1 Lab Validation Report NexGen N5 SPX Hybrid Flash Array Optimizing SQL Server Clusters with End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage By Mike Leone, ESG Lab Analyst, and Kerry Dolan, ESG Lab Analyst February 2015
2 Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 2 Contents Introduction... 3 End-to-end Flash Adoption... 3 NexGen N5 SPX Hybrid Flash Storage... 4 ESG Lab Validation... 5 Ease of Deployment and Management... 5 Performance... 7 Advantages of NexGen N5 SPX ESG Lab Validation Highlights Issues to Consider The Bigger Truth Appendix ESG Lab Reports The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about data center technology products for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Lab reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areas needing improvement. ESG Lab's expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by NexGen Storage. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at
3 Introduction Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 3 This ESG Lab Validation report documents hands-on testing and validation of NexGen s N5 SPX end-to-end flash hybrid storage solution. Testing was designed to confirm the ease of use, manageability, and performance benefits that can be achieved in a clustered Microsoft SQL Server environment with PCIe flash technology at both the storage array and server level. End-to-end Flash Adoption Flash storage has become a staple in the modern data center. This is due not just to the declining prices, but also to the increased number of implementation options. More organizations are finding ideal locations to use flash technology to meet their application requirements. In an ESG survey, nearly half of the respondents reported leveraging flash technology designed to fit in external storage systems. This makes sense considering that it was one of the first flash implementation types leveraged by enterprises. Since that time, flash storage has made its way closer to where the application is run: at the server. This falls in line with the fact that nearly an identical percentage of surveyed end-users reported leveraging the benefits of flash within servers (48%). 1 The reason for flash storage s move closer to the application is primarily due to the application users, who will always want more performance, higher efficiency, and an overall improvement to their application experience. In fact, 62% percent of ESG research s respondent organizations that purchased flash storage reported doing so to address performance concerns associated with a specific business application. And it is not just one type of application that demands the performance benefits of flash technology. When ESG asked which business applications were driving organizations to deploy flash technology, the responses varied widely (see Figure 1), but the one application that stood above the rest was database/oltp applications, which was identified by 52% of respondents as one of the business applications driving their flash storage deployment. 2 Figure 1. Top Six Business Applications Diving Flash Adoption What business application(s) are driving your organization to deploy flash storage? (Percent of respondents, multiple responses accepted) Database/OLTP 52% Financials/ERP Business intelligence/data warehouse/olap 30% 33% High-performance computing (HPC) 27% Supply chain management (SCM) 13% CRM/sales force automation 12% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 1 Source: ESG Research Brief, Solid-state: Not Just for Storage Systems Anymore, December Source: ESG Research Report, Solid-state Storage Market Trends, November 2011.
4 Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 4 NexGen N5 SPX Hybrid Flash Storage NexGen Server Performance Extensions (SPX) is an end-to-end flash storage solution designed for data-intensive and virtualized workloads that require high performance, low latency, and the benefits of shared storage (higher storage utilization, high availability, data protection and centralized management). The integrated solution combines intelligent iomemory and ioturbine server cache for maximum application performance and minimal latency with NexGen flash-first Hybrid Storage, ensuring that both reads and writes gain the benefits of flash performance. Figure 2. NexGen End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage The SPX solution is purchased and supported as a single product offering and includes three key components: Extended iomemory Server Cache: A Fusion iomemory PCIe card is configured in the server, with 3.2TB flash capacity for the two-server application cluster solution. Read workloads are cached to the application server s flash capacity, ensuring extremely fast performance and offloading reads from the storage array. This solution is scalable up to 32 servers each with their own PCIe flash memory. ioturbine Software: With ioturbine software, read workloads are offloaded from the storage array to faster iomemory server-based flash, resulting in improved performance, high application density, and an overall more efficient storage infrastructure. Quality of service and real-time monitoring ensure guaranteed application performance levels. NexGen N5 Hybrid Storage: The NexGen hybrid Flash N5-150 storage appliance used in this particular SPX configuration comes standard with 48TB raw disk capacity and 2.4TB iomemory flash capacity, scalable to 192TB raw disk capacity and 4.8TB of iomemory flash. The high-end NexGen N5 SPX solution comes standard with 64TB raw disk capacity and 10.4TB iomemory flash capacity, scalable to 256TB raw disk capacity and 15.6TB of iomemory flash. Active-active storage processors, each configured with a PCIe Memory card, ensure maximum performance and availability. All write workloads land on flash first and are mirrored between the iomemory cards in the storage processors to ensure high availability. By putting the flash capability on the PCIe bus instead of in a flash disk, NexGen eliminates the potential bottleneck that can occur when storage controllers and protocols are in the data path between the application and the flash memory. SPX starts in a two-server application cluster offering or three-host VMware cluster solution offering, and offers 475K IOs per second(iops). This solution provides organizations with three key capabilities that work seamlessly together to deliver predictable, scalable performance: Control of Performance NexGen N5 SPX speeds application performance differently from other solutions because of its ability to focus flash performance where it is needed with both server-side and shared storage-side flash. Quality of Service (QoS) NexGen N5 SPX provides quality of service, with guaranteed minimum IOPS, throughput, and not-to-exceed latency for each volume that can be monitored in real time. This ensures that performance is predictable by workload. In addition, volumes can be defined as mission-critical, business-critical or non-critical, with service level guarantees attached to each designation. Dynamic Data Placement NexGen uses its QoS engine to move data between flash and disk based on realtime monitoring, ensuring that applications with a higher QoS target get a higher percentage of blocks in flash, while those with a lower QoS setting have more blocks on disk.
