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.

$2 Million Cancelled

by Brian Morin 22. July 2014 08:52

CHRISTUS Health cancelled a $2 Million order.

Just before they pulled the trigger on a $2 Million storage purchase to improve the performance of their electronic health records application (MEDITECH®), they evaluated V-locity® I/O reduction software.

We actually heard the story first hand from the NetApp® reseller in the deal at a UBM Xchange conference. He thought he had closed the $2 Million deal only to find out that CHRISTUS was doing some testing with V-locity. After getting the news that the storage order would not be placed, he met us at Xchange to find out more about V-locity since "this V-locity stuff is for real."

After an initial conversation with anyone about V-locity, the first response is generally the same – skepticism. Can software alone really accelerate the applications in my virtual environment? Since we are conditioned to think only new hardware upgrades can solve performance bottlenecks, organizations end up with spiraling data center costs without any other option except to throw more hardware at the problem.

CHRISTUS Health, like many others, approached us with the same skepticism. But after virtualizing 70+ servers for their EHR application, they noticed a severe performance hit from the “I/O blender” effect. They needed a solution to solve the problem, not just more hardware to medicate the problem on the backend.

Since V-locity comes with an embedded performance benchmark that provides the I/O profile of any VM workload, it makes it easy to see a before/after comparison in real-world environments.

After evaluation, not only did CHRISTUS realize they were able to double their medical records performance, but after trying V-locity on their batch billing job, they dropped a painful 20 hour job down to 12 hours.

In addition to performance gains, V-locity also provides a special benefit to MEDITECH users by eliminating excessive file fragmentation that can cause the File Attribute List (FAL) to reach its size limit and degrade performance further or even threaten availability.

Tom Swearingen, the manager of Infrastructure Services at CHRISTUS Health said it best. "We are constantly scrutinizing our budget, so anything that helps us avoid buying more storage hardware for performance or host-related infrastructure is a huge benefit."

Read the full case study – CHRISTUS Health Doubles Electronic Health Record Performance with V-locity I/O Reduction Software

V-locity version 5 – The Director’s Cut

by Brian Morin 5. March 2014 07:08

As you know, we just released V-locity version 5. Here’s the director’s cut.

We committed a slew of engineers to several months of development to build an enterprise-class management console for V-locity. In a world where a couple developers with a few pizzas can create a robust app from scratch in 6 weeks, that represents a lot of apps!

Our previous management console didn’t scale beyond 500 nodes and didn’t play well with modern environments that span geographic locations with a hybrid of virtual and physical servers while provisioning some workloads to the cloud.

That meant a console needed to be built that has the ability to auto-detect the most complex environments and batch deploy V-locity in seconds. A management console that is aware of the new world order of hybrid environments – virtual, physical, cloud – and deploy and manage to all from a single point.

Customers asked for flexible pricing models whether it be volume perpetual licenses or site licenses or even subscription, and so we listened. They asked for I/O performance management that delivers insight into the anatomy of I/O behavior on all their workloads from virtual server (or physical server) to storage to help take the guesswork out of performance troubleshooting. Customers wanted to be able to set up alerts based on workload thresholds. They asked for a console that could validate V-locity before/after performance across workloads and have ongoing performance validation for continued ROI transparency.

So we built it. The whole enchilada.

Typically, when the baton is handed to marketing, the first two questions are almost always the same – “What do we call it?” and “What do we charge for it?”

When you commit engineering resource the size of a small island, the very first temptation is to productize, to monetize, to ROI-ize what you put in because there is a cost to building products.

Then again, this wasn’t really a stand-alone product, but rather a big enhancement to an existing product.

A lot of companies charge for that enhancement. Many of you have purchased hardware or software products, only to find a separate line item and SKU for the management software itself to manage the product you purchased – the never ending high tech rabbit hole of monetization where you buy cars but batteries and steering and tires are not included.

As my daughter tells me, “Dad, everyone does it.” So, in our initial brainstorming session, we kicked around the idea of doing it too. But when it came down to it, we agreed it’s not in the core tenet of our business model to disrupt.

V-locity provides performance at 1/10th the cost of the hardware alternative. That’s disruption. And in that spirit of disruption, we decided against productizing and charging for the management console.

It’s bundled with V-locity and available for free to every V-locity customer under maintenance. No extra charge required. No extra hardware required.

What is unnecessary I/O? Why does it exist?

by Brian Morin 5. November 2013 07:09

Modern IT infrastructures deal with enough I/O traffic as it is. The last thing they need is unnecessary I/O.

It's no surprise that IT struggles with performance problems caused by the tidal wave of data that travels back and forth across the infrastructure in the form of read and write I/O. Organizations that have virtualized find themselves in the position of trading more and more costs to the storage backend to keep up with I/O demand. The negative impact that virtualization has had on the storage layer is felt, that’s for sure, but it isn’t well understood.

With the proliferation of multiple VMs accessing the same bytes of data and the nature of the “I/O blender effect” that further randomizes I/O streams from multiple VMs before funneling down to storage, a large amount of I/O cycles are completely unnecessary. In a world where organizations are already crushed under the weight of I/O demand, the last thing they need from their IT infrastructure is lost cycles spent processing unnecessary I/O.

Even though this random I/O chaos can be easily prevented in the virtual machine layer before it ever leaves the gates, organizations continue to invest in more hardware to battle an increasingly complex problem.

Check out this new paper from IDG, Eliminate the Unnecessary: Unnecessary I/O and its Impact on Performance. You'll understand unnecessary I/O, why it matters, and how getting rid of it will solve performance problems—overnight—without more hardware.

Tags: , , ,

Big Data | Cloud | IntelliMemory | IntelliWrite | SAN | virtualization | V-Locity | VMware

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