Cache: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #1

Every producer of storage software (including what is hidden inside of “hardware”) has spent years and many engineering hours developing their cache algorithms.  Disks have cache; controllers have cache; subsystems have cache; operating systems have cache.  The better the algorithm is, the better the ratio of cache hits to cache misses.  Ultimately though, the decision of what to have in cache is a guess.  Continue reading Cache: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #1

Disk-Impossible File Server

ION® Computer Systems, Inc. recently published benchmark results for its SR-71mach5 SpeedServer™ running Microsoft® Windows® Server 2012 R2 with the SMB 3.1 protocol.  Yes, the performance is “Disk-Impossible!”.  A single 2U “mach5” system costing under $80k served 64kB random reads at 10 Gigabytes per second and delivered 8kB random reads at 1 million Input/Output Operations per second.  Average latency as low as 1ms was Continue reading Disk-Impossible File Server

SR-71mach5 SpeedServer

ION recently launched it’s flagship SR-71mach5 SpeedServer™ which continues to deliver on the SR-71 legacy of all-SSD storage for “disk-impossible performance”.  This new server incorporates new technology throughout yielding more processor cores, more and faster memory and much more random I/O performance. Standard processors in the “mach5” are two 12-core 2.6GHz Intel® Xeon® E5-2690 V3, but the full Xeon E5-2600V3 processor lineup is available.  Continue reading SR-71mach5 SpeedServer

Open-E DSS V7 iSCSI Targets on SR-71mach4 SpeedServer™

Open-E posted it’s certification of the ION SR-71mach4 SpeedServer on 23 June 2014. The Open-E Certification process focuses on functionality and stability, efficiency and usability.  Additional benchmark by ION testing demonstrated iSCSI target performance with Open-E DSS V7 doing random I/O at almost 8GBps or up to 375,000 IOPS or latency as low as 0.42ms.  All-SSD iSCSI targets enable a wide range of high-performance Continue reading Open-E DSS V7 iSCSI Targets on SR-71mach4 SpeedServer™

Server Boot

Is there any good reason remaining to use anything other than mirrored (RAID 1) SSDs for server boot drives? A recent conversation got me thinking about this subject. So far, no reasons have come to mind. More and more servers are virtualized every month, but even as that trend progresses, more physical servers are being deployed, too, and they need to boot from something. Continue reading Server Boot

Server Economics

Not every server needs 20 cores of Intel Xeon processor or 128GB RAM or 36TB RAID storage.  There are certainly applications that deserve a dedicated server with two or four cores, a few gigabytes of RAM and a small boot drive.  But are there decisions where a little more planning and expense before deployment extends the life of a server – or adds a Continue reading Server Economics

SSD Performance has System-wide Effects

The impact of SSDs on I/O related performance in a server is dramatic. Unleashed from the mechanical limitations of spinning disks, a single server can perform 10s or 100s of thousands of I/O Operations per second, IOPS, instead of just a few thousand.  Without long I/O waits, processor, RAM and RAID controllers can all get much busier, but the impact on humbler pieces of Continue reading SSD Performance has System-wide Effects

Storage Sizing for Capacity and Performance

Or, How Many Eggs in One Basket? Huge storage systems are available today supporting large numbers of disks, allowing the creation of massive storage resources.  Storage Servers and storage enclosures suporting up to (60) 3.5″ disk drives are now common.  Filling those bays with 6TB disks yields a system with 360TB raw capacity – one third of a petabyte!  That is now an easy Continue reading Storage Sizing for Capacity and Performance