5 ESG Lab Validation Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 5 ESG Lab performed hands-on evaluation and testing of NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX at Fusion-io s Data Propulsion Lab facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. Testing was designed to highlight the ease of deployment, manageability, and performance improvements realized when using a NexGen hybrid flash storage solution that leverages end-to-end PCIe flash technology. ESG Lab focused on comparing the performance and cost of NexGen s solution with a traditional SAN architecture with a goal of showing the benefits of strategically utilizing PCIe flash in a clustered, mission-critical SQL Server application environment. Ease of Deployment and Management Testing began by touring NexGen s user interface, which was used to easily configure storage networking, provision storage performance and capacity, and manage application performance. ESG Lab learned about NexGen s quality of service (QoS) that comes standard with every NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX storage solution. The QoS engine is used to ensure minimum application performance for a specific volume by prioritizing I/O within the storage system. This functionality guarantees application performance by monitoring the response time, throughput, and IOPS of the system and isolating individual workloads on the array. Figure 3 shows the NexGen Provision management interface along with the three service level tiers: mission-critical, business-critical, and non-critical. Five policies are predefined and fall within these three service levels. Each of the policies have differing IOPS, bandwidth, and latency targets. Figure 3. NexGen Quality of Service From the NexGen Provision screen where the predefined policies are shown, ESG Lab created a new volume. The new volume utilized Policy 1, which fell within the mission-critical service level, guaranteeing 75,000 IOPS, 750 MB/sec, and less than 10ms latency. ESG Lab specified common volume attributes, such as volume name and size. Also, ESG Lab assigned SQL Cluster as the access group for the volume with a goal of eventually placing a SQL Server database on the 200GB volume. Figure 4. Provisioning NexGen Storage
6 Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 6 After learning the minimal steps required to assign a QoS level and provision a volume, ESG Lab viewed the central NexGen Dashboard. The dashboard consisted of three main areas as shown in Figure 5. Along the left side are icons that help with different configuration tasks. The large tiles in the center of the screen show real-time throughput, IOPS, response time performance and available system head room. Finally, at the very bottom of the screen, system capacity information is shown. Figure 5. NexGen Dashboard Why This Matters With the increasing demands on IT, users have less tolerance for poor application performance. This has led to predictable, scalable performance being a critical concern for IT administrators, especially in environments where a mix of applications share an underlying storage system. As a poor attempt to combat the problem, organizations add more hardware and software to the IT infrastructure or overprovision storage, but with that comes higher costs and increased complexity. ESG Lab has confirmed that being able to provision storage performance by applying a desired performance policy with NexGen was quick and easy. By managing array performance along with capacity, the NexGen array resources can be spread out among multiple mission-critical applications, and is not limited to a single high-iops application as with conventional storage arrays. By utilizing storage array QoS and predefined service levels, performance is guaranteed even in the event of competing application IOPS or a component failure.
7 Performance Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 7 This section of the report presents the results of ESG Lab testing with a goal of showing the performance benefits of NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX solutions compared with a traditional SAN solution that does not leverage flash storage. The differences between server-based flash and flash that resides in the hybrid storage system are examined as well. The goal of this comparison was to first understand how IOPS can be offloaded from the storage system to the server-based flash card. Secondly, ESG Lab wanted to understand the performance gains of servicing IOPS closer to where the application resides on the server. ESG Lab tested three scenarios with the same configuration and utilized as many similar components as possible. Four LUNS were created and presented as NTFS volumes to two servers. The three scenarios ESG Lab tested include: Traditional: SAN attached array with SAS hard drives with no flash. NexGen N5: SAN attached hybrid appliance with SAS drives and PCIe flash NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end flash hybrid storage solution using PCIe iomemory flash and ioturbine software in a pair of servers and a SAN attached NexGen appliance with PCIe iomemory flash and SAS hard drives. 3 Figure 6. ESG Lab Test Bed ESG Lab tested each configuration using two methods. First, Iometer was used to stress each configuration from a pure storage standpoint. Then an OLTP database workload was simulated with SQL Server to show what type of performance a customer could expect in a real-world environment. The industry-standard Iometer tool was used to simulate an OLTP workload, which was configured to generate response-time sensitive database traffic. The workload consisted of a 4KB 100% random workload with a read/write distribution of 67%/33%. Two 10GB file sets were created on each server and the total number of IOPS and response times were measured as the number of outstanding requests increased from one to 128. Figure 7 and Table 1 highlight the Iometer IOPS performance results. 3 Additional details about the test bed can be found in the Appendix.
