EqualLogic PS Series Load Balancers and Tiering, a Look Under the Covers. Keith Swindell Dell Storage Product Planning Manager

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1 EqualLogic PS Series Load Balancers and Tiering, a Look Under the Covers Keith Swindell Dell Storage Product Planning Manager

2 Topics Guiding principles Network load balancing MPIO Capacity load balancing Disk spreading (wide striping) RAID optimizer Free space balancing Automatic Performance Load Balancer Tiered Array Shock absorber Summary

3 EqualLogic Load Balancers: overview and guiding principles 3 3

4 Observations As you raise work on a device, its latency goes up When you overload a device the observed latency will become unacceptable SANs run multiple workloads typically The net effect is the sum of the workloads is an ever growing random I/O workload Workloads change Sometimes we know about it Many times we don t (we react to it) This is resolved by automatically spreading work across available hardware proportionally

5 EqualLogic Load Balancers The NLB (Network Load Balancer) manages the assignment of individual iscsi connections to Ethernet ports on the group members EqualLogic MPIO extends network load balancing end to end host <-> array port The CLB (Capacity Load Balancer) manages the utilization of the disk capacity in the pool Free Space balancing manages dynamic space usage between arrays The APLB (Automatic Performance Load Balancer) manages the distribution of high I/O data within the pool. The Hybrid Array Load Balancer manages the distribution of high I/O data within a hybrid array.

6 Network Load Balancing 6 6

7 Network Load balancer Goal: Interface load is balanced Internal communication is balanced I/O is directed to the most used array Best network paths are preferred

8 Automatic Network Load Balancer Operation Each array port s statistics are analyzed every 6 minutes. All traffic on port is considered: Host access Replication Internal communications (if more than 1 array) Are any of the ports overloaded? Near maximum Large difference in utilization vs. other ports If yes, what is the overloaded port and most eligible connection on that port? Is there a port that is less loaded we can move to? If yes, move the connection to that [array] port* This is done via iscsi commands It is transparent to host Will only make one determination every 6 minutes so that the effect can be taken into account for the next analysis. *In multi-member groups the selection will take into account that a server is doing more I/O to a particular member s data - the connection load balancer will move the connection to that member.

9 Enhanced MPIO effect on network connection load balancing The EqualLogic Host Integration Tools include support for Enhanced MPIO Windows, VMware, and Linux Enhanced MPIO automatically creates additional connections and will send I/Os directly to the member which contains the data requested by the initiator Very helpful in a congested networking environment The network connection load balancer has knowledge built in to communicate with the OS based Enhanced MPIO processes The group and Enhanced MPIO module agree on the optimal connection matrix for best performance Only interface balancing is needed when using the Enhanced MPIO 9

10 Why use EqualLogic Multipathing? It is best practice to run MPIO on your servers Improves reliability of storage access Improves resilience to errors Improves performance EqualLogic MPIO is easier to use than host/os MPIO Automatically manage iscsi sessions Create iscsi sessions based on the SAN configuration to ensure High Availability and maximize I/O performance Sessions automatically raise and lower based on operating needs It comes with the product and does not cost extra. It performs better than host/os MPIO Optimizes network performance and throughput Provides End to end network balancing (rather than array to switch balancing) Route I/O directly to Member which will be servicing it Reduces overall network traffic

11 Other Details Automatic network load balancing iscsi connections are long lived Connections are created by servers, and commonly exist for days/weeks The operations of the network load balancer can be seen in PS GUI or SANHQ you see iscsi connections are spread across multiple arrays & array ports You see event messages for server iscsi logins that are not tied to reboot/restarts In your host MPIO Connection are spread across host ports and array IP addresses Event messages showing iscsi connection being adjusted Some of my hosts have a disruption during network load balancing operations This is not normal, call support Typically a combination of Network errors ( switches not properly setup, Cabling or configuration problem) Server OS settings not properly configured (iscsi settings or MPIO settings)

12 Automatic Capacity Balancer Operation Fit volumes optimally across pool members Spread volume data among the member arrays keeping in use and free space percentages equivalent Goals: Keep capacity balanced within a pool Honor volume RAID preference hints if possible In larger pools (3 or more members) Tries to keep volume on 3 members if larger pool could spread to more if needed Performs automatic R10 preference

13 Automatic Capacity Balancer Operation Details Data within a volumes is first distributed across members via the CLB. The CLB looks at the total amount of volume reserve space This is compared with free space on each member to determine the optimal members that will receive data The collection of volume data that the CLB places on a member make up a volume slice By default, the CLB will strive to create no more than 3 slices per volume This is not a hard limit as a volume can have as many slices as there are members in a pool if required to hold the capacity of the volume

