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.

When Big Data Hurts

by Robin Izsak 5. December 2013 03:38

I recently spoke with Bell Mobility's Adam Moore, a member of the organization's OSS Systems Integration Team. Bell Mobility is Bell Canada's wireless division, employing a multitude of analysts who eat, sleep, and breathe Big Data. They capture metrics and run analytics on call failures, call drops, and call volume—helping the company provide better service to their customers.

Sure we hear a lot about Big Data these days, but we need these catch phrases to talk about abstract concepts. And Big Data is as important as it is abstract: it represents a smarter way to do business, to create value from all this data we have, and to make better decisions. Big Data enables Bell Mobility directors to pinpoint inefficiencies and see where optimization is needed to maintain optimal services to a broad customer base.

So on our call, Adam told me that things had slowed down. His users were dealing with longer and longer SQL query times, which was impacting their ability to do their jobs. Faced with significant data growth and a need for faster delivery of that data to meet SLAs with their users, Adam's team needed a solution to escalating performance problems, like right now. 

In assessing their options, Adam and team conducted an evaluation of V-locity® VM™. The results? A 61% reduction in I/O to the SAN, which led to 98% faster data processing times. And backups? "They used to run at 10MB per minute and sometimes didn't complete at all. Now they run at 60-120MB per minute and complete consistently." 

Read more about the team's success with V-locity in the 
Bell Mobility case study.

Tags:

Big Data | Channel | Cloud | General | Hyper-V | IntelliMemory | IntelliWrite | SAN | SSD, Solid State, Flash | Success Stories | virtualization | V-Locity | VMware

The Notorious 45-Second Query

by Robin Izsak 19. November 2013 05:17

You just clicked OK. Now wait 45 seconds for your query to complete. Now do this a bunch more times until you've compiled all the data you need for a report. And right about now, frustrated, you think about getting a snack and more coffee. 

That's what was happening at SunCoke Energy, as sys admin Chris Mueller's business users started complaining of painfully slow queries and application response.

When the "45-second query" became notorious around the office, Chris and his team started a months' long troubleshooting mission, trying to tune Oracle performance and improve the speed of the business's Cognos VMs. “A bad day for my team is when our people can’t do their jobs—it’s like trying to find a needle-in-a-haystack, troubleshooting for performance.”

After a number of attempts, including consolidating all the VMs and updgrading the SAN, the team brought in V-locity® VM™ and dramatically improved speed—overnight.

Read the SunCoke Energy case study to learn more about their immediate success with V-locity.

Tags:

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

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

NEW V-locity 4 VM Accelerator Improves VM Performance by up to 50%

by Jeff Medina 10. December 2012 10:00

Today we are very excited to announce the release of V-locity 4 VM Accelerator. With this latest release, V-locity increases VM and application performance by up to 50% and does so without any additional storage hardware.

Let’s face it - in today’s world of virtual environments, we generate a tremendous amount of data and it’s only the beginning. In fact, findings included in a recent study by IDC titled “Extracting Value from Chaos” predict that in the next ten years we will create 50 times more information and 75 times more files.

The impact of this data explosion on server virtualization can often lead to I/O bottlenecks. This is because a physical server running multiple virtual machines (VMs) must often carry out far more I/O operations than one server running a single workload, and typical virtualization environments emulate I/O devices that run less efficiently than native I/O devices.

In essence, virtualization acts like a funnel, combining and mixing many disparate I/O streams, sending out to the disk what becomes a very random I/O pattern. To make matters worse, the more VMs are added, the more the issue is compounded as more I/O is "randomized." All of this has a very negative affect on storage performance, and renders time-honored techniques such as read-ahead buffers and caching algorithms far less effective than in conventional physical environments.

Storage I/O is the most critical issue in a virtualized environment, and can cause organizations to spend a great deal on storage, purchasing more and more disk spindles, but often using only a fraction of their capacity because of performance issues. The outcome is that, due to issues relating to performance bottlenecks in the storage infrastructure, some applications are deemed unable to be virtualized; however, a properly tuned storage environment might have accommodated those applications. So what’s the alternative? The answer is V-locity 4 VM Accelerator. 

V-locity 4 VM Accelerator provides:

  • Increased application performance up to 50%
  • Up to 50% faster access to frequently accessed files
  • Faster I/O performance without the cost of additional storage hardware
  • Increased VM density per physical server up to 50%
  • Extended hardware lifespan by eliminating unnecessary I/Os
  • Automatic and real-time operation for true “Set It and Forget It®” management 

What makes V-locity 4 so effective is its powerful toolkit of proactive technologies, including IntelliWrite,® V-Aware,® CogniSAN,® InvisiTasking® and the new IntelliMemory® RAM caching technology.