8 Total IOPS Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 8 Figure 7. Performance Analysis IOPS 100,000 90,000 80,000 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Performance Scalability - Iometer OLTP Simulation (4KB, 100% random, 67% read, 33% write, 2 LUNs per server) Number of oustanding requests per LUN Traditional SAN NexGen N5 NexGen N5 SPX Table 1. Performance Analysis IOPS Number of Outstanding Requests Total Number of IOPS Traditional SAN NexGen N5 NexGen N5 SPX 1 1,765 6,241 8, ,727 18,725 28, ,842 31,208 43, ,877 38,591 52, ,560 45,290 61, ,358 52,696 71, ,170 57,543 81, ,145 62,602 90, ,687 65,652 92, ,371 68,323 93, ,905 68,687 93,038 What the Numbers Mean Three storage scenarios were tested using Iometer and an OLTP simulation was measured as the number of outstanding requests increased from one to 128. The traditional SAN architecture peaked at 16,905 IOPS, while NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX peaked at 68,687 and 93,349 respectively. While the number of outstanding requests increased, NexGen averaged a 3x performance improvement over the traditional architecture. While both NexGen solutions yielded high levels of performance with flash, NexGen N5 SPX with server-side iomemory PCIe flash increased performance by 40% on average compared to NexGen N5.
9 Transactions/sec Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 9 NexGen N5 not only increased the maximum database performance potential of the solution (IOPS), is also delivered a significant boost in response times. As shown in Figure 8, at the peak stress level of 48 outstanding IO requests, NexGen N5 SPX response times were six times faster than the traditional disk-based SAN array. Figure 8. Performance Analysis Latency Latency Analysis - Iometer OLTP Simulation (48 oustanding requests - less is better) Traditional SAN NexGen N5 NexGen N5 SPX 4.2x Faster 6x Faster Average Response Time (ms) For the next phase of performance testing, ESG Lab used an OLTP workload to simulate the activity of thousands of Microsoft SQL Server users. The goal was to demonstrate the performance and scalability of a clustered SQL environment that leverages a NexGen storage solution compared with a traditional architecture with no flash. On each of the two physical servers, two volumes were created: a 200GB database volume and a 200GB log volume. The workload emulated the database activity of users in a typical online brokerage firm as they generated trades, performed account inquiries, and did market research. The workload was composed of ten transaction types with a defined ratio of execution. Four of the transactions performed database updates, and the rest were read only. The workload generated a high level of I/O activity with small access sizes and spent a lot of execution time at the operating system kernel level. Two 15,000-customer databases were configured within each physical server and the number of transactions/sec was monitored as the number of concurrent users increased. The results are summarized in Figure 9 and Table 2. Figure 9. Performance Analysis Transactions/sec 7,000 Performance Scalability - Real-world OLTP Simulation (30,000 user database evenly distributed between two servers) 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1, Number of concurrent users Traditional NexGen N5 NexGen N5 SPX
10 Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 10 Table 2. Performance Analysis Transactions/sec Number of Concurrent Users Total Number of Transactions/sec Traditional SAN NexGen N5 NexGen N5 SPX ,729 1, ,473 3, ,103 5, ,354 5, ,961 5, ,335 6, ,640 6,303 What the Numbers Mean When compared to a traditional SAN, NexGen N5 SPX supports 10X the number of transactions/sec and NexGen N5 9X the number of transactions/sec. Three storage scenarios were tested using a real-world OLTP simulation that utilized a clustered SQL Server environment and the number of transactions/sec was measured as the number of concurrent users increased from two to 72. As the concurrent user count scaled to 24 concurrent users, similar performance and linear scalability was witnessed for both NexGen N5 solutions. NexGen N5 SPX continued to scale linearly past 24 concurrent users and yielded as much as a 30% performance boost over NexGen N5. Why This Matters The performance of a storage infrastructure is critical, particularly one that houses tier-1 application workloads with strict performance requirements. With important business applications like mission-critical transactional databases being a lifeline to the business, more performance is required to satisfy customer needs. Faster, scalable performance means not only improved productivity for those directly impacted, but also improved customer satisfaction and increased revenue. ESG Lab validated that the cost effective efficiency of NexGen s end-to-end flash hybrid approach with PCIe flash at both the server and the storage array provides a dramatic performance boost for a SQL Server workloads compared to traditional disk-based SAN array. Simulated OLTP performance with Iometer showed just less than a 6x performance gain for both IOPS and response times. Also, as a result of localized server caching along with optimization of array-flash to server-flash read/writes, performance increased by more than 12x during higher level OLTP application testing on a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 cluster.
