so-ware for server- 6er caching, numerous tests have shown that s employed as a server- 6er cache can simply and economically eliminate IO latency that inhibits the performance and scalability of enterprise applica6ons. The impact of removing this latency is significant: applica6ons can be accelerated by three to ten 6mes over baseline levels, and workload capacity can increase by 3x or more. While this kind of performance improvement is striking, many organiza6ons now host applica6ons in servers running on virtual machines. For these groups, the obvious ques6on is: can we achieve similar applica6on performance improvements in our virtualized environments? This report shows that the same performance benefits that FlashSo- delivers to applica6ons running on physical servers can be delivered to applica6ons running in virtual machine environments. Performance Test Objectives The performance tes6ng was conducted to demonstrate three key points: 1. On a physical server, using FlashSo- to establish a cache on an installed in the server can remove the IO bolleneck between server and storage, enabling an OLTP workload against MS- SQL Server to be accelerated to more than 3x the baseline performance. 2. FlashSo- can accelerate the same OLTP workload, even in a virtual machine, and the accelera6on is comparable to performance increases demonstrated on physical servers. 3. FlashSo- can use a single (or mul6ple s in RAID configura6on) to accelerate the OLTP workload on mul6ple VMs running on the same physical server, with comparable performance enhancement. How FlashSoft Works FlashSo- SE is so-ware that runs on Windows Server Its primary func6on is to enable any solid state memory device as a cache for hot data in the server. The FlashSo- so-ware is transparent to the server opera6ng system and applica6ons, as well as to underlying storage. To the server OS, the FlashSo- so-ware appears and func6ons like a block- level filter driver. When a flash is installed in the server, FlashSo- will enable it as a read- write cache for the server s data. FlashSo- is typically installed in less than twenty minutes, and once caching is started its opera6on is completely transparent. In typical use cases, caching less than 20% of the total data set on flash will move over 80% of storage IO to the high- performance. copyright 2011 FlashSoft Corporation. Reproduction & Distribution by Permission Only.

3 In the diagram at right, the opera6on of the read- write cache is illustrated. All data pass through the FlashSo- driver in wri6ng to and reading from storage. FlashSo- iden6fies the hot data (for both reads and writes) for caching on the. The red lines indicate read and write opera6ons on the data in the. Some data that is wrilen to the is later flushed to disk to make room on the. Server Application Windows Server FlashSoft The key benefit of a cache for hot data on in the server is faster applica6on performance and greater workload capability. This is because both reads and writes can be executed many 6mes faster - the key to elimina6ng the IO latency that causes most applica6ons greatest performance bolleneck and workload constraint. Implementing FlashSoft for a Virtual Environment Just like the installa6on on a physical server, when FlashSo- is installed on a server running within a virtual machine, it appears to the server opera6ng Application system as a driver in the storage driver stack. However, just like the physical server, within the virtual environment FlashSo- iden6fies the hot data and caches it on the for higher IO performance. Physical Server Virtual Machine Windows Server FlashSoft Hypervisor Virtual Machine Server Application Windows Server FlashSoft VMFS A key difference between the physical server implementa6on and the virtual environment is that the is par66oned and its par66ons are dedicated to the appropriate virtual machine. Testing Configuration The benchmark test used in this research was based on the TPC- C benchmark test, a standard OLTP workload test suite used for evalua6ng database performance. These tests all used the same applica6on test, so the structure of the data set, the mix of queries and commits, and the workloads are the same in each test. However, the test suite is employed strictly for copyright 2011 FlashSoft Corporation. Reproduction & Distribution by Permission Only. 3

4 comparison among these configura6ons. The performance numbers produced in this test should not be interpreted out of the context of this research, e.g. in comparison against other system tests. For our tes6ng, we used a Dell PowerEdge T410 server with 2 sockets, quad- core CPU and hyperthreading enabled, to provide 16 logical processors. The server had a total of 32GB of RAM. In order to deliver the closest apples- to- apples comparison between physical configura6ons and virtualized environments, CPU and memory were allocated equivalently with 8GB of memory and 8CPUs per configura6on (except when explicitly doubled in the second test in part one). The storage subsystem was a Dell MD RAID array with 15 SAS drives, each 146GB and running 15,000 rpm. A single SATA disk on the server was used for the host opera6ng system, either Windows Server or ESXi, depending on the test being run. For configura6ons using ESXi, guest machines were hosted on the same SATA drive. The database data and backup were wrilen to storage via VMFS. The database log was wrilen directly to the SATA disk. Performance Test Results Part One: Accelera-ng applica-on performance on Windows Server In this first set of tests, the test applica6on was run on two server configura6ons: Configuration Baseline Accelerated Acceleration none + FlashSoft Workload 4,500 warehouses 4,500 warehouses Performance 2,909 TpmC 15,375 TpmC FlashSoft Acceleration Multiple: 5.3x By removing the IO bolleneck between server and storage, an OLTP applica6on on MS- SQL can be accelerated to more than 5x over the baseline performance. It s useful to compare the impact of FlashSo- accelera6on to more conven6onal server enhancements, such as doubling the number of CPU cores and working memory. copyright 2011 FlashSoft Corporation. Reproduction & Distribution by Permission Only. 4

5 Baseline 2X CPU & Memory Accelerated 16GB RAM, 16CPU none none + FlashSoft 4,500 warehouses 4,500 warehouses 4,500 warehouses 2,909 TpmC 3,717 TpmC 15,375 TpmC Acceleration Multiple: 1.28x 5.3x As the chart shows, doubling the CPU and memory increased performance by only 28%. Even with half the memory and CPU, FlashSoN accelerated the applica-on by 530%, showing that the key to increased performance for this applica6on lies in removing IO latency, not increasing CPU or memory. Part Two: Accelera-ng applica-on performance on Windows Server running in a VM The second test iden6fies a similar increase in performance if the server is in a virtual machine running on VMware ESXi. Configuration Baseline a virtual machine, allocated Accelerated a virtual machine, allocated Acceleration none + FlashSoft Workload 4,500 warehouses 4,500 warehouses Performance 2,812 TpmC 12,557 TpmC FlashSoft Acceleration Multiple: 4.5x This test showed that FlashSo- can accelerate applica6ons running on Windows Server, even in a virtual machine. What's more, the accelera6on is comparable to the rate of performance increase demonstrated on physical servers. copyright 2011 FlashSoft Corporation. Reproduction & Distribution by Permission Only. 5

6 Part Three: Accelera-ng applica-on performance on instances of Windows Server running in mul-ple VMs on a common host plasorm In the final test, two virtual machines were set up on a single physical server. The was par66oned and shared by the two virtual machines. Configuration Baseline two virtual machines, each allocated 8GB RAM, 8 CPUs Accelerated two virtual machines, each allocated 8GB RAM, 8 CPUs Acceleration none + FlashSoft Workload 4,500 warehouses / VM 4,500 warehouses VM #1 2,731 TpmC 9,562 TpmC VM #2 2,753 TpmC 9,294 TpmC Total 5,484 TpmC 18,857 TpmC FlashSoft Acceleration Multiple: 3.4x for each VM This last test showed that FlashSo- SE can use a single (or mul6ple s in RAID configura6on) to accelerate Windows Server on mul6ple VMs, with significant performance enhancement. Conclusion FlashSo- is known to accelerate the performance of applica6ons running on physical servers. This tes6ng showed that FlashSo- can deliver the similar performance benefits to applica6ons running in virtual machine environments. copyright 2011 FlashSoft Corporation. Reproduction & Distribution by Permission Only. 6

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