Condusiv Technologies Blog

Condusiv Technologies Blog

Blogging @Condusiv

The Condusiv blog shares insight into the issues surrounding system and application performance—and how I/O optimization software is breaking new ground in solving those issues.

The Biggest Missed Culprit in SQL Performance Troubleshooting

by Brian Morin 18. February 2015 09:53

"We didn't know how much of our SQL performance was being dampened by the nasty 'I/O blender' effect….."

As it turned out, it was HALF. 

That's right. Their systems were processing HALF as many MB/sec than they should due to the noise of all their VM workloads meeting and mixing at the point of the hypervisor. The first thing the "I/O blender" effect does is tax throughput, so your application performance becomes far more dependent on storage IOPS than it needs to be.

Read the full story how I.B.I.S., Inc. doubled performance of their CRM and ERP by eliminating the I/O
blender effect ->
 

So what is the "I/O blender" effect and how is it taxing application performance? 

The "I/O blender" effect is a phenomena specific to a virtual server environment where the I/O streams from disparate VMs are "funneled" together at the point of the hypervisor before sending out to storage a very random I/O stream that penalizes overall application performance.

Every organization that has virtualized has experienced this pain. They virtualized their applications only to discover mounting I/O pressure on the backend storage infrastructure. This was the unintended consequence of virtualization. Organizations save costs on the compute layer via virtualization only to trade those savings to backend storage where a forklift upgrade is necessary to handle the new random I/O demand.

In the case of I.B.I.S., Inc., their IT Director wanted to look into this problem a little further to see what could be done before reactively buying more storage hardware for improved performance.

"We wanted to try V-locity® I/O reduction software first to see if it could tackle the root cause problem as advertised at the VM level where I/O originates," said Kevin Schmidt, IT Director.

As much as IT departments lack monitoring tools that show exactly how much performance is dampened by the "I/O blender" effect, V-locity comes with an embedded benchmark to give a before/after picture of I/O reduction and demonstrate how much performance is improved by combatting this problem at the Windows operating system layer.

As it turned out, I.B.I.S., Inc.'s heaviest SQL workloads saw a 120% improvement in data throughput. Before V-locity, it took 82,000 I/Os to process 1GB of data. After V-locity, that number was cut to 29,000 I/Os per GB. Due to the increase in I/O density, instead of taking .78 minutes to process 1GB, it now only takes .36 minutes.

"Since we're no longer dealing with so many small split I/Os and random I/O streams, V-locity has enabled our CRM and ERP systems to process twice the amount of data in the same amount of time. The best part is that we didn't have to spend a single dime on expensive new hardware to get that performance," said Schmidt.

Read the full case study ->

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Disruption, Application Performance, IOPS | virtualization | V-Locity

SQL Batch Job Hell

by Brian Morin 1. October 2014 04:16

ASL was in SQL batch job hell.

A regular import of 150 million records into their SQL database would take 27 hours to complete.

ASL’s account team and clients needed access to the most current data immediately, but the 27 hour batch job meant that access would slip a full day of production or even two. That wasn’t acceptable as some clients would hold back business while waiting on new data to come online.

“Typically, IT professionals respond to application performance issues by reactively buying more hardware. Without the luxury of a padded budget, we needed to find a way to improve performance on the hardware infrastructure we already have,” said Ralph Ortiz, IT Manager, ASL Marketing.

ASL upgraded their network to 10GbE and was looking at either a heavy investment in SSD or doing a full rip-and-replace of the SAN architecture before its full lifecycle. Since that kind of hardware investment wasn’t in the budget, they decided to take a look at V-locity® I/O reduction software.

“I was very doubtful that V-locity could improve my I/O performance through a software-only solution. But with nothing to lose, we evaluated V-locity on our SQL servers and were amazed to see that, literally overnight, we doubled throughput from server to storage and cut our SQL batch job times in half,” said Ortiz.

After deploying V-locity, SQL batch jobs that used to take 27 hours to complete now take 12–14 hours to complete. The weekly college database import that used to take 17 hours to complete is now down to 7 hours.

Read the full case study – ASL Doubles Throughput with V-locity I/O Reduction Software

Announcing V-locity version 5

by Robert Woolery 28. February 2014 03:10

 It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” - Bruce Lee

Removing the nonessential is a key element of simplicity and efficiency, yet it is deceptively difficult to accomplish. We need reminding. And then more reminding.

When I get too caught-up in what’s on my desk, in Outlook, on the calendar, I get on the phone with one of our V-locity customers and I remember what we’re doing here. Why I pull into the Condusiv parking lot every day. We hack away at the inessentials, and in doing so, we enable our customers to work better, faster, more efficiently, without buying more hardware to achieve it.

We’re very pleased to announce V-locity version 5. In this release, V-locity is now bundled with the V-locity Management Console, giving IT organizations the visibility, command, and control to optimize applications and maximize users’ efficiency—proactively managing I/O and its impact on performance across the entire environment.