11 Total OLTP Application IOPS Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 11 Advantages of NexGen N5 SPX Both NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX leverage PCIe flash to help accelerate storage performance for mission-critical applications. NexGen N5 has iomemory flash at the storage array level to serve as a flash buffer for everything connected, while NexGen N5 SPX adds server-based PCIe flash cache. By moving flash closer to where the application resides, the IOPS from that specific application can get an even greater performance boost, while offloading IOPS from the storage array. This frees up the storage array and its own PCIe flash to service other applications, while not impacting a mission-critical application like SQL Server. ESG Lab leveraged the performance results from the earlier real-world OLTP testing and analyzed the advantages that could be gained from utilizing the NexGen N5 SPX end-to-end flash solution. The total application IOPS were measured and by using NexGen software, ESG Lab could measure which IOPS occurred on the storage array flash and which occurred on the server-based flash. The goal was to not only understand the overall application IOPS performance improvement with server-based flash cache, but to also understand the number of IOPS that get offloaded from the storage array, helping free up storage array resources to service other applications. The analysis is shown in Figure 10. By utilizing server-based PCIe flash to service a clustered mission-critical SQL Server OLTP application workload, 30% more application level IOPS were delivered with 90% less array IOPS. Figure 10. NexGen N5 SPX End-to-End Flash Performance Advantage The NexGen N5 SPX Advantage 90,000 80,000 70,000 NexGen N5 30% more application IOPS NexGen N5 SPX 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 90% less array IOPS Array IOPS available for servicing additional SQL workloads or other applications Concurrent User Count Array IOPS Server-side IOPS After witnessing the performance advantages that NexGen N5 SPX can offer an organization, ESG Lab next analyzed the cost difference between a traditional SAN, the two NexGen storage solutions, and an all-flash storage array. ESG Lab broke down the total acquisition cost into a commonly viewed metric of $/GB. This was done by converting the capacity of TBs to GBs and dividing the total cost of acquisition by the GB value. The usable capacity in both NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX for this test was set at 33TB, with 2.4TB of flash in the NexGen hybrid appliance and an additional 1.65TB of server-side flash in NexGen N5 SPX. For the traditional SAN, ESG Lab compared three industryleading vendor storage solutions and averaged the estimated cost of acquisition. SSDs were not included in the traditional storage pricing. It s important to note that the flash capacity in the NexGen N5 SPX option is not included in the usable capacity because the server-based PCIe flash is used strictly as cache. The results are shown in Figure 11.
12 $/GB Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 12 Figure 11. NexGen N5 SPX Cost Advantage $25 $20 $/GB Cost of Acquisition Analysis (33TB of usable capacity, 2.4TB of PCI-e server-based flash) $20.27 $15 $10 $5 $3.20 $4.20 $5.24 $0 NexGen N5 NexGen N5 SPX Traditional SAN All-flash Storage Array The first big takeaway from this cost of acquisition analysis is the traditional SAN $/GB compared to both NexGen options, where NexGen is $1-2/GB less. This cost savings, combined with the performance benefits of both NexGen options shows what organizations could gain from leveraging a NexGen N5 hybrid flash appliance or SPX hybrid end-to-end flash solution. The second takeaway focuses more on meeting the same performance requirements with various flash technology approaches. Some organizations are leveraging all-flash storage arrays to meet the performance demands of mission-critical applications, but this approach, from a $/GB standpoint, can be significantly more expensive. With NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX, the performance benefits offered by flash can still be achieved, but at almost five times less the cost than an all-flash storage solution. Why This Matters With growing businesses comes more data, and with more data comes performance challenges, in particular more pressure to make that data available quickly and efficiently. Organizations think that simply throwing more storage at an application to meet the higher performance requirements is the solution, but this approach adds unnecessary management complexity. At a storage array level, flash has gained momentum, but over provisioning and using flash inefficiently can become very costly. By strategically utilizing flash not only at a storage array level, but also at a server level, organizations can realize significant performance benefits, increase storage efficiency, and reduce the storage array footprint, which helps to lower overall costs and obtain a quicker ROI. ESG Lab validated that by utilizing NexGen N5 SPX end-to-end flash solution to service a simulated real-world database workload, storage array IOPS were reduced by up to 90%, while total application IOPS increased by up to 30%. The benefit of this end-to-end flash solution is not only the ability to improve application performance, but also to increase application density. By freeing up the storage array to service other applications without sacrificing the performance of mission-critical applications like SQL Server, higher ROI and lower TCO can be realized. NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX provide organizations with the benefits of flash mixed with traditional disk in a cost-effective, end-to-end hybrid solution at a price point that is hard to beat.
13 Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 13 ESG Lab Validation Highlights Provisioning storage for performance was quick and easy. In just a few mouse clicks, ESG Lab had created a SQL Clustered volume to house an OLTP database and assigned a predefined service level to guarantee mission-critical performance. Using the industry-standard Iometer tool, an OLTP simulation showed performance scalability as the number of outstanding requests increased. ESG Lab witnessed more than a 5x performance improvement from an IOPS standpoint and 6x faster average response times when comparing NexGen s storage solution with a traditional SAN. When simulating a real-world OLTP workload with a SQL cluster, ESG Lab witnessed linear performance scalability and an impressive number of transactions/sec as the number of concurrent users increased. When specifically comparing NexGen N5 with NexGen N5 SPX, ESG Lab witnessed how server-based PCIe flash cache can help accelerate performance, improve application density, and improve the overall efficiency of the storage infrastructure. NexGen N5 SPX yielded up to 30% more application performance, while reducing storage array IOPS by 90%, enabling more consolidation within the storage infrastructure. Based on current pricing, ESG Lab calculated the cost per GB an organization could expect based on cost of acquisition, and found that NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX can cost-effectively meet organization s mission-critical performance requirements while not breaking the bank. Issues to Consider Default server BIOS, operating systems, and application settings were used during ESG Lab testing. As expected, after any testing of this magnitude, analysis of the results indicates that tuning would most likely yield slightly higher absolute results. Given that the goal of this report was not to generate a hero number, ESG Lab is confident that the results presented in this report meet the objective of demonstrating the achievable performance levels of a SQL Clustered OLTP environment. The test results presented in this report are based on benchmarks deployed in a controlled environment. Due to the many variables in each production data center environment, capacity planning and testing in your own environment is recommended. For the real-world OLTP simulation, ESG Lab did not push the NexGen storage system to its limit. A bottleneck occurred at the application and server level. ESG Lab is confident that with more powerful servers and the ability to push more application concurrency, even higher levels of performance could be achieved.
