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Technology Validation

Providing Secondary Storage at Cloud-Scale: Cohesity Performance Scales Linearly in 256 Node Test

Are we doomed to drown in our own data? Enterprise storage is growing fast enough with today’s data demands to threaten service levels, challenge IT expertise and often eat up a majority of new IT spending. And the amount of competitively useful data could possibly grow magnitudes faster with new trends in web-scale applications, IoT and big data. On top of that, assuring full enterprise requirements for data protection with traditional fragmented secondary storage designs means that more than a dozen copies of important data are often inefficiently eating up even more capacity at an alarming rate.

Cohesity, a feature-rich secondary storage data management solution based on a core parallel file system, promises to completely break through traditional secondary storage scaling limitations with its inherently scale-out approach. This is a big claim, and so we’ve executed a validation test of Cohesity under massive scaling – pushing their storage cluster to sizes far past what they’ve previously publicly tested.

The result is striking (though perhaps not internally surprising given their engineering design goals).  We documented linearly accumulating performance across several types of IO, all the way up to our cluster test target of 256 Cohesity storage nodes. Other secondary storage designs can be expected to drop off at a far earlier point, either hitting a hard constraint (e.g. a limited cluster size) or with severely decreasing returns in performance.

We also took the opportunity to validate some important storage requirements at scale. For example, we also tested that Cohesity ensured global file consistency and full cluster resilience even at the largest scale of deployment. Given overall test performance as validated in this report, Cohesity has certainly demonstrated it is inherently a web-scale system that can deliver advanced secondary storage functionality at any practical enterprise scale of deployment.

Publish date: 07/31/17
Profile

Enterprise Cloud Platform Ideal for Database Apps: Nutanix Hosting Oracle Penetrates Tier 1

Creating an Enterprise Cloud with HyperConverged Infrastructure (HCI) is making terrific sense (and “cents”) for a wide range of corporations tired of integrating and managing complex stacks of IT infrastructure. Replacing siloed infrastructure and going far beyond simple pre-converged racks of traditional hardware, HCI greatly simplifies IT, frees up valuable staff from integration and babysitting heterogeneous solutions to better focus on adding value to the business, and can vastly improve “qualities of service” in all directions. Today, we find HCI solutions being deployed as an Enterprise Cloud platform in corporate data centers even for mission-critical tier-1 database workloads.

However, like public clouds and server virtualization before it, HCI has had to grow and mature. Initially HCI solutions had to prove themselves in small and medium size organizations – and on rank-and-file applications. Now, five plus years of evolution of vendors like Nutanix have matured HCI into a full tier1 enterprise application platform presenting the best features of public clouds including ease of management, modular scalability and agile user provisioning. Perhaps the best example of enterprise mission-critical workloads are business applications layered on Oracle Database, and as well see in this report, Nutanix now makes an ideal platform for enterprise-grade databases and database-powered applications.

In fact, we find that Nutanix’s mature platform not only can, by its natural mixed workload design, host a complete tier1 application stack (including the database), but also offers significant advantages because the whole application stack is “convergently” hosted. The resulting opportunity for both IT (and the business user) is striking. Those feeling tied down to legacy architectures and those previously interested in the benefits of plain Converged Infrastructure will now want to evaluate how mature HCI can now take them farther, faster.

In the full report, we explore in detail how Nutanix supports and accelerates serious Oracle database-driven applications (e.g. ERP, CRM) at the heart of most businesses and production data centers. In this summary, we will review how Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform is also an ideal enterprise data center platform for the whole application stack— consolidating many if not most workloads in the data center.

Publish date: 06/30/17
Free Reports

The Easy Cloud For Complete File Data Protection: Igneous Systems Backs-up AND Archives All Your NAS

When we look at all the dollars being spent on endless NAS capacity growth, and the increasingly complex (and mostly unrealistic) file protection schemes that go along, we find most enterprises aren’t happy with their status quo. And while cloud storage seems so attractive theoretically, making big changes to a stable NAS storage architecture can be both costly and present enough risk to keep many stuck endlessly growing their primary filers. Cloud gateways can help offload capacity, yet they add operational complexity and are ultimately only half-way solutions.