Enterprise-class and cloud-ready, the V-locity Management Console enables seamless deployment and centralized management of V-locity on-premises in a virtual or physical environment, or in the cloud. With central control of assets, configuration, and performance management, admins can deploy V-locity to thousands of VMs and physical servers in just five clicks, manage a large number of licenses, and support various pricing models.

The highlights:

  • Central command and control with web-based management from a single pane of glass across geographic locations
  • Fast, non-disruptive deployment to even the most complex multi-site and hybrid environments
  • Auto-detection of virtual and physical server environments for easy asset and license management
  • Flexible pricing options from site licenses, subscription, or perpetual volume licenses
  • Single solution for virtual and physical servers
  • V-locity alert management with email notifications based on customized I/O performance profiles for any application
  • Ongoing performance validation of V-locity for ROI reporting capabilities


No more needle-in-the-haystack approach to troubleshooting. No more contending with a disjointed view of the environment. No more lack of understanding what’s happening from server to network to storage.

Maybe you’ve virtualized, maybe you’ve gone cloud, maybe you’re using VDI to ease management of so many endpoints… whatever the case—in any of these scenarios—the marketing message is always simplification.

And while simplification might be partly real, each of these strategies comes with an inherent problem: I/O. More and more I/O, which leads to serious performance degradation, more hardware to throw at the problem, increasingly formidable data centers, and more hours spent troubleshooting and stressing out. The root of the problem is I/O.

And V-locity is software that dramatically reduces I/O—literally overnight. And now it comes with the V-locity Management Console to make managing complex environments more efficient than ever.

So today I channel Bruce Lee and his thoughts on simplicity, on hacking away at the inessentials. That’s what we’re doing at Condusiv. That’s the vision of V-locity version 5. Enabling organizations to perform faster, better, simpler, happier.

Learn more about the V-locity version 5 release »

Four Reasons to Migrate from Diskeeper Server to V-locity Server

by Robert Woolery 30. July 2013 08:19

Still on Diskeeper Server? Here’s four reasons to consider migrating to V-locity Server: 

1. High performance. Whereas Diskeeper® Server, highlighted by IntelliWrite® technology, keeps Windows servers running like new, V-locity® Server goes a step beyond split I/O elimination with the inclusion of a server-side caching engine (IntelliMemory) for performance boosts of 50% or more. With frequently-accessed data dynamically cached within available server resources, hot data no longer trudges the full distance from server to storage and back, consuming unnecessary bandwidth.

With IntelliWrite preventing split I/Os on write requests, and IntelliMemory caching active data on reads, this holistic approach to I/O optimization accelerates the entire IT infrastructure since unnecessary I/O traffic is now eliminated before it is pushed through server, network and storage. 
 

2. Network storage. Whereas Diskeeper Server is ideal for local server storage or direct-attached storage (DAS), V-locity Server is designed for network storage (SAN/NAS) since all I/O optimization occurs at the Windows OS layer, leaving the storage device untouched. With IntelliWrite, V-locity Server proactively eliminates split I/Os as close to the application as possible, and by caching active data within available server memory, IntelliMemory eliminates even more unnecessary I/O—preventing I/O traffic from traveling the full distance to storage and back. Since the storage subsystem is now processing considerably less I/O, bottlenecks are eliminated and more bandwidth is available. 

3. Solid-state storage. Already running solid-state in your storage arrays or server PCI-E? V-locity sits at the top of the technology stack at the Windows OS layer so the entire infrastructure—regardless of vendor—reaps the benefit of I/O optimization downstream. V-locity is proactive—meaning it prevents the surplus of unnecessary I/O from ever being created in the first place. This way, your SSD or HDD media isn’t dealing with the I/O mess after it has already wreaked havoc on your environment.

4. Benefit analysis. Unlike Diskeeper, V-locity comes with an embedded performance benchmark that allows users to see the before/after benefit of V-locity in their real-world environment and share the outcome with stakeholders prior to any kind of purchase commitment. This single-page report provides metrics like workload comparison, I/Os per second, latency, and more. 

For high-performance in environments that leverage advanced storage technologies, V-locity Server is the best bet to maximize your existing hardware investment and eliminate performance bottlenecks overnight.

The Ins and Outs of SQL Defragmentation

by Michael 24. August 2010 08:14

IT Pro, Brad McGehee knows SQL, and writes about it frequently. He's even started several websites and blogs dedicated to SQL. A few years ago, he co-authored a paper with me where I discussed fragmentation of the SQL database files (.mdf, .ldf) commonly referred to as external fragmentation, and Brad discussed using DBCC statements to address what is commonly referred to as internal fragmentation.  You can read that article here.

On his current SQL blog, SQL Aloha, he ran a survey asking how DBAs handled internal fragmentation. Here are the results: 

You can read his full post here.

In addition to the script he links to, there are other good third party options out there to address that internal fragmentation including Idera's SQL defrag manager and Norb Technologies SQL Defrag Studio.

PS: while on the subject, here's another recent article on the subject 

 

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