14 The Bigger Truth Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 14 A key objective for any IT administrator is improving application performance to give business users the best possible application experience. This is especially important for mission-critical database applications. Advancements in server and network resources occur regularly, which definitely helps, but as more workloads are added to the infrastructure and leverage the same underlying storage infrastructure, I/O bottlenecks can quickly become a concern. This is due in part to not only the increase in I/O traffic, but also the randomness of I/O. Over purchasing and over provisioning storage is an easy answer to the problem, but doing this with a strict IT budget is becoming impossible. For handling mission-critical performance requirements, such as for an OLTP database application like SQL Server, organizations have started using SSDs, whether as a tier of cache in the external storage system or as a full storage array. These options are expensive, regardless of whether or not flash technology is coming down in price. NexGen has introduced an end-to-end flash solution that addresses the performance problem in two locations. The first way is at the storage array level. Instead of using SSDs, which can become bottlenecked by RAID controller limitations, NexGen N5 uses PCIe flash technology in the array. This creates an architectural leap that can deliver performance that runs at CPU and RAM speeds. The second way NexGen addresses performance problems is by leveraging PCIe flash as a cache on a server where a mission-critical application runs. This not only creates a significant boost to the particular application, but also alleviates potential bottlenecks that could occur on the storage array. By placing PCIe flash in the right place at the right time, mission-critical applications can cost-effectively deliver significant performance improvements while increasing the overall efficiency of the storage infrastructure. The result is a more efficient hybrid shared storage array that will support the performance and capacity needs of other applications. ESG Lab has confirmed that NexGen N5 and NexGen N5 SPX use PCIe flash technology to its maximum effectiveness at both a storage array and server cache level. By being able to easily provision storage performance that can utilize array QoS and predefined service levels, performance was guaranteed even in the event of competing application IOPS or a component failure. Application performance was optimized by combining the fast response times of localized server cache with fast, active-active storage array IOPS. For a real-world clustered SQL Server OLTP environment, ESG Lab witnessed significant performance acceleration of up to 12x when compared with a traditional storage architecture. Even further, when utilizing NexGen N5 SPX server-based PCIe flash compared with NexGen N5, array IOPS were reduced by up to 90% while overall application performance increased by 30%. The cost-effectiveness of NexGen s hybrid storage solutions were validated by calculating the $/GB, costing less than a traditional SAN and significantly less than an all-flash storage array Organizations are turning to server-based cache solutions for database application workloads that demand high performance. NexGen has leveraged its already strong PCIe flash knowledge and architecture at a storage system level and expand it to incorporate servers, too, creating an end-to-end hybrid flash solution that cost effectively improves application density and increases overall storage infrastructure efficiency. If your organization is looking to cost effectively meet the strict performance requirements imposed by business critical application workloads like Microsoft SQL Server, ESG Lab suggests taking a look at NexGen N5 SPX end-to-end hybrid flash storage from NexGen Storage.
15 Appendix Lab Validation: NexGen N5 SPX: End-to-end Flash Hybrid Storage 15 Table 3. ESG Lab Test Bed Software Clustered Servers Windows Server 2012 Database Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Server Traditional SAN NexGen N5 SPX Hardware HP ProLiant DL380 G8 Dual E processors 128GB 1333MHz RAM Two 9-Disk RAID5 Aggregates Two 200GB LUNs per aggregate 15K RPM SAS drives N5-150 Hybrid Flash Array 8-Disk RAID6 Set per Controller Two 200GB LUN s per Controller 7.2K RPM SAS drives 3TB each
Deploying Affordable, High Performance Hybrid Flash Storage for Clustered SQL Server Flash storage adoption has increased in recent years, as organizations have deployed it to support business applications.
