Flash Storage Evaluation

While there is an increasing need for high performance storage, such as all flash and hybrid storage solutions, there is a risk that storage architects could just be blindly “throwing” expensive hardware at performance issues. Comapnies who already use Load DynamiX can determine the most appropriate flash or hybrid storage system that will support their constantly changing and growing workloads.

Your Challenges

When planning for storage performance upgrades, storage architects and engineers often rely on “standard” benchmark tests released by storage vendors. The challenges with this approach are two-fold: first, most vendor performance tests are produced in very tightly controlled lab settings that are designed to showcase their products in the best possible conditions. Second, these benchmarks rarely represent real world environments and, more importantly, don’t represent your production application workloads.

  • In the days of DAS, performance bottlenecks were usually attributed to the mass storage media. With today’s sophisticated storage networks, there are dozens of potential bottlenecks which can make the use of solid state a waste of effort.
  • There are not enough people, time, and resources to adequately perform accurate testing and evaluation of flash storage.
  • In this white-hot market, vendors are forced to make aggressive claims that cannot possibly apply to your specific application workloads.
  • To mitigate the high costs of flash storage, deduplication and compression are highly recommended, but freeware testing tools can’t determine the performance impact of these critical technologies.
  • With the high cost of flash storage, informed decision-making is essential to avoid paying for performance you users can’t experience. Determining the ROI of flash storage is usually guesswork at best. No one can afford excess over-provisioning and wasted capital expenses.

Load DynamiX Solution Overview

Load DynamiX helps you to develop a workload model that allows you to accurately simulate how well the target storage systems under consideration will perform based on a variety of real-world testing scenarios. There is no need to rely on vendor claims and freeware benchmarking tools that simply don’t represent your environment. The Load DynamiX solution builds upon the three main steps of infrastructure performance validation:

  1. Analyze/Characterize Workloads
  2. Model Workloads
  3. Emulate Workloads At Scale.

Load DynamiX is uniquely positioned to properly test and validate flash with deduplication and compression with high accuracy, tremendous load and extremely realistic workload patterns. They use a patent pending method of generating and verifying streams that represent repeatable random and repeatable compressible content. They generate a combination of completely unique patterns and repeating patterns for deduped and/or compressible data, either unique or repeating. And they combine those data types to generate a data set and the data streams required to properly test an array. Load DynamiX uses multiple Write statements, for the selected protocol, with the capability of selecting the appropriate data type and the number of times repeated to lay down a data set via a data stream that emulates real world traffic. The storage array then executes the deduplication and compression based on those patterns, stores as metadata, and they measure the results on metrics like IOPS (see figure below).

Flash Storage Evaluation - Load DynamiX helps you to develop a workload model to accurately simulate how well the target storage systems will perform

The graph above demonstrates that different arrays will perform differently using different amounts of repeating data. In this example, vendor B exhibits higher IOPS when data is 20% or 50% reducible, with any read/write ratios, but especially with higher reads. Vendor A shines when data is highly reducible and read/write ratios are in the 50% range (or greater).

Load DynamiX Solution Advantages

  • Performance assurance: You can ensure your chosen flash / hybrid storage solutions will meet performance SLAs under your specific workloads. Most IT organizations replace their storage systems every 3-4 years. Load DynamiX helps you choose between products from various vendors and ensures that storage acquisitions and configurations are aligned to application workload performance requirements.
  • Reduced storage costs: You can accurately assess the benefit and effects of flash/SSDs, deduplication, and compression. AFAs and HFAs from different vendors can be analyzed to determine which system performs best and is the most cost-effective under workloads that represent your production applications. Load DynamiX provides independent validation for all those vendor performance claims ensuring that IT organizations don’t over-provision and over-buy or under-provision. Storage costs, which comprise nearly 40% of a typical IT hardware budget, are optimized as Load DynamiX ensures that storage acquisitions and configurations are aligned to workload performance requirements. You will know which workloads require solid state storage and which ones to remain on lower cost HDDs.
  • Acceleration of new application deployments: You can accelerate time to market by validating new applications and their supporting infrastructure; making deployment decisions faster and more confidently.
  • Reduced testing costs: Eliminate buying, provisioning and maintaining load generating servers and VMware licenses; one Load DynamiX appliance generates the load of 10-20 servers and hundreds of VMs. Eliminate time consuming test development and scripting. Easier, more comprehensive and repeatable testing often yields minimum productivity gains of 50%.