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.

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

 

When It Really NEEDS To Be Deleted

by Dawn Richcreek 26. October 2018 04:53

In late May of this year, the European Union formally adopted an updated set of rules about personal data privacy called the General Data Protection Regulation. Condusiv CEO Jim D’Arezzo, speaking with Marketing Technology Insights, said, “Penalties for noncompliance with GDPR are severe. They can be as much as 4% of an offending company’s global turnover, up to a total fine of 20 million.” 

A key provision of GDPR is the right to be forgotten, which enables any European citizen to have his or her name and identifying data permanently removed from the archives of any firm holding that data in its possession. One component of the right to be forgotten, D’Arezzo notes, is called “right to erasure,” which requires that the data be permanently deleted, i.e. irrecoverable.

Recently, the EU government has begun cracking down on international enterprises, attempting to extend the EU’s right-to-erasure laws to all websites, regardless of where the traffic originates. Many affected records consist not of fields or records in a database, but of discrete files in formats such as Excel or Word. 

So to stay compliant with GDPR—which, the EU being the world’s largest market and twenty million euros being a lot of money—you need to be able to delete a file to the point that you can’t get it back. On the other hand, files get deleted by accident or mistake all the time; unless you want to permanently cripple your data archive, you need to be able to get those files back (quickly and easily).

In other words, you need a two-edged sword. For Windows-based systems, that’s exactly what’s provided by our Undelete® product line. Up to a point, any deleted file or version of an Office file can be easily restored, even if it was deleted before Undelete was installed.

If, however—as in the case of a confirmed “right to erasure” request—you need to delete it forever, you use Undelete’s SecureDelete® feature. Using specific bit patterns specified by the US National Security Agency, SecureDelete will overwrite the file to help make it unrecoverable. A second feature, Wipe Free Space, will overwrite any free space on a selected volume, using the same specific bit patterns, to clear out any previously written data in that free space.

So with Undelete, you’re covered both ways. Customers buy it for its recovery abilities: you need to be able to hit the “oops” button and get a file back. But it can also handle the job when you need to make sure a file is gone.

 

"No matter how redundant my backups are, how secure our security is, I will always have the one group of users that manage to delete that one critical file. I have found Undelete to be an invaluable tool for just such an occasion. This software has saved us both time and money. When we migrated from a Novell Infrastructure, we needed to find a solution that would allow us to restore ‘accidentally’ deleted data from a network share. Since installing Undelete on all my servers, we have had no lost data due to accidents or mistakes."
–Juan Saldana II, Network Supervisor, Keppel AmFELS Juan Saldana II,
Network Supervisor, Keppel AmFELS

 

For Undelete help with servers or virtual systems, click Undelete Server

To save money with Undelete on Business PCs, click here Undelete Professional

You can purchase Undelete immediately online or download a free 30-day trial.

Tags:

File Protection | File Recovery | General | Undelete | Windows 7 | Windows 8 | Windows Server 2012

Big Data Boom Brings Promises, Problems

by Dawn Richcreek 7. September 2018 04:40

By 2020, an estimated 43 trillion gigabytes of data will have been created—300 times the amount of data in existence fifteen years earlier. The benefits of big data, in virtually every field of endeavor, are enormous. We know more, and in many ways can do more, than ever before. But what of the challenges posed by this “data tsunami”? Will the sheer ability to manage—or even to physically house—all this information become a problem?

Condusiv CEO Jim D’Arezzo, in a recent discussion with Supply Chain Brain, commented that “As it has over the past 40 years, technology will become faster, cheaper, and more expansive; we’ll be able to store all the data we create. The challenge, however, is not just housing the data, but moving and processing it. The components are storage, computing, and network. All three need to be optimized; I don’t see any looming insurmountable problems, but there will be some bumps along the road.”

One example is healthcare. Speaking with Healthcare IT News, D’Arezzo noted that there are many new solutions open to healthcare providers today. “But with all the progress,” he said, “come IT issues. Improvements in medical imaging, for instance, create massive amounts of data; as the quantity of available data balloons, so does the need for processing capability.”

Giving health-care providers—and professionals in other areas—the benefits of the data they collect is not always easy. In an interview with Transforming Data with Intelligence, D’Arezzo said, “Data center consolidation and updating is a challenge. We run into cases where organizations do consolidation on a ‘forklift’ basis, simply dumping new storage and hardware into the system as a solution. Shortly thereafter, they often discover that performance has degraded. A bottleneck has been created that needs to be handled with optimization.”

The news is all over it. You are experiencing it. Big data. Big problems. At Condusiv®, we get it.  We’ve seen users of our I/O reduction software solutions increase the capability of their storage and servers, including SQL servers, by 30% to 50% or more. In some cases, we’ve seen results as high as 10X initial performance—without the need to purchase a single box of new hardware. The tsunami of data—we’ve got you covered.