SOLUTION BRIEF NexGen N5 for Microsoft SQL Server: Performance, Control and Consolidation Database/OLTP applications today are typically a mission critical component of an organization and outages or delays
Lab Review Report Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Storage Performance and Cost Analysis By Mike Leone, ESG Lab Analyst, and Aviv Kaufmann, ESG Lab Analyst July 2013 Lab Review: Microsoft Windows Server 2012:
Data Center Storage Solutions Enterprise software, appliance and hardware solutions you can trust When it comes to storage, most enterprises seek the same things: predictable performance, trusted reliability
Lab Validation Report Workload Performance Analysis: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V and SQL Server 2012 Virtualizing Tier-1 Application Workloads with Confidence By Mike Leone, ESG Lab Engineer
ESG Lab Review Performance Analysis: Scale-Out File Server Cluster with Windows Server 2012 R2 Date: December 2014 Author: Mike Leone, ESG Lab Analyst Abstract: This ESG Lab review documents the storage
White Paper EMC VFCACHE ACCELERATES ORACLE VFCache extends Flash to the server FAST Suite automates storage placement in the array VNX protects data EMC Solutions Group Abstract This white paper describes
ESG Lab Review CloudByte ElastiStor Date: February 2014 Author: Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst Abstract: This ESG Lab review documents the hands-on evaluation of CloudByte ElastiStor unified storage on
ESG Lab Spotlight PrimaryIO Application Performance Acceleration Date: July 215 Author: Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst Abstract: PrimaryIO Application Performance Acceleration (APA) is designed to provide
Best Practices for Optimizing SQL Server Database Performance with the LSI WarpDrive Acceleration Card Version 1.0 April 2011 DB15-000761-00 Revision History Version and Date Version 1.0, April 2011 Initial
Boost Database Performance with the Cisco UCS Storage Accelerator Performance Brief February 213 Highlights Industry-leading Performance and Scalability Offloading full or partial database structures to
ESG Lab Review HP 3PAR Peer Motion Software Date: December 2011 Authors: Tony Palmer, Sr. ESG lab Analyst and Ajen Johan, ESG Lab Engineer Abstract: This ESG Lab review documents hands-on testing of HP
White Paper EMC XtremSF: Delivering Next Generation Storage Performance for SQL Server Abstract This white paper addresses the challenges currently facing business executives to store and process the growing
MaxDeploy Ready Hyper- Converged Virtualization Solution With SanDisk Fusion iomemory products MaxDeploy Ready products are configured and tested for support with Maxta software- defined storage and with
WITH A FUSION POWERED SQL SERVER 2014 IN-MEMORY OLTP DATABASE 1 W W W. F U S I ON I O.COM Table of Contents Table of Contents... 2 Executive Summary... 3 Introduction: In-Memory Meets iomemory... 4 What
HP SN1000E 16 Gb Fibre Channel HBA Evaluation Evaluation report prepared under contract with Emulex Executive Summary The computing industry is experiencing an increasing demand for storage performance
Data Center Solutions Systems, software and hardware solutions you can trust With over 25 years of storage innovation, SanDisk is a global flash technology leader. At SanDisk, we re expanding the possibilities
ESG Lab Summary Hyper-V R2 SP1 Application Workload Performance Virtualizing SQL Server, SharePoint, and Exchange with Confidence This report presents a summary of Microsoft-commissioned testing of the
White Paper EMC XtremSF: Delivering Next Generation Performance for Oracle Database Abstract This white paper addresses the challenges currently facing business executives to store and process the growing
Evaluation Report: Accelerating SQL Server Database Performance with the Lenovo Storage S3200 SAN Array Evaluation report prepared under contract with Lenovo Executive Summary Even with the price of flash
Leveraging EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) and FAST Cache for SQL Server Enterprise Deployments Applied Technology Abstract This white paper introduces EMC s latest groundbreaking technologies,
1 WWW.FUSIONIO.COM FUSION iocontrol HYBRID STORAGE ARCHITECTURE Contents Contents... 2 1 The Storage I/O and Management Gap... 3 2 Closing the Gap with Fusion-io... 4 2.1 Flash storage, the Right Way...
Optimizing SQL Server Storage Performance with the PowerEdge R720 Choosing the best storage solution for optimal database performance Luis Acosta Solutions Performance Analysis Group Joe Noyola Advanced
Lab Validation Report HP Database Consolidation Appliance for Microsoft SQL Server Accelerating Database Consolidation with Microsoft Hyper-V By Mike Leone, ESG Lab Engineer, and Brian Garrett, ESG Lab
A Diablo Technologies Whitepaper Diablo and VMware TM powering SQL Server TM in Virtual SAN TM May 2015 Ricky Trigalo, Director for Virtualization Solutions Architecture, Diablo Technologies Daniel Beveridge,
Enterprise Strategy Group Getting to the bigger truth. White Paper Direct Scale-out Flash Storage: Data Path Evolution for the Flash Storage Era Apeiron introduces NVMe-based storage innovation designed
Everything you need to know about flash storage performance The unique characteristics of flash make performance validation testing immensely challenging and critically important; follow these best practices
NexGen N5 Hybrid Flash Array with XenDesktop citrix.com/ready Executive Summary NexGen Storage teamed with Citrix to validate a VDI solution that emulates a day in the life of a 750 user Citrix deployment.
