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.

SQL Server Database Performance

by Dawn Richcreek 15. March 2019 07:42

How do I get the most performance from my SQL Server?

SQL Server applications are typically the most I/O intensive applications for any enterprise and thus are prone to suffer performance degradation. Anything a database administrator can do to reduce the amount of I/O necessary to complete a task will increase the server’s performance of the application.

Excess and noisy I/O has typically been found to be the root cause of numerous SQL performance problems such as:SQL Server

  • -SQL query timeouts
  • -SQL crashes
  • -SQL latency
  • -Slow data transfers
  • -Slow or sluggish SQL based-applications
  • -Reports taking too long
  • -Back office batch jobs bleeding over into production hours
  • -User complaints; users having to wait for data

 

Some of the most common actions DBAs often resort to are:

  • -Tuning queries to minimize the amount of data returned.
  • -Adding extra spindles or flash for performance
  • -Increased RAM
  • -Index maintenance to improve read and/or write performance.

 

Most performance degradation is a software problem that can be solved by software

None of these actions will prevent hardware bottlenecks that occur due to the FACT that 30-40% of performance is being robbed by small, fractured, random I/O being generated due to the Windows operating system (that is, any Windows operating system, including Windows 10 or Windows Server 2019).

 

Two Server I/O Inefficiencies



IO StreamAs the storage layer has been logically separated from the compute layer and more systems are being virtualized, Windows handles I/O logically rather than physically which means it breaks down reads and writes to their lowest common denominator, creating tiny, fractured, random I/O that creates a “noisy” environment that becomes even worse in a virtual environment due to the “I/O blender effect”.



IO StreamThis is what a healthy I/O stream SHOULD look like in order to get optimum performance from your hardware infrastructure. With a nice healthy relationship between I/O and data, you get clean contiguous writes and reads with every I/O operation.

 

 

 

 

 

Return Optimum Performance – Solve the Root Cause, Instantly

 

Condusiv®’s patented solutions address root cause performance issues at the point of origin where I/O is created by ensuring large, clean contiguous writes from Windows to eliminate the “death by a thousand cuts” scenario of many small writes and reads that chew up performance. Condusiv solutions electrify performance of windows servers even further with the addition of DRAM caching – using idle, unused DRAM to serve hot reads without creating an issue of memory contention or resource starvation. Condusiv’s “Set It and Forget It” software optimizes both writes and reads to solve your toughest application performance challenges Video: Condusiv I/O Reduction Software Overview.

 

Lab Test Results with V-locity I/O reduction software installed

labtest 

 

Best Practice Tips to Boost SQL Performance with V-locity

 

 

By following the best practices outlined here, users can achieve a 2X or faster boost in MS-SQL performance with Condusiv’s V-locity® I/O reduction software.

-Provision an additional 4-16GB of memory to the SQL Server if you have additional memory to give 

-Cap MS-SQL memory usage, leaving the additional memory for the OS and our software. Note - Condusiv software will leverage whatever is unused by the OS 

-If no additional memory to add, cap SQL memory usage leaving 8GB for the OS and our software Note – This may not achieve 2X gains but will likely boost performance 30-50% as SQL is highly inefficient with its memory usage

-Download and install the software – condusiv.com/try. No SQL code changes needed. No reboot required. Note - Allow 24 hours for algorithms to adjust.

-After a few days in production, pull up the dashboard and look for a 50% reduction in I/O traffic to storage

Note – if offloading less than 50% of I/O traffic, consider adding more memory for the software to leverage and watch the benefit rise on read heavy apps.

Condusiv Introduces Undelete 11, World’s Leading Windows Enterprise Data Protection and Instant Recovery

by Dawn Richcreek 14. January 2019 11:03

Undelete® 11 protects Windows® servers, desktops and laptops from data protection gaps that risk data loss, productivity downtime and money.

 

New Undelete 11, dramatically enhances the capabilities of our industry-leading Undelete series of data protection and recovery software. New functionality in Undelete 11 makes file recovery easier, faster, provides version protection for custom file types as well as cloud support to offer additional protection from security threats like ransomware

 

Undelete Fills Data Protection Gaps

“Help! I just deleted a file from the network drive!” That’s a support call any IT professional knows all too well. “When I hear that organizations are relying only on backups or snapshots or even ‘the cloud’ as a complete data protection solution, I cringe,” says Condusiv CEO James D’Arezzo. “That leaves too many gaps for a modern data center. Undelete fills the gaps and provides a first line of defense since Undelete provides true continuous data protection for easy recovery of individual files. Undelete is tailored for quick recovery of single files that are lost or overwritten.”