14 Automatic Capacity Balance When does the capacity balancer run? A member Is added or is removed from the group Is merged or moved to another pool Following correction of member free space trouble. A volume is created, deleted, expanded, change in preferences, or bound (bind / unbind in cli) Timer If a balance operation has not run for 36 hours, a timer will start a balance evaluation. An actual balance operation may or may not execute, depending on whether or not the pool is already sufficiently

15 Automatic Capacity Balancer Operation RAID Placement At volume create (or later) an administrator can select a RAID preference for the volume. If the desired RAID type is available in the pool, the CLB will attempt to honor the request After re-calculating for RAID preference, the pool rebalance begins In larger groups (3 members or more) the CLB heuristically determines if RAID-10 would be advantageous for the volume Automatic Performance Load Balancer in many cases renders automatic raid placement obsolete

16 Free Space Balancing In PS groups there are many volume operations that consume and release free space dynamically Volumes grow/shrink thin provisioning (map/unmap) Snapshots space grows/shrinks create / delete, space grows as writes occur to volumes or other snaps Replication recovery points, freeze of data for transmission In multi-member pools, this can cause free space imbalances between members in the pool Data changes more quickly on faster members typically (e.g. consuming snapshot space faster) Free Space balancing adjusts this in background shifting in-use and free pages between members When capacity gets low, the member enters free space trouble state. In worst case scenarios, these imbalances can affect the dynamic operations When in free space trouble state, the load balancer works to more rapidly free space on member that is running low by swapping in use pages for free pages with other members. In groups with > 3 members It may also change the slice layout amongst members

17 Other Details Capacity and Free space balancing Free Space Trouble: Member FST vs. Pool FST Member FST occurs when a member of the group is low on space Pool FST occurs when a pool is low on space. Are there ways I can create more free space in a pool? Yes unmap non-replicated volumes (V6 FW) use snapshot space borrowing (V6) adjust snapshot or replication reserves convert volumes from full to thin provisioned Delete unneeded snapshots (or volumes) Adjust schedule keep counts Add more storage to pool I m seeing a lot of performance issues, yet workloads do not appear very heavy what do I do? Call support Houston we have a problem It may be free space balancing is occurring too frequently If demand for dynamic page allocations is greater than balancing rate, free space can be in short supply on a member Common solution is to increase free space in pool Very high capacity arrays mixed with lower capacity in pool Example PS65x0 with 3TB drives with 6100XV with 146GB disks We adjust the proportions for capacity spread (PS65x0 array capacity is discounted) to prevent the large capacity system from carrying the bulk of the workload

18 18 Automatic Performance Load Balancing

19 Automatic Performance Load Balancer Automatically operates when there are multiple members in a pool APLB is designed to minimize response time for all pool members Arrays are optimized in pool by trading hot and cold data Trigger: significant latency differences between members The APLB operates in near real time Data exchanges occur as frequently as every 2 minutes APLB can adjust the distribution of data and free space as conditions change

20 How does each of the Load Balancers work? Automatic Performance Load Balancer Data Movement Automation is based on the POOL Data is moved through SAN infrastructure Data reside on arrays based on: Capacity balancing Access frequency vs. Array latency Member01 SAN Vol2 Pool Member02 EQL Group Latency: 1020 ms ms Latency: ms ms

21 21 Automatic Performance Load Balancer Data Swapping Algorithm Evaluate member latencies over 2 minute interval Track hot data by fine grain statistics of volume heat by regions If an out of balance condition is detected, select some hot data on the overloaded member and an equal amount of cold data from the same volume on a less loaded member Identify cold member involved in the swap based on member latency and headroom left on the member First choice is assigned (reserved) unallocated data. Second choice is cold allocated in-use data. Swap the data (up to 150MB), wait, re-evaluate the pool, and continue if needed Wait minimum of 2 minutes then re-evaluate

22 Automatic Performance Load Balancer Different array types within Pool (Tiered Pool) 22

23 Member B Member A Observing Automatic Performance Load Balancing Group performance results Latency comes down Avg. IOPs goes up Dell internal testing May Group setup: a single pool containing 3 arrays, PS k (fastest),\ PS6000XV 15k (second fastest) and PS6000E 7k (slowest) Queue depth reduced