SMB Direct for SQL Server and Private Cloud Increased Performance, Higher Scalability and Extreme Resiliency June, 2014 Mellanox Overview Ticker: MLNX Leading provider of high-throughput, low-latency server
SYSTEM X SERVERS SOLUTION BRIEF Maximum performance, minimal risk for data warehousing Microsoft Data Warehouse Fast Track for SQL Server 2014 on System x3850 X6 (95TB) The rapid growth of technology has
EMC Unified Storage for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enabled by EMC CLARiiON and EMC FAST Cache Reference Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published October, 2010 EMC believes the information
White Paper Data Management and Analysis Cisco and Microsoft: Optimal Infrastructure Strategies By Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst February 2015 This ESG White Paper was commissioned by Cisco and is distributed
Converged storage architecture for Oracle RAC based on NVMe SSDs and standard x86 servers White Paper rev. 2015-11-27 2015 FlashGrid Inc. 1 www.flashgrid.io Abstract Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC)
MS Exchange Server Acceleration Maximizing Users in a Virtualized Environment with Flash-Powered Consolidation Allon Cohen, PhD OCZ Technology Group Introduction Microsoft (MS) Exchange Server is one of
ESG Case Study Primatics Financial Delivers SaaS-based Solution Excellence Using EMC s XtremIO Date: March 2015 Authors: Mark Peters, Senior Analyst; Adam DeMattia, Market Research Analyst; and Monya Keane,
Lab Evaluation of NetApp Hybrid Array with Flash Pool Technology Evaluation report prepared under contract with NetApp Introduction As flash storage options proliferate and become accepted in the enterprise,
WHITE PAPER Improve Business Productivity and User Experience with a SanDisk Powered SQL Server 2014 In-Memory OLTP Database 951 SanDisk Drive, Milpitas, CA 95035 www.sandisk.com Table of Contents Executive
openbench Labs Executive Briefing: April 19, 2013 Condusiv s Server Boosts Performance of SQL Server 2012 by 55% Optimizing I/O for Increased Throughput and Reduced Latency on Physical Servers 01 Executive
White Paper EMC s Enterprise Hadoop Solution Isilon Scale-out NAS and Greenplum HD By Julie Lockner, Senior Analyst, and Terri McClure, Senior Analyst February 2012 This ESG White Paper was commissioned
Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V in a Flash Combine Violin s enterprise-class storage arrays with the ease and flexibility of Windows Storage Server in an integrated solution to achieve higher density,
WHITE PAPER All-Flash Arrays Weren t Built for Dynamic Environments. Here s Why... This whitepaper is based on content originally posted at www.frankdenneman.nl 1 Monolithic shared storage architectures
ESG Lab Review EMC MPFSi: Accelerating Network Attached Storage with iscsi A Product Review by ESG Lab May 2006 Authors: Tony Asaro Brian Garrett Copyright 2006, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights
White Paper MS Exchange Server Acceleration Using virtualization to dramatically maximize user experience for Microsoft Exchange Server Allon Cohen, PhD Scott Harlin OCZ Storage Solutions, Inc. A Toshiba
High Performance SQL Server with Storage Center 6.4 All Flash Array Dell Storage November 2013 A Dell Compellent Technical White Paper Revisions Date November 2013 Description Initial release THIS WHITE
Data Center Solutions Systems, software and hardware solutions you can trust With over 25 years of storage innovation, SanDisk is a global flash technology leader. At SanDisk, we re expanding the possibilities
White Paper Driving Big Data with OCZ Enterprise SSDs Part 2: Delivering the Performance and Management Required for Big Data Applications Scott Harlin Published June 2014 OCZ Storage Solutions, Inc. A
Evaluation Report: Database Acceleration with HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 All-flash Storage Evaluation report prepared under contract with HP Executive Summary Solid state storage is transforming the entire
A Forrester Total Economic Impact Study Commissioned By SanDisk Project Director: Dean Davison January 2014 The Total Economic Impact Of FlashSoft TM Software From SanDisk Table Of Contents Executive Summary...
Lab Validation Report Microsoft Hyper-V Scalable, Native Server Virtualization for the Enterprise By Brian Garrett and Mark Bowker September 2009 Lab Validation: Microsoft Hyper-V 2 Contents Introduction...
The Essential Guide to SQL Server Virtualization S p o n s o r e d b y Virtualization in the Enterprise Today most organizations understand the importance of implementing virtualization. Virtualization
SYSTEM X SERVERS SOLUTION BRIEF Minimize cost and risk for data warehousing Microsoft Data Warehouse Fast Track for SQL Server 2014 on System x3850 X6 (55TB) Highlights Improve time to value for your data
Essentials Guide CONSIDERATIONS FOR SELECTING ALL-FLASH STORAGE ARRAYS M ost storage vendors now offer all-flash storage arrays, and many modern organizations recognize the need for these highperformance
EMC Virtual Infrastructure for Microsoft Applications Data Center Solution Enabled by EMC Symmetrix V-Max and Reference Architecture EMC Global Solutions Copyright and Trademark Information Copyright 2009
ESG Lab Analysis Report EMC Symmetrix VMAX Enginuity Version 5875 Virtualizing Tier-1 Applications with Confidence This report presents an analysis of the value of the EMC Enginuity software update for
Field Audit Report Asigra Hybrid Cloud Backup and Recovery Solutions By Brian Garrett with Tony Palmer May, 2009 Field Audit: Asigra Hybrid Cloud Backup and Recovery Solutions 2 Contents Introduction...
The Shortcut Guide to Balancing Storage Costs and Performance with Hybrid Storage sponsored by Dan Sullivan Chapter 1: Advantages of Hybrid Storage... 1 Overview of Flash Deployment in Hybrid Storage Systems...