If you’re interested in working with a firm that can reduce your two biggest silent killers of SQL performance, request a demo with an I/O performance specialist now.

If you want to hear why your heaviest workloads are only processing half the throughput they should from VM to storage, view this short video.

How to make NVMe storage even faster

by Spencer Allingham 4. September 2018 07:21

This is a blog to complement a vlog that I posted a few weeks ago, in which I demonstrated how to use the intelligent RAM caching technology found in the V-locity® software from Condusiv® Technologies to improve the performance that a computer can get from NVMe flash storage. You can view this video here:

 

 A question arose from a couple of long-term customers about whether the use of the V-locity software was still relevant if they started utilizing very fast, flash storage solutions. This was a fair question!

The V-locity software is designed to reduce the amount of unnecessary storage I/O traffic that actually has to go out and be processed by the underlying disk storage layer. It not only reduces the amount of I/O traffic, but it optimizes that which DOES have to go out to disk, and moreover, it further reduces the workload on the storage layer by employing a very intelligent RAM caching strategy.

So, given that flash storage, whilst not only becoming more prevalent in today’s compute environments, can process storage I/O traffic VERY fast when compared to its spinning disk counterparts, and is capable of processing more I/Os per Second (IOPS) than ever before, the very sensible question was this:


"Can the use of Condusiv's V-locity software provide a significant performance increase when using very fast flash storage?"


As I was fortunate to have recently implemented some flash storage in my workstation, I was keen to run an experiment to find out.


SPOILER ALERT: For those of you who just want to have

the question answered, the answer is a resounding YES!

The test showed beyond doubt that with Condusiv’s V-locity software installed, your Windows computer has the ability to process significantly more I/Os per Second, process a much higher throughput of data, and allow the storage I/O heavy workloads running in computers the opportunity to get significantly more work done in the same amount of time – even when using very fast flash storage.

 

For those of you true ‘techies’ that are as geeky as me, read on, and I will detail the testing methodology and results in more detail. 

The storage that I now had in my workstation (and am still happily using!) was a 1 terabyte SM961 POLARIS M.2-2280 PCI-E 3.0 X 4 NVMe solid state drive (SSD).

 

 Is it as fast as it’s made out to be? Well, in this engineer’s opinion – OMG YES!

 

It makes one hell of a difference, when compared to spinning disk drives. This is in part because it’s connected to the computer via a PCI Express (PCIe) bus, as opposed to a SATA bus. The bus is what you connect your disk to in the computer, and different types of buses have different capabilities, such as the speed at which data can be transferred. SATA-connected disks are significantly slower than today’s PCIe-connected storage using an NVMe device interface. There is a great Wiki about this here if you want to read more: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NVM_Express

 

To give you an idea of the improvement though, consider that the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) that is used with the SATA connected disks has one command queue, in which it can process 32 commands. That’s up to 32 storage requests at a time, and that was okay for spinning disk technology, because the disks themselves could only cope with a certain number of storage requests at a time.

NVMe on the other hand doesn’t have one command queue, it has 65,535 queues. AND, each of those command queues can themselves accommodate 65,536 commands. That’s a lot more storage requests that can be processed at the same time! This is really important, because flash storage is capable of processing MANY more storage requests in parallel than its spinning disk cousins. Quite simply NVMe was needed to really make the most of what flash disk hardware can do. You wouldn’t put a kitchen tap (faucet) on the end of a fire hose and expect the same amount of water to flow through it, right? Same principle!

As you can probably tell, I’m quite excited by this boost in storage performance. (I’m strange like that!) And, I know I’m getting a little off topic (apologies), so back to the point!

I had this SUPER-FAST storage solution and needed to prove one way or another if Condusiv’s V-locity software could increase the ability of my computer to process even more workload.

Would my computer be able to process more storage I/Os per Second?

Would my computer be able to process a larger amount of storage I/O traffic (megabytes) every second?

 

Testing Methodology

To answer these questions, I took a virtual machine, and cloned it so that I had two virtual machines that were as identical as I could make them. I then installed Condusiv’s V-locity software on both and disabled V-locity on one of the machines, so that it would process storage I/O traffic, just as if V-locity wasn’t installed.

To generate a storage I/O traffic workload, I turned to my old friend IOMETER. For those of you who might not know IOMETER, this is a software utility originally designed by Intel, but is now open source and available at SourceForge.net. It is designed as an I/O subsystem measurement tool and is great for generating I/O workloads of different types (very customizable!), and measure how quickly that I/O workload can be processed. Great for testing networks or in this case, how fast you can process storage I/O traffic.