24 Other Details Automatic Performance Load Balancing The configuration is multiple members in a pool Single member pools can use hybrid arrays for similar results The algorithm works well with Different disk capacities Different disk speeds Different RAID types (and RAID performance differences) Optimal tiering depends on adequate resources at different tiers SANHQ can help look into operating data If workloads do not optimize over time May be an issue of not enough resources at specific tier Workload is not tiered Technical specialists or support can assist analyzing SANHQ data

25 25 Tiering within an Array

26 How to tier with a single member pool (or group)? Common array models are comprised of a single Disk speed (7200, 10K, 15K, SSD) Are configured as a single RAID type R6, R10, R50 There are models that have multiple disk types 60x0XVS (15K + SSD) 61x0XS (10K + SSD) 65x0ES ( SSD) These are sometimes called hybrid arrays

27 Hybrid Operation Two unique technologies 1 st Balancing Technology: Fast shifting within the array of hot and cold data between HDD and SSD drives Hot data is monitored, and can be quickly shifted from HDD to SSD Balancer can start reacting with 10 seconds of workload shift 2 nd Technology: Write cache extension / accelerator (shock absorber) A portion of SSD is used as a controller write cache extension Dramatically increases the size of the write cache I/Os are later played back to the normal storage The total usable capacity of the storage array is the sum of HDD and SSD (after RAID & shock absorber) Hybrids use exclusively a RAID type call Accelerated R6

28 How does each of the Load Balancers work? Hybrid Arrays Auto-tiering within an array SQL Exchange Archive Oracle Volumes are initially placed on SSD until about 2/3 full, then spread across both SAS and SSD drives Switched Gb Ethernet When data on a volume is frequently accessed it turns hot SQL Exchange Oracle If the hot data is on the HDD, the data will be moved to the SSD drives Pages Storage Pool RAID Disks RAID 6 Accelerated SAS Drives SSD Drives PS Series Array 1 Automatic and transparent load balancing within array

29 Hybrid SANHQ View Hybrid Array SSDs vs. SAS Drives IOPS at workload saturation 80% from SSD 20% from SAS Source: Benefits of Automatic Data Tiering in OLTP Database Environments with Dell EqualLogic Hybrid Arrays, Dell TR-PS002 March 2011

30 Hybrid Operation Multi-tiered VDI workload Server = High-IOPS hot data = Low-IOPS warm data Desktop Linked Clones Volume 1 Switched Gb Ethernet Desktop Linked Clones Volume 2 Gold Image Volume PS61x0XS SSD/HDD Hybrid SSD HDD

31 Hybrid Results with SQL Server Testing conclusions OLTP in production exhibits similar characteristics high % of I/O directed at small % of total dataset EqualLogic hybrid arrays automatically tiers OLTP workloads by intelligently and continuously moving the hot datasets to SSD tier Performance continues to be optimized even as access patterns change Normalized Improvements in Transactions Hybrid SSD Array vs. SAS Array Source: Benefits of Automatic Data Tiering in OLTP Database Environments with Dell EqualLogic Hybrid Arrays, Dell TR-PS002 March 2011

32 Other Details Hybrid Arrays How can I determine if my application needs SSD (or SSD tiering)? SANHQ has displays Group I/O Load Space Distribution Do Hybrid arrays work with other load balancers (APLB, Network, etc.) Yes Hybrid arrays can be mixed in pool with non-hybrid arrays Can I have multiple hybrids in a pool? Yes Can I bind volumes to hybrids? Yes choose RAID preference for Accelerated R6 Can I bind volumes to the SSD in a hybrid? Data placement within a hybrid is done by the load balancer only In current generation Hybrids XS, ES, how many SSDs, how much SSD capacity? 7 SSDs, ~ 2TB of SSD capacity per array Are there all SSD arrays? Yes, 61x0S models

33 33 Summary

34 Summary The various load balancers that work in an EqualLogic PS Series pool provide a flexible, dynamic operations that quickly adapt to the shifting workload requirements. For maximum automatic balancing, pool multiple arrays together Follow Best Practices Keep up to date in firmware Consider V6 FW for latest in load balancing features Array choice & setup Choose RAID types for required reliability Use SANHQ Host setup MPIO and iscsi settings Network setup Switch settings & configuration

35 35 Q&A

36 36 Thank You!

37 Notices & Disclaimers These features are representative of feature areas under development. Nothing in this presentation constitutes a commitment that these features will be available in future products. Feature commitments must not be included in contracts, purchase orders, sales agreements of any kind. Technical feasibility and market demand will affect final delivery. THIS PRESENTATION REQUIRES A DELL NDA AND MAY NOT BE PROVIDED ELECTRONICALLY OR AS HARDCOPY TO CUSTOMERS OR PARTNERS. 37

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