What file-dependent enterprises really need is a true hybrid solution that backs on-premise primary NAS with hybrid cloud secondary storage to provide a secure, reliable, elastic, scalable, and – above all – a simply seamless solution. Ideally we would want a drop-in solution that was remotely managed, paid for by subscription and highly performant – all while automatically backing-up (and/or archiving) all existing primary NAS storage. In other words, enterprises don’t want to rip and replace working primary NAS solutions, but they do want to easily offload and extend them with superior cloud-shaped secondary storage.

When it comes to an enterprise’s cloud adoption journey, we can recommend that “hybrid cloud” storage services be adopted first to address longstanding challenges with NAS file data protection. While many enterprises have reasonable backup solutions for block (and sometimes VM images/disks), reliable data protection for fast growing file is much harder due to trends towards bigger data repositories, faster streaming data, global sharing requirements, and increasingly tighter SLA’s (not to mention shrinking backup windows). Igneous Systems promises to help filer-dependent enterprises keep up with all their file protection challenges with their Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud that features integrated enterprise file backup and archive.

Igneous Systems’ storage layer integrates several key technologies – highly efficient, scalable, remotely managed object storage; built-in tiering and file movement not just on the back-end to public clouds, but also on the front-end from existing primary NAS arrays; remote management as-a-service to offload IT staff; and all necessary file archive and backup automation.

And Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud is also a first-class object store with valuable features like built-in global meta-data search. However, here we’ll focus on how Igneous Backup and Igneous Archive services is used to solve gaping holes in traditional approaches to NAS backup and archive.

Download the Solution Profile today!

Publish date: 06/20/17
Profile

The Best All-Flash Array for SAP HANA

These days the world operates in real-time all the time. Whether making airline reservations or getting the best deal from an online retailer, data is expected to be up to date with the best information at your fingertips. Businesses are expected to meet this requirement, whether they sell products or services. Having this real-time, actionable information can dictate whether a business survives or dies. In-memory databases have become popular in these environments. The world's 24X7 real-time demands cannot wait for legacy ERP and CRM application rewrites. Companies such as SAP devised ways to integrate disparate databases by building a single super-fast uber-database that could operate with legacy infrastructure while simultaneously creating a new environment where real-time analytics and applications can flourish. These capabilities enable businesses to succeed in the modern age, giving forward-thinking companies a real edge in innovation.

SAP HANA is an example of an application environment that uses in-memory database technology and allows the processing of massive amounts of real-time data in a short time. The in-memory computing engine allows HANA to process data stored in RAM as opposed to reading it from a disk. At the heart of SAP HANA is a database that operates on both OLAP and OLTP database workloads simultaneously. SAP HANA can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. Originally, on-premises HANA was available only as a dedicated appliance. Recently SAP has expanded support to best in class components through their SAP Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) program. In this solution profile, Taneja Group examined the storage requirements needed for HANA TDI environments and evaluated storage alternatives including the HPE 3PAR StoreServ All Flash. We will make a strong case as to why all-flash arrays like the HPE 3PAR version are a great fit for SAP HANA solutions.

Why discuss storage for an in-memory database? The reason is simple: RAM loses its mind when the power goes off. This volatility means that persistent shared storage is at the heart of the HANA architecture for scalability, disaster tolerance, and data protection. The performance attributes of your shared storage dictate how many nodes you can cluster into a SAP HANA environment which in turn affects your business outcomes. Greater scalability capability means more real-time information is processed. SAP HANA workload shared storage requirements are write intensive with low latency for small files and sequential throughput performance for large files. However, the overall storage capacity is not extreme which makes this workload an ideal fit for all-flash arrays that can meet performance requirements with the smallest quantity of SSDs. Typically you would need 10X the equivalent spinning media drives just to meet the performance requirements, which then leaves you with a massive amount of capacity that cannot be used for other purposes.

In this study, we examined five leading all-flash arrays including the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 All Flash. We found that the unique architecture of the 3PAR array could meet HANA workload requirements with up to 73% fewer SSDs, 76% less power, and 60% less rack space than the alternative AFAs we evaluated. 

Publish date: 06/07/17
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