Virtualization Technology News and Information
Automated Application Acceleration with Flash/SSD: Tips on what features to look for and an unusual 30-30 Linux trial offer

Solid state storage is transforming the landscape, offering performance potentials that are orders of magnitude greater than mechanical hard disk drives can ever deliver. As a result, there is a wide variety of Flash/SSD hardware and software products flooding the market today. The options are wide and varied - server-side Flash caching, hybrid storage arrays with tiers of hard disk drives, Flash on direct-attached storage or network storage arrays - along with a myriad of decisions begging to be made on whether the cost and complexity of migrating to pure solid state arrays is even worthwhile. IT administrators are left scratching their heads for a solution that will best suit their environment and fit into their budget.

If the primary goal is to increase the performance of I/O bound applications, consider server-side caching software. It's the least expensive option as it is able to eliminate many of the processes, which until now, have required manual involvement. When you are looking to improve the performance of your infrastructure and unsure which solution is most suitable, here are some tips to assist you:

Time cost for manual configuration vs. automated?

When calculating the ROI of using solid state to accelerate applications, IT administrators need to be sharply aware of the amount of time it takes to manually reconfigure the storage infrastructure and modify applications. Intelligent caching software eliminates this cost with its highly-automated design that operates transparently, accelerating applications by up to 10x. Because no application tuning is required, IT admins are free to focus on other business issues and deliver new services.Multi-level caching greatly improves the cache hit ratio

The ability to couple caching software to an operating system supercharges cache performance by allowing the cache software to extend its policy management to the OS DRAM cache. This design improves application performance beyond a regular Flash cache by promoting the most critical application data to memory speed DRAM cache, providing a significant performance boost over Flash storage for most applications. A higher cache hit ratio means higher performance and sustained performance due to cache disruption from other apps/processes. As the caching software is now managing the total cache environment, it handles the promotion of cached data into DRAM memory automatically and seamlessly. No manual modifications are required. Data inclusion/exclusion functionality

If all of your applications carry the same importance, then accelerating everything equally may be fine. If, on the other hand, some applications carry more importance to the business than others, then you need caching software that offers the ability to select specific applications for acceleration, and exclude the others. Having a context-aware caching solution enables you to decide which data should be included or excluded from the solid state cache based on its business value and not simply on access frequency.

Intelligent caching software allows for faster and automated feature development

With a plethora of new solid state hardware offerings arriving constantly onto the market, IT may be distracted by compatibility concerns related to new hardware/software choices. This issue disappears completely with intelligent software that works with any solid state cache. Due to its tight integration with the operating system, all hardware devices supported by the OS are automatically supported by the caching software and as OS vendors add more storage features, such as cache compression, and in future deduplication, intelligent caching software is able to automatically support them.

NEVEX CacheWorks, the first policy-driven caching software available, enables administrators to target higher performance to specific applications and do so inexpensively with the least disruption. Its innovative approach to Flash caching solves the storage I/O bottleneck while enabling better utilization of existing storage infrastructures. Whether the applications are running on virtual machines such as VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V, or on physical servers, CacheWorks provides industry-unique control over the Windows memory cache to create a multi-level caching solution that allows applications to exceed the performance of running fully on Flash, for about 1/10th of the cost.

If Linux is your OS of choice, try NEVEX's unusual 30-30 offer

NEVEX is offering users a unique 30-30 opportunity. Try its new Linux caching software - also Flash and storage-agnostic - for a free 30-day trial period. Nigel Miller, VP Business Development says, "We believe in our software. If you like it, keep it, or else tell us why!" Contact Nigel directly, at 647-393-2200. After trying the software and seeing what it does for your environment, the first 30 participants will receive a production license for free. The software supercharges a Linux environment, accelerating I/O-bound applications such as financials and analytics, improving performance and reducing latency, where they are needed and most valuable.

Published Tuesday, May 29, 2012 6:32 PM by David Marshall
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