Friday 12 February 2016

Enterprise Strategy Group’s New Lab Report Validates DataCore Parallel I/O Performance, VMware Virtual Volume Advances and More…

The New Report Spotlights the Top 10 Biggest Storage Challenges” and Details Test Results on DataCore’s Application-Adaptive Data Infrastructure, Self Provisioning VVols, Hyper-converged Simplicity, Parallel I/O Performance, Automated Storage Tiering, Continuous Data Protection and More

“It would benefit any organization considering or implementing an IT virtualization project to take a long look at DataCore Software.” - Tony Palmer, senior lab analyst, ESG Lab
A new hands-on evaluation and testing report performed by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) Lab covering DataCore SANsymphony and Hyper-converged Virtual SAN software has just been released.

“DataCore’s SANsymphony and Hyper-converged Virtual SAN solutions proved to be robust, flexible, and responsive. The company now finds itself with incredibly relevant capabilities that truly matter to users. We found the software easy to implement and manage, virtualizing any storage infrastructure with enterprise-class features and functionality while enhancing performance,” said Tony Palmer, senior lab analyst, ESG Lab. “ESG Lab was especially impressed with DataCore’s parallel I/O technology and its ability to deliver enterprise-class performance running on low-cost commodity hardware.”

The report also highlights ESG’s survey results on the “Top 10 Biggest Storage Challenges.” The lab testing, performed independently, was done to assess the value of DataCore’s infrastructure-wide storage virtualization and hyper-converged solutions for the data center, and the tests were designed to validate the flexibility and ease of management in a heterogeneous, highly virtualized environment. ESG also examined DataCore Software’s performance, efficiency, and availability in fully virtualized and hyper-converged configurations.

ESG Lab Validation Highlights:
  • Enables Enterprise-class Hyper-converged Data Infrastructure
ESG Lab found that virtualizing infrastructure with DataCore Hyper-converged Virtual SAN was intuitive and straightforward. During the evaluation, a pair of servers running a hypervisor and DataCore Hyper-converged Virtual SAN provided a highly available platform to run multiple simulated applications and enterprise workloads. When a server failure was simulated with a hard power off, virtual machines and storage failed over to the surviving node immediately and automatically. A new server was installed and added to the Failover Cluster–seamlessly and painlessly–while applications remained online and continously available.

DataCore Hyper-converged Virtual SAN            

ESG also tested, reviewed and reported on DataCore’s ability to go beyond traditional hyper-converged performance limits and run demanding enterprise-class application and storage workloads. DataCore’s hyper-converged solutions provide a range of performance and application adaptive acceleration capabilities, the most significant being its parallel I/O software.
“DataCore has been hyper-converged since before there was such a term in the industry, so it’s no surprise that its hyper-converged offering is robust, highly available, and offers very impressive price-performance with the full complement of enterprise-class functionality that DataCore has been honing for nearly two decades,” added Palmer.

  • Drives Fastest Response Times and Industry-best Price Performance
DataCore’s parallel I/O software technology is designed to adaptively harness available multi-core processors to optimize and schedule I/O processing across many different cores simultaneously. It actively senses I/O load being generated by multiple VMs concurrently and dynamically assigns CPU cores as needed to process the I/O load. This enables DataCore to take full advantage of modern multi-core server technologies to eliminate I/O bottlenecks, speed up application performance, and drive greater workload and virtual machine density per server.

ESG Lab reviewed DataCore’s recently-published Storage Performance Council SPC-1 benchmark results. “DataCore has published an excellent result of 459,290 SPC-1 IOPS at 100% load with an average response time of only 0.32 milliseconds in a hyper-converged configuration1,” continued Palmer. “The 0.32 millisecond result at 100% load is the fastest response time ever reported by SPC-1, and showcases the power of parallel I/O software to significantly reduce the time it takes for applications to access, store, and update their data.”

DataCore set a new SPC-1 price-performance record. At full load, SANsymphony was responding at nearly two orders of magnitude below the 30 milliseconds response time threshold set by the Storage Performance Council and at 0.32 milliseconds, it is three times faster than the one milliseconds threshold considered to be the standard for all-flash systems.