New! IntelliMemory™ Caching Technology
IntelliMemory intelligent caching technology boosts active data, improving I/O response time up to 50% or more while also eliminating unnecessary I/O operations from getting into the network or storage.

Improved! IntelliWrite® Technology
IntelliWrite automatically prevents the operating system from breaking files into pieces and writing those pieces in a performance penalized manner. This proactive approach improves performance up to 50% or more while preventing any negative impact to snapshots replication, data deduplication or thin provisioning growth. As this proactive approach happens at the server level, the network and shared storage simply has less I/O operations to transfer and process.

New! Performance Benefit Analyzer
The Performance Benefits Analyzer helps document the performance benefits of V-locity. The benefit analyzer looks at your current system performance, then compares these results to those after using V-locity to provide a detailed report showing specific improvements and benefits to your system.

V-Aware® Technology
V-Aware detects external resource usage from other virtual machines on the virtual platform and eliminates resource contention that might slow performance.

CogniSAN® Technology
CogniSAN detects external resource usage within a shared storage system, such as a SAN, and allows for transparent optimization by not competing for resources utilized by other VMs over the same storage infrastructure. And it does this without intruding in any way into SAN-layer operations.

InvisiTasking® Technology
InvisiTaksing allows all the V-locity 4 "background" operations within the VM to run with zero resource impact on current production.

Set It and Forget It®
Automatic and real-time operation.

For more details and a FREE trial, visit www.condusiv.com/products/v-locity or call a sales representative at 1-800-829-6468.

Evaluating IntelliWrite In Your Environment

by Damian 1. March 2012 10:18

IntelliWrite technology has been around for about two years now, optimizing literally millions of systems worldwide. It seamlessly integrates with Windows, delivering optimized writes upon initial I/O (no need for additional, after-the-fact file movement). What does that translate to? Actual fragmentation prevention.

Interestingly, we do occasionally get asked how it bears up against modern storage technologies:

“Don’t the latest SANs optimize themselves?”

“Do I really need this on my VMs? They aren’t physical hard drives, you realize…”

Or even…

“I don’t need to defragment my SAN-hosted VMs.”

Now, there are some factors which must be considered when you’re looking at optimizing I/O in your infrastructure:

  • I/O from Windows is just abstracted Reads and Writes from a higher layer, even directly over a bare metal disk.
  • Due to the way current Windows file systems are structured, I/O can be greatly constrained by file fragmentation—no matter what storage lies underneath it.
  • Fragmentation in Windows means more I/O requests from Windows—even if files are stored perfectly contiguously at the SAN level, Windows still has to send X amount of requests because of the fragmentation that it sees within its top level.
  • File fragmentation is not the same as block-level (read: SAN-level) fragmentation. Many SAN utilities resolve issues of block-level fragmentation admirably; these do not address file fragmentation.
  • Finally, and as noted above, IntelliWrite prevents fragmentation in real time by improving Windows “Best Fit” file write logic. This means solving file fragmentation issues with no additional writes which could create issues with SAN de-dup or various copy-on-write data redundancy measures.

We performed testing with a customer recently in order to validate the benefits of IntelliWrite over cutting-edge storage. This customer’s SAN array is less than a year old, and while we don’t want to go into specifics in order to avoid seeming partial, it’s from one of today’s leading SAN vendors.

Testing involved apples to apples comparison on a production VM hosted over the SAN. A non-random workload was generated 3 times, recording Windows-level file fragmentation, several PerfMon metrics, and time to complete the workload. The test was then repeated 3 times, now with IntelliWrite enabled on the same VM’s test volume.

Here were the results:

 

 

The breakdown:

Fragmentation reduction with IntelliWrite: 89%

Split IO/sec reduction with IntelliWrite: 81%

Avg. Disk Queue Length reduction with IntelliWrite: 71%

…and with the improvement to these disk performance metrics, the overall time to complete the same actual file operations was reduced by: 48%

The conclusion? If you were asking the same sorts of questions posed earlier, evaluate IntelliWrite for yourself. Remember, the graphs above are on contemporary storage hardware—the older your storage equipment, the greater the improvement in application performance you can expect from investing in optimization. Can you afford to not be seeing maximum performance numbers out of your infrastructure and application investments?

The evaluation is quick and fully transparent. Call today to speak with a representative about evaluating Diskeeper or V-locity in your environment.

Tags: , ,

Diskeeper | IntelliWrite | SAN | V-Locity

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