I configured IOMETER on both machines with the type of workload that one might find on a typical SQL database server. I KNOW, I know, there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ SQL database, but I wanted a storage I/O profile that was as meaningful as possible, rather than a workload that would just make V-locity look good. Here is the actual IOMETER configuration:

Worker 1 – 16 kilobyte I/O requests, 100% random, 33% Write / 67% Read

Worker 2 – 64 kilobyte I/O requests, 100% random, 33% Write / 67% Read

Test Results

V-locity Disabled

 

V-locity Enabled

 

Summary

 

 

Conclusion

 

In this lab test, the presence of V-locity reduced the average amount of time required to process storage I/O requests by around 65%, allowing a great amount of storage I/O requests to be processed per second and a greater amount of data to be transferred.

To prove beyond doubt that it was indeed V-locity that caused the additional storage I/O traffic to be processed, I stopped the V-locity service. This immediately ‘turned off’ all of the RAM caching and other optimization engines that V-locity was providing, and the net result was that the IOPS and throughput dropped to normal as the underlying storage had to start processing ALL of the storage traffic that IOMETER was generating.

What value is there to reducing storage I/O traffic?

The more you can reduce storage I/O traffic that has to go out and be processed by your disk storage, the more storage I/O headroom you are handing back to your environment for use by additional workloads. It means that your current disk storage can now cope with:

·       - More computers sharing the storage. Great if you have a Storage Area Network (SAN) underpinning your virtualized environment, for example. More VMs running!

 

·       - More users accessing and manipulating the shared storage. The more users you have, the more storage I/O traffic is likely to be generated.

·       - Greater CPU utilization. CPU speeds and processing capacity keeps increasing. Now that the processing power is typically much more than typical needs, V-locity can help your applications become more productive and use more of that processing power by not having to wait so much on the disk storage layer.

 

If you can achieve this without having to replace or upgrade your storage hardware, it not only increases the return on your current storage hardware investment, but also might allow you to keep that storage running for a longer period of time (if you’re not on a fixed refresh cycle).

Sweat the storage asset!

(I hate that term, but you get the idea)

When you do finally need to replace your current storage, perhaps it won’t be as costly as you thought because you’re not having to OVER-PROVISION the storage as much, to cope with all of the excess, unnecessary storage traffic that Condusiv’s V-locity software can eliminate.

I typically see a storage traffic reduction of at least 25% at customer sites.

AND, I haven’t even mentioned the performance boost that many workloads receive from the RAM caching technology provided by Condusiv’s V-locity software. It is worth remembering that as fast as today’s flash storage solutions are, the RAM that you have in your computers is faster! The greater the percentage of read I/O traffic that you can satisfy from RAM instead of the storage layer, the better performing those storage I/O-hungry applications are likely to be.

What type of applications benefit the most?

In the real world, V-locity is not a silver-bullet for all types of workloads, and I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by saying that it was. If you have some workloads that don’t generate a great deal of storage I/O traffic, perhaps a DNS server, or DHCP server, well, V-locity isn’t likely to make a huge difference. That’s my honest opinion as an IT Engineer.

HOWEVER, if you are using storage I/O-hungry applications, then you really should give it a try.

Here are just some examples of the workloads that thousands of V-locity customers are ‘performance-boosting’ with Condusiv’s I/O reduction and RAM caching technologies:

  • -Database solutions such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, SQL Express, and others.
  • -Virtualization solution such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware.
  • -Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like Epicor.
  • -Business Intelligence (BI) solutions like IBM Cognos.
  • -Finance and payroll solutions like SAGE Accounting.
  • -Electronic Health Records (EHR) solutions, such as MEDITECH 
  • -Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics.
  • -Learning Management Systems (LMS Solutions.
  • -Not to mention email servers like Microsoft Exchange AND busy file servers.

 

 

Do you use any of these in your IT environment?

 

There are case studies on the Condusiv web site for all of these workload types (and more), here:

http://www.condusiv.com/knowledge-center/case-studies/default.aspx

 

Try it for yourself

You can experience the full power of Condusiv’s V-locity software for yourself, in YOUR Windows environment within a couple of minutes. Just go to www.condusiv.com/try and get a copy of the fully-featured 30-day trialware. You can check the dashboard reporting after a week or two and see just how much storage I/O traffic has been eliminated, and more importantly, how much storage time has been saved by doing do.

It really is that simple!

You don’t even need to reboot to make the software work. There is no disruption to live running workloads; you can just install and uninstall at will, and it only takes a minute or so.


You will typically start seeing results just minutes after installing.

I hope that this has been interesting and helpful. If you have any questions about the technologies within V-locity or have any questions about testing, feel free to email me directly at sallingham@condusiv.co.uk.

 

I will be delighted to hear from you!

 

 

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