NexGen ioControl: Ensuring Quality of Service for Virtualized Applications
Increasingly higher levels of VM density in virtual infrastructures are bringing users tremendous benefits on the compute side, including high utilization and efficiency. But as the number of VMs per physical server increases, storage and network resources often come under tremendous pressure. Each VM on a given server opens its own virtual storage connections and sends tens of thousands of IO requests over the same physical cables and to the same arrays. The stressed physical network and backend storage arrays simply cannot keep up with performance demands, especially as IT continues to move critical applications to the virtual infrastructure.
A number of storage makers understand this growing issue, and several have attempted to reduce storage and network bottlenecks by introducing hybrid arrays sporting both SSD and HDD into virtual environments. However, only one array family – NexGen n5 – also comes with ioControl for advanced performance management in both physical and virtual networks.
NexGen Storage has just announced ioControl 2.1 for n5 arrays. ioControl embeds performance improvements, service level management and reporting capabilities into VMware vCenter and extends intelligent performance, performance-centric service level settings and dashboard reports to the VMware datastore.
• Intelligent performance tuning. Performance intelligence monitors application workload data and key performance metrics including volume statistics, system response times and workload characteristics. Users can monitor performance by IOPs, bandwidth and system latency; and more importantly can set levels of performance for each of these variables. Assuming adequate resources are available (even NexGen can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip), the system will guarantee the performance threshold.
• QoS and service levels. NexGen comes with three performance quality of service levels to set different requirements by datastore priority: mission critical, business critical, and non-critical. Users can set minimum storage performance levels and change priorities and performance settings of datastores in real-time without disrupting the virtual system. Additional features include monitoring system performance for tasks impacts and the failure of system components. This performance QoS capability sets NexGen apart from other hybrid array suppliers.
• Reporting dashboard. Users may report on system I/O usage and efficiency using ioControl’s centralized dashboard. Performance metrics present resource consumption and allocation history by bandwidth, IOPs and latency filters.
Storage vendors have traditionally left quality of service in virtual infrastructures up to IT, but as practitioners have learned the hard way, there is no reliable way to manually ensure that critical applications in a highly consolidated virtual infrastructure get the storage resources they need, when they need them, to meet users’ performance expectations. NexGen n5 with ioControl answers that need, and provides an excellent way to manage and accelerate performance in mixed workload virtual environments.
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