ESG stated that the DataCore SPC-1 result proves its suitability for response time sensitive applications (e.g., Virtualization and Database workloads, OLTP, ERP, etc.) and demonstrates the headroom available to scale up and scale out to much larger configurations and capacities.

  • Simplifies VMware vSphere Storage Management: Self-Provisioning with VVols
Administrators crave the simplicity, power and fine-grain control promised by vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVols); however, most current storage arrays and systems do not support VVols. With DataCore enabled, virtually any storage becomes VVol capable allowing VMware vSphere administrators to self-provision virtual volumes from virtual storage pools -- and instantly specify the capacity and class of service needed for their applications without having to know anything about the storage or underlying hardware.

ESG Lab tested DataCore self-provisioning VVols. In the testing scenario, ESG set up Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze policies to define different levels of service. DataCore made provisioning storage a seamless, integrated part of VM creation, empowering administrators to provision storage for virtual machines using predefined storage policies that were able to define performance, availability, and locality of data without ever having to touch the back-end storage.

DataCore automatically took care of the entire behind-the-scenes configuration, which is the responsibility of specialized storage administrators in traditional storage environments. ESG Lab reported that it was impressed with the speed, simplicity, and completeness of the DataCore integration. Virtual machines based on these predefined profiles were created in minutes using native VMware tools. ESG noted that this capability is particularly of value as much of the existing storage in data centers can never be retrofitted to support VVols, so the fact that SANsymphony extends VVols self-provisioning to existing storage investments and any new devices not yet able to support VVols is a powerful capability.

  • Automates Infrastructure-wide Storage Tiering to Maximize Cost-Effective Performance
ESG Lab also validated the business value of DataCore’s automated storage tiering. All performance testing was completed using test tools to simulate a typical OLTP workload. ESG first measured the performance on a non-tiered storage pool using a SAS disk. Next, an SSD was added to the storage pool. The software immediately started the rebalancing process of tiering, moving hot, or frequently accessed, data blocks from the SAS disk to the higher performance flash disk.
After completing the rebalancing process, the DataCore solution dedicated all resources to performing storage operations for the application. The effect of storage tiering was immediately visible, the DataCore software reported a total of 1,392 IOPS—a 700% improvement over the non-tiered storage pool.

  • Supports Continuous Availability, Metro-wide Clustering, Remote Disaster Recovery, Advanced Data Protection and Automated Failover and Self-healing Functionality
ESG Lab further validated that DataCore SANsymphony and Hyper-converged Virtual SAN provide an array of advanced data protection capabilities that can cost-effectively satisfy the most stringent business continuity and disaster recovery requirements. Synchronous mirroring across metropolitan areas, automated failover and self-healing, full and incremental snapshots, roll-back in time 

Continuous Data Protection (CDP), and asynchronous remote replication to distant disaster recovery sites can all be used without being dependent on any specific model or brand of storage device. For example, customers can take advantage of a hyper-converged system at a remote site and establish it as a contingency site for larger data centers.

ESG also noted that DataCore’s CDP capability was easy to configure and use, enabling rollback to a specific point in time without having to create multiple snapshots. An ideal solution for recovering the state of applications and configurations prior to bad events when snapshots were not invoked or to recreate ‘any-point in time’ restores.

View the ESG Lab Report and the Top 10 Biggest Storage Challenges
In addition to the lab report on DataCore, ESG recently conducted a survey of 373 IT professionals and respondents who were asked to identify what they would consider to be their biggest challenges with respect to their storage environment. As one might expect from a captive audience of server virtualization users, there was significant focus on both data growth and data protection (each cited by 26% of respondents), as well as staff costs and data migration (coming in at 23% each). Perhaps of greatest interest and significance, however, is that hardware costs (27%) was the most-cited storage challenge.

Bottom-line, in addition to the added flexibility to deal with growth and change, overcoming total cost of ownership including the rising people and hardware costs are now the primary business motivators driving the increased momentum to deploy software-defined storage solutions such as those from DataCore.

View the complete ESG Lab Report and Survey Information here.