Xangati Storage Solution Brief. Optimizing Virtual Infrastructure Storage Systems with Xangati

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1 Optimizing Virtual Infrastructure Storage Systems with Xangati

2 Virtualized infrastructures are comprised of servers, switches, storage systems and client devices. Of the four, storage systems are the most challenging to correctly size, configure and operate. That s why IT Administrators managing large, complex virtual and cloud environments rely on Xangati to provide actionable insights around the storage systems in their environment and the entire end-to-end infrastructure. Traditional rotating media storage systems are great at large sequential access patterns such as backup/restore or bulk data storage in 128KB or 1MB blocks; but they are poor at delivering random 8KB read or write IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second), which hypervisors require. Flash storage delivers tremendous IOPS, at a higher cost per GB, but that sometimes moves the choke point to the SAN (Storage Area Network) itself, be it one or more Fibre Channel, GbE or 10GbE links. Hybrid storage promises to offer the best of both worlds, IOPS and cost-effective storage capacity, but the algorithms that govern the caching policy from disk to flash vary in their effects. This highly-variable complexity drives the need for a tool that can allow IT Administrators to work smarter and faster at quickly and effectively identifying areas requiring attention. In a VMware environment, datastores are VMFS (Virtual Machine File System) volumes residing on a SAN storage system connected via Fibre Channel, iscsi (Internet Small Computer System Interface) or FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) or on locally attached disks; or a directory on an NFS (Network File System)-based NAS (Network-Attached Storage). Hyper-V calls its datastores NTFS volumes (New Technology File System) which reside on a SAN storage system connected via Fibre Channel, iscsi or FCoE or on locally attached disks; or a directory on an SMB3-based NAS. Xangati collects metrics on the IOPS, throughput and latency of each datastore as well as the number of hypervisors and guest VMs using each. But, why is this so important? 2

3 Xangati Performance Analysis of Hypervisor Datastores The hypervisors are the customers of the storage systems. Therefore, if the IOPS, latency or throughputs are not sufficient, the next place to look is at the storage system itself. Each storage system vendor has tools to report on their metrics, but it is a separate tool that may only be for use by storage administrators. To aid the IT administrator -- who is in charge of keeping the virtual machines, desktops and applications, running smoothly -- Xangati has implemented deep integration into NetApp storage systems in 7-mode that shows the IOPS, throughput and latency that NetApp is delivering to the hypervisors. Additionally, data on NFS or CIFS (Common Internet File System) shares, iscsi or Fibre Channel LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) and CPU utilization and overall network bitrates are collected. 3

4 Xangati Performance Analysis of NetApp Storage System Whereas IOPS, throughput and latency are measured at the data store (reported by the hypervisor) or at the storage system, there are some guidelines that you can use to optimize storage devices in the virtualized environment. The choke point for a storage system is on the network interfaces through which storage talks to the controllers that perform the read/write transactions, the disks ability to deliver I/O, and/or the flash s ability to cache and deliver I/O. System shares, iscsi or Fibre Channel LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) and CPU utilization and overall network bitrates are collected. Xangati metrics collected from datastores and NetApp storage systems in 7- mode 4

5 Here Are Some Best Practices to Keep in Mind: THROUGHPUT Throughput (MB/s) becomes the limiting factor in backups, restores and other bulk data transfers. Large sequential accesses, like 128KB to 1MB reads or writes usually yield higher throughput than small random 8KB reads or writes. If throughput is insufficient, the bottleneck could be the controllers in the storage system or the network interfaces into the storage system. The CPU utilization metrics on the storage system s controllers are a good indicator of possible problem area(s). If CPU utilization is low, then the network interfaces should be beefed up. For example, you may choose to either put in 10GbE or 8Gb FC, or trunk additional 1/10GbE lines. IOPS In a highly virtualized environment, the random 8KB read and write operations per second (IOPS) required by the hypervisors often stresses the storage system especially if it uses rotating media. If IOPS are insufficient, it is usually not a networking issue, though it could be. Teaming additional 1GbE lines will not improve IOPS only throughput. Consider placing some flash into the storage system, which will cache the hot blocks on demand, dramatically and cost-effectively increasing IOPS. LATENCY Latency generally has an inverse relationship to IOPS the lower the latencies, the higher the IOPS. Latencies of 10ms are usually considered fine, but as the storage system becomes more heavily loaded or a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) rebuild is in progress, these times can increase by several seconds, which is never acceptable. Usually a flash caching layer does the trick to decrease latencies. Caching hot blocks is far better than caching entire LUNs or sub-luns for a hybrid storage system, as it makes better use of the flash an expensive resource. CONCLUSION Storage system performance is vital to any highly virtualized environment. Xangati measures IOPS, throughput and latency at the hypervisor level (datastores) and at the storage system level itself if it is a NetApp storage system in 7-mode. Combined with second-by-second metrics from the rest of the entire IT infrastructure, Xangati provides unprecedented actionable insight and recommended remediation so IT administrators can avoid lost productivity and ensure a superior end-user experience. 5

6 Xangati Difference Xangati s technology has been developed over a decade with over 10 patents granted or in process. Xangati is focused on delivering service assurance to hybrid cloud workloads and applications in the following fundamentally unique ways: Agentless and extensible data collection from disparate compute, network, storage and application sources Live and continuous visualization of any resource consumption and interaction with second-by-second recording functionality Cross-silo dependency metrics in addition to per-silo consumptive metrics Self-learning and best practice driven predictive analytics for performance contention triage and remediation, and performance-conditioned capacity planning Xangati Infrastructure Performance Management solutions deliver deeper storage analysis and support beyond what hypervisors already provide, which is some visibility into virtualized storage through a hypervisor s abstracted views, which Xangati also visualizes, learns and analyzes. Deep storage support is part of Xangati s unique cross-silo approach. Xangati collates, correlates and analyzes all dependencies between the compute-side notion of datastores with a storage-side notion of LUNs or volumes associated with storage controllers. Storage metrics and associated interactions are retrieved by Xangati more efficiently using storage-specific APIs and protocols. Xangati s highly scalable in-memory architecture, offering 300 times more granular data, delivers on the VI admins strong preference of finer time granularity (1 minute or less) than coarser time granularity (5 minutes or more). Xangati is a leading virtualization performance monitoring and service assurance analytics innovator serving complex virtualized data centers and hybrid cloud environments. Over 400 customers among enterprises, government agencies, healthcare organizations, educational systems and cloud managed service providers trust Xangati to gain real-time insights into the performance of their virtual machines, Web applications and virtual desktop infrastructure environments, as well as underlying network, storage and compute components. Xangati management dashboards, built on patented in-memory architecture, provide a live, continuous and interactional view into the entire IT infrastructure with predictive analytics and prescriptive remediation actions. Organizations such as Comcast, British Gas, Colliers, Harvard University and the U.S. Army, have leveraged Xangati to resolve end-user issues more quickly, optimize virtual applications, diagnose root causes of contention storms and assure overall infrastructure health. Xangati is headquartered in Silicon Valley and can be found at Phone: +1 (408) Sales Inquiries: Support: Additional Resources: Fully-Functional 14-Day Free Trial: https://xangati.com/downloads/

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