The Quest for Perfect Enterprise Storage

By Scott Cleland, Director, Product Marketing

Every Global 1000 Company, through their trusted IT and DevOps groups evaluates their current and future storage needs to meet increasingly demanding performance and availability requirements from their business partners. Many have selected Virtual Instruments Load DynamiX Enterprise (LDX-E) workload generator appliances to ensure the storage they select will meet these demands.

So much goes into a storage platform selection that many choose to “stay-the-course” or trust the vendor when making critical infrastructure decisions that could affect their business viability. A storage incumbent is a tough nut to crack. I am not advocating a willy-nilly approach to selection, but an educated approach using world class tools and expertise that could set you on the course to the perfect match.

Using LDX-E within your enterprise IT or storage architecture labs will help to reduce the risk associated with moving away from an incumbent, if that is your goal.

Load DynamiX Enterprise offers better insight into how workload behavior affects storage system performance than legacy freeware-based approaches, including:

  • Easy-to-use workload profile acquisition and programmatic modeling
  • The most accurate and realistic workload tests
  • Extreme scalability to simulate worst case scenarios
  • Consistent, repeatable results across time and geography
  • Complete acquisition, modeling, load gen, and reporting solution
  • Professional support to solve your toughest problem

Common challenges to avoid when purchasing your next storage platform include:

Investing in high-end storage just for the IOPS glamour
Flash-based systems are available through a variety of vendors and any of these vendors will gladly sell you too many IOPS to satisfy you workload demands. With LDX-E the mystery is removed as we can ingest your actual application workload profiles into our workload modeling and generation appliances. You can then vary and analyze the metrics of scale and user growth to determine the precise protocol, media and sizing that works best.

Flash is Fast! Any flash will be better than what I have now!
Within the modern data center, it’s has been common for companies to replace racks of legacy storage with one or a few flash-storage arrays. This is certainly the industry trend but can cause dissatisfaction as not all flash is created equal. Flash gets around the cost/GB by integrating sophisticated data reduction features, typically in-line, to compress and dedupe that data as it is stored on the media. Flash vendors also use best-case block sizes to provide hero performance numbers across typical database profiles. But that is not how real-world applications or RDBMs behave. Use LDX-E to define and model your real application workload performance and data reduction characteristics and then use the LDX-E interface to model the scale of the workload. Virtual Instruments also has a testing storage best practices WP to explore.

The Cost of Acquisition Conundrum
Once you’ve defined the number of IOPS required per unit of capacity, your purchasing goal is simple: Buy the least expensive system that meets your performance/capacity requirements. The question is: What does “least expensive” mean? Least expensive still includes: First order plus maintenance plus man-power and data center taxes. As well as understanding your application and company growth curves. Using LDX-E to match the IOPS, throughput and scale of any particular storage system or protocol can be a monumental benefit to uncovering the long-term acquisition cost of any particular system.

Failing to future-proof a storage purchase
Perhaps the most significant trend in storage today is the demand for tighter coupling of workload performance against storage network traffic in applications, hypervisors, and operating systems. Using VirtualWisdom precision production analysis is at your fingertips by deploying the gold standard VirtualWisdom and leveraging our cross-domain correlation and analytics engines. (LDX-E + VirtualWisdom) future proofs your buying and deployment decisions by capturing workload history, setting alerts against performance and availability SLAs and using the actionable insights to catch issues before they impact your business.
Check out our latest webinar to learn more about LDX-E

With VirtualWisdom and LDX-E, enterprise customers have operationalized VI products and have delivered these benefits to their business partners:

  • Ensured performance of the infrastructure that supports critical applications
  • Eliminated guesswork and proactively solved performance problems
  • Collaborated across silos to eliminate finger pointing and avoid slowdowns
  • Optimized deployment decisions based on application workload profiles

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