Recommended Reading: Symantec/Intel Architecture Compares to Flash Array Architecture for Oracle Databases

It certainly is worth looking at the latest white paper from Symantec and Intel.  They have dropped a small bomb on the flash array party. In a white paper, Software-defined Storage at the Speed of Flash, the duo provide a look at a nice Oracle database architecture where they show both price/performance advantages and comparable performance to flash arrays from Violin Memory, EMC and a CISCO solution.  Two Intel R1 208WTTGS 1RU servers were outfitted with four Intel P3700 Series SSDs, 128 GB DDR4 Memory, Symantec Storage Foundation Cluster File System 6.2, Oracle 11gR2 and Red Hat Enterprise 6.5 OS. The two servers are interconnected with high speed dual-port Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter. The white paper goes into quite a bit of detail and offers a nice chart comparing the converged solution with the flash arrays solutions.screenshot_475



Recommended: Flash Accelerating Oracle RAC in 16RU & VMware Power Savings with Local Flash

Fusion-io, Dell, and Mellanox have built a very small footprint (16RU), extremely fast, and price-sensitive reference architecture for Oracle RAC 12c. It is very impressive on a number of counts.  It further highlights the move to using local flash storage over remote flash storage arrays.  This solution aims at reducing hardware sprawl and power consumption by achieving higher performance in a smaller footprint.  From the description – “This reference architecture features four Fusion ION Accelerators and four Oracle RAC database nodes all connected through redundant Mellanox SX6036 switches. Each ION Accelerator in this reference architecture uses a Dell PowerEdge R720 with three 56 Gbps Mellanox ConnectX-3 InfiniBand cards and four industry-leading Fusion ioDrive2 2.4TB flash storage devices for a total of 9.6TB of all flash storage. Each of these ION Accelerator units fits in 2 rack units (2RU) and delivers well over 645,000 8K database IOPS and up to 12 GB/s sustained throughput. Data redundancy is maintained across pairs of ION Accelerators using synchronous writes, thus providing system and data high availability.  The Oracle RAC nodes consist of Dell PowerEdge R620 servers. Each two-socket server consumes a mere 1U of rack space and yet is capable of pulling 1.4 million 8K IOPS from the ION Accelerator storage layer as measured by the Flexible IO Tester utility.  The Oracle RAC nodes are connected to the ION Accelerators through redundant Mellanox switches. Each Oracle RAC node sees the ION Accelerator storage as simple multipath block storage. The multipath devices are aggregated by Oracle ASM to create a large and powerful diskgroup.  Expanding the size and performance of the database is as easy as adding more ION Accelerator devices to the ASM disk group.”  The links to the article and the Reference Architecture follow.



Increasingly, software vendors  see the virtue of putting their flash storage locally on the server.  For example, VMware engineers wrote recently that by replacing array shared storage with PCIe flash card storage on the servers they could substantially reduce power consumption and maintain high levels of performance.




Flash Storage Highlight : Nimbus Data Receives Top Ranking In Flash Memory Storage Arrays in 2014-15