 

Traditional data recovery measures such as backups or snapshots, notes D’Arezzo, can require hours to restore a single file, during which time IT personnel are pulled away from more productive activities. Backups, moreover, do not capture changes made since the last backup, so work performed during the time between backups is not recoverable or protected. While snapshots can fill some of these gaps, scheduling constant snapshots and managing space utilization only adds to the system administrator’s workload.

 

Undelete’s Powerful Recovery Bin

With Undelete 11, when a file is deleted—including files deleted or overwritten from shared network folders or deleted by the Windows command prompt—it is automatically captured and stored in the Undelete Recovery Bin. The Server, Professional, and Client editions of Undelete provide access to Recovery Bins on remote computers, allowing IT staff or users (just files they have rights too) to recover deleted files across the network. This makes it unnecessary to search backups or Windows shadow copies when a user accidentally deletes a file from the server. Undelete’s own “Dig Deeper/Emergency Undelete” feature enables the user to search a drive or directory for files that were previously deleted, enabling the restoration of files that were deleted even before Undelete was installed.

 

Undelete Saves the Day

Over 50,000 organizations rely on Undelete for instant file recovery. “We frequently hear customers say, “Undelete Saved the Day!” by being able to recover files they never thought they would be able to get back, and Undelete recovered them instantly,” added D’Arezzo.

 

“Engineers have accidentally deleted very critical files on a network share.  We've been able to quickly find/recover those files.  In addition, the versioning capability has also been very valuable in that we could go back one or two (or more) versions.  It's much better/faster than retrieving from a backup.  Since backups are nightly, the last backup might not even have the file if it were created and deleted on the same day.” Bob Sauers, Senior IT Manager, PCTEST Engineering Laboratory Inc.

 

“We use Undelete so often that almost all of our users know we have it, and count on it, to save them time in recovering files or folders that were accidentally deleted.” John Brigan, Sr Infrastructure Analyst, Marion County Board of County Commissioners

 

“We have a process where our clients 'upload' billing files to us for processing.  Due to PCI compliance we have to receive the file, seamlessly move it to the Secure LAN segment and delete it off the DMZ Web Server.  The successful moving of the file fails when there is a breakdown across the network, for whatever reason, but the Local Delete always works.  So instead of having to call the client and have them re-upload the file, we simply go to Undelete, recover the file and move on.  No company likes to call the customer to ask them to take action to solve an internal technical problem.  Undelete works.” Kem Sisson, President, Money Movers Inc.

 

“Helped us recover CAD files when a large amount was accidentally deleted. Saved us time as we did not have to mount backup drives.” Jeff Hafer, Applications Developer-Systems Administrator, Batesville Tool & Die

 

“We use this tool constantly and has been very vital in several situations where executive staff had been working on a presentation or spreadsheet for an hour or more and somehow deleted it and called our help desk to see if we could recover a file they had just created and accidently deleted it.  The ability to recover that file has been crucial and being able to provide the customer service with immediate results is great.” Steve Lauer, Senior Systems Administrator, Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court

 

New Undelete 11 Features

Recovery Bin – Provides complete file protection by capturing all deleted files, including files deleted from network shares, allowing instant recovery with just a few clicks.

(New) New User Interface – Easy to use, simple to navigate and intuitive – Familiar File Explorer-like interface makes finding and recovering deleted files even easier.

Version Protection for Microsoft Office files – Captures old versions of Microsoft Office files allowing recovery on intermediate versions of documents.

(New) Expanded File Version Protection – File versioning has been expanded to include custom file types in addition to Microsoft Office files such as CAD, Photoshop files, PDFs and more. Simply customize what files types you want to apply version protection to in settings.

(New) Enhanced Search Features – Easy to search for deleted files by multiple criteria. One button search wizard. New capabilities include options to search by a date range, deleted by a particular person or from a specific folder.

(New) Faster Search and Recovery – the speed of search and recovery has been improved.

(New) Cloud Support – The Recovery Bin can now be stored in the cloud using OneDrive and other popular file hosting services for additional protection from security threats like ransomware.

(New) Inclusion List – Provides the ability to customize only specific deleted files, folders or file types to be saved by Undelete.

(New) Drag and Drop – Users can drag and drop files from their local Recovery Bin to a local drive. 

Dig Deeper/Emergency Undelete – Recover files deleted before Undelete was installed.