WHITE PAPER Accelerate the Performance of Virtualized Databases Using PernixData FVP Software Increase SQL Transactions and Minimize Latency with a Flash Hypervisor 1 Virtualization saves substantial time
Technical Paper Performance and Tuning Considerations for SAS on Fusion-io ioscale Flash Storage Release Information Content Version: 1.0 May 2014. Trademarks and Patents SAS Institute Inc., SAS Campus
White Paper The 8Gb Fibre Channel Adapter of Choice in Oracle Environments QLogic s 8Gb Adapters Outperform in Oracle Environments Key Findings For demanding enterprise database applications such as Oracle,
HYBRID STORAGE WITH FASTier ACCELERATION TECHNOLOGY Nexsan s FASTier acceleration technology leverages the power of solid-state to accelerate the performance of the underlying spinning disks by a factor
Using Synology SSD Technology to Enhance System Performance Based on DSM 5.2 Table of Contents Chapter 1: Enterprise Challenges and SSD Cache as Solution Enterprise Challenges... 3 SSD Cache as Solution...
MAXCACHE 3. WHITEPAPER Reduce Latency and Increase Application Performance Up to 44x with Adaptec maxcache 3. SSD Read and Write Caching Solutions Executive Summary Today s data centers and cloud computing
INCREASING EFFICIENCY WITH EASY AND COMPREHENSIVE STORAGE MANAGEMENT UNPRECEDENTED OBSERVABILITY, COST-SAVING PERFORMANCE ACCELERATION, AND SUPERIOR DATA PROTECTION KEY FEATURES Unprecedented observability
ESG Lab Review New VNX2: Real World Benefits for Virtualized NAS Workloads Date: November 2013 Author: Aviv Kaufmann, ESG Lab Analyst and Michael Leone, ESG Lab Analyst Abstract: This ESG Lab review documents
EMC SOLUTION FOR SPLUNK Splunk validation using all-flash EMC XtremIO and EMC Isilon scale-out NAS ABSTRACT This white paper provides details on the validation of functionality and performance of Splunk
White Paper The 8Gb Fibre Channel Adapter of Choice in Microsoft Exchange Environments QLogic Offers Best Performance and Scalability for Microsoft Exchange Workloads Key Findings The QLogic FabricCache
Optimizing Large Arrays with StoneFly Storage Concentrators All trademark names are the property of their respective companies. This publication contains opinions of which are subject to change from time
ioscale: The Holy Grail for Hyperscale The New World of Hyperscale Hyperscale describes new cloud computing deployments where hundreds or thousands of distributed servers support millions of remote, often
white paper Best Practices for Implementing iscsi Storage in a Virtual Server Environment Server virtualization is becoming a no-brainer for any that runs more than one application on servers. Nowadays,
Enterprise Strategy Group Getting to the bigger truth. White Paper Hyperconverged Transformation: Getting the Software-defined Data Center Right By Colm Keegan, ESG Senior Analyst February 2016 This ESG
An Oracle White Paper May 2011 Exadata Smart Flash Cache and the Oracle Exadata Database Machine Exadata Smart Flash Cache... 2 Oracle Database 11g: The First Flash Optimized Database... 2 Exadata Smart
White Paper Enabling Small and Midsize Businesses to Acquire and Retain Customers in an Evolving Digital World By Scott Sinclair, Analyst, Mark Peters, Senior Analyst, and Monya Keane, Research Analyst
Deep Dive on SimpliVity s OmniStack A Technical Whitepaper By Hans De Leenheer and Stephen Foskett August 2013 1 Introduction This paper is an in-depth look at OmniStack, the technology that powers SimpliVity
White Paper Dell Microsoft Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Reference Configuration Performance Results Phase III Performance of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 BI and D/W Solutions on Dell PowerEdge
Implementing Cirrus Data Solutions DCS SAN Caching Appliance With the Seagate Nytro Technology Paper Authored by Rick Stehno, Principal Database Engineer, Seagate Introduction Supporting high transaction
Lab Validation Report Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V R2 SP1 Performance Analysis Virtualizing Tier-1 Application Workloads with Confidence By Brian Garrett June 2011 Lab Validation: Microsoft
Running Oracle s PeopleSoft Human Capital Management on Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 O R A C L E W H I T E P A P E R L A S T U P D A T E D J U N E 2 0 15 Table of Contents Fully Integrated Hardware and Software
Microsoft Windows Server in a Flash Combine Violin s enterprise-class storage with the ease and flexibility of Windows Storage Server in an integrated solution so you can achieve higher performance and
Lab Validation Report Unified Windows Storage Consolidation NetApp Windows Consolidation in Virtual Server Environments By Brian Garrett August 2010 Lab Validation: Unified Windows Storage Consolidation
WHITE PAPER Optimizing Virtual Platform Disk Performance Think Faster. Visit us at Condusiv.com Optimizing Virtual Platform Disk Performance 1 The intensified demand for IT network efficiency and lower
Express5800 Scalable Enterprise Server Reference Architecture For NEC PCIe SSD Appliance for Microsoft SQL Server An appliance that significantly improves performance of enterprise systems and large-scale
1 WWW.FUSIONIO.COM WHITE PAPER WHITE PAPER Executive Summary Fusion iovdi is the first desktop- aware solution to virtual desktop infrastructure. Its software- defined approach uniquely combines the economics
Technical White Paper Report Technical Report Benchmarking Hadoop & HBase on Violin Harnessing Big Data Analytics at the Speed of Memory Version 1.0 Abstract The purpose of benchmarking is to show advantages