Secure Delete® – In compliance with corporate governance or governmental regulatory requirements for secure data deletion, securely erase files deleted so they are virtually unrecoverable. Using a bit pattern specified by the National Security Agency (NSA) for the Department of Defense, SecureDelete not only deletes a file but overwrites the disk space the file previously occupied making it virtually impossible for anyone to access. This is an important feature to assist with right to be forgotten provisions in regulations, such as in the GDPR. 

Wipe Free Space – Securely erase free space so remnants of data cannot be recovered.

Supports removable disks such as ZIP drives, Flash or Thumb Drives and Memory Cards

(New) Windows Desktops Themes – Your favorite Desktop Theme is now supported in Undelete Professional edition.


 

Available Undelete Editions

Undelete 11 Server – Protects server files, including those deleted by network clients. Manage Undelete Server and Professional on remote systems.

Undelete 11 Desktop Client – Allows a user on connected laptops, workstations and VMs to recover their own files from Undelete Server recovery bins

Undelete 11 Professional – Protects locally stored files and allows files to be recovered from Undelete Server recovery bins

Undelete 11 Home – Provides comprehensive protection of locally stored files

 

Undelete customers with current maintenance contract: Login to you account to access your Undelete 11 software

 

Learn more: Watch Undelete 11 videos

 

Buy Now

 

Tags:

Data Protection | File Protection | File Recovery | General | Undelete

Can you relate? 906 IT Pros Talk About I/O Performance, Application Troubles and More

by Dawn Richcreek 8. January 2019 03:44

We just completed our 5th annual I/O Performance Survey that was conducted with 906 IT Professionals. This is the industry’s largest study of its kind and the research highlights the latest trends in applications that are driving performance demands and how IT Professionals are responding.

I/O Growth Continues to Outpace Expectations

The results show that organizations are struggling to get the full lifecycle from their backend storage as the growth of I/O continues to outpace expectations. The research also shows that IT Pros continue to struggle with user complaints related to sluggish performance from their I/O intensive applications, especially citing MS-SQL applications.

Comprehensive Research Data

The survey consists of 27 detailed questions designed to identify the impact of I/O growth in the modern IT environment. In addition to multiple choice questions, the survey included optional open responses, allowing a respondent to provide commentary on why they selected a particular answer.  All the individual responses have been included to help readers dive deeply on any question. The full report is available at https://learn.condusiv.com/2019-IO-Performance-Study.html

Summary of Key Findings 

1.    I/O Performance is important to IT Pros: The vast majority of IT Pros consider I/O Performance an important part of their job responsibilities. Over a third of these note that growth of I/O from applications is outpacing the useful lifecycle they expect from their underlying storage. 

2.    Application performance is suffering: Half of the IT Pros responsible for I/O performance cite they currently have applications that are tough to support from a systems performance standpoint. The toughest applications stated were: SQL, SAP, Custom/Proprietary apps, Oracle, ERP, Exchange, Database, Data Warehouse, Dynamics, SharePoint, and EMR/EHR. See page 20 for a word cloud graphic. 

3.    SQL is the top troublesome application: The survey confirms that SQL databases are the top business critical application platform and is also the environment that generates the most storage I/O traffic. Nearly a third of the IT Pros responsible for I/O performance state that they are currently experiencing staff/customer complaints due to sluggish applications running on SQL. 

4.    Buying hardware has not solved the performance problems: Nearly three-fourths of IT Pros have added new hardware to improve I/O performance. They have purchased new servers with more cores, new all-flash arrays, new hybrid arrays, server-side SSDs, etc. and yet they still have concerns. In fact, a third have performance concerns that are preventing them from scaling their virtualized infrastructures.  

5.    Still planning to buy hardware: About three-fourths of IT Pros are still planning to continue to invest in hardware to improve I/O performance. 

6.    Lack of awareness: Over half of respondents were unaware of the fact that Windows write inefficiencies generate increasingly smaller writes and reads that dampen performance and that this is a software problem that is not solved by adding new hardware. 

7.    Improve performance via software to avoid expensive hardware purchase: The vast majority of respondents felt it would be urgent/important to improve the performance of their applications via an inexpensive I/O reduction software and avoid an expensive forklift upgrade to their compute, network or storage layers. 

Most Difficult to Support Applications

Below is a word cloud representing hundreds of answers to visually show the application environments IT Pros are having the most trouble to support from a performance standpoint. I think you can see the big ones that pop out!

The full report is available at https://learn.condusiv.com/2019-IO-Performance-Study.html

 

The Simple Software Answer

As much as organizations continue to reactively respond to performance challenges by purchasing expensive new server and storage hardware, our V-locity® I/O reduction software offers a far more efficient path by guaranteeing to solve the toughest application performance challenges on I/O intensive systems like MS-SQL. This means organizations are able to offload 50% of I/O traffic from storage that is nothing but mere noise chewing up IOPS and dampening performance. As soon as we open up 50% of that bandwidth to storage, sluggish performance disappears and now there’s far more storage IOPS to be used for other things.

In just 2 minutes, learn more about how V-locity I/O reduction software eliminates the two big I/O inefficiencies in a virtual environment 2-min Video: Condusiv® I/O Reduction Software Overview

Try it for yourself, download our free 30-day trial – no reboot required

 

This is Why a Top Performing School Recommended Condusiv Software and Doubled Performance

by Dawn Richcreek 6. December 2018 05:04

Lawnswood School is one of the top performing educational institutions in the UK. Their IT environment supports a workload that is split between approximately 1200 students and 200 staff.  With 1400 people and various programs and files to support, they were in search of something to help extend the life of their hardware and increase performance. They turned to Condusiv®’s V-locity® and Diskeeper® to extend the life of their storage hardware and maintain performance for their students and staff.

"Condusiv's V-locity software eliminated almost 50% of all storage I/O requests from having to be dealt with by the disk storage (SAN) layer, and that meant that when replacing the old SAN storage with a 'like-for-like' HP MSA 2040, V-locity gave me the confidence to make the purchase without having to over-spend to over-provision the storage in order to cope with all the excess unnecessary storage I/O traffic that V-locity efficiently eliminates,"said Noel Reynolds, IT Manager at Lawnswood School. Before upgrading his SAN, Noel was able to extend the life of the HP MSA 2000 SAN for 8 years “thanks to Condusiv’s I/O reduction software”.

Knowing how well the IT environment was performing at Lawnswood School, another school reached out to Noel for help, as their IT environment was almost identical, but suffering from slow and sluggish performance. They also had three VMware hosts of the same specification, the older HP MSA 2000 SAN storage and workloads that were pretty much identical. Noel Reynolds noted that: "They were almost a 'clone' school."

He continued: "I did the usual checks to discover why it wasn't working well, such as upgrading the firmware, checking the disks for errors and found nothing wrong other than bad storage performance. After comparing the storage latency, I found that Lawnswood School's disk storage was 20 times faster, even though the hardware, software and workload types were pretty much identical."

"We identified six of the 'most hit' servers and installed Condusiv's software on them. Within 24 hours, we saw a 50% boost in performance. Visibly improved performance had been returned to the users, and this really helped the end user experience.

A great example of a real-world solution." Noel concluded

 

Read the full case study                        Download 30-day trial

Tags:

Defrag | Diskeeper | Disruption, Application Performance, IOPS | EHR | General | SAN | Success Stories | virtualization | V-Locity

Finance Company Deploys V-locity I/O Reduction Software for Blazing Fast VDI

by Dawn Richcreek 27. November 2018 05:27

When the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority decided to better support their users by moving away from using physical PCs and migrating to a virtual desktop infrastructure, the challenge was to ensure the fastest possible user experience from their Horizon View VDI implementation.

“Anytime an organization starts talking about VDI, the immediate concern in the IT shop is how well we will be able to support it from a performance standpoint to ensure a pristine end user experience. Although supported by EMC VNXe flash storage with high IOPS, one of our primary concerns had to do with Windows write inefficiencies that chews up a large percentage of flash IOPS unnecessarily. When you’re rolling out a VDI initiative, the one thing you can’t afford to waste is IOPS,” said Joseph Navarrete, CIO, MFA.

After Joseph turned to Condusiv’s “Set-It-and-Forget-It®” V-locity® I/O reduction software and bumped up the memory allocation for his VDI instances, V-locity was able to offload 40% of I/O from storage resulting in a much faster VDI experience to his users. When he demo’d V-locity on his MS-SQL server instances, V-locity eliminated 39% of his read I/O traffic from storage due to DRAM read caching and another 40% of write I/O operations by solving Windows write inefficiencies at the source.

After seeing the performance boost and increased efficiency to his hardware stack, Joseph ensured V-locity was running across all his systems like MS-Exchange, SharePoint, and more.

“With V-locity I/O reduction software running on our VDI instances, users no longer have to wait extra time. The same is now true for our other mission critical applications like MS-SQL. The dashboard within the V-locity UI provides all the necessary analytics about our environment and view into what the software is actually doing for us. The fact that all of this runs quietly in the background with near-zero overhead impact and no longer requires a reboot to install or upgrade makes the software truly “set and forget,” said Navarrete.

 

Read the full case study                        Download 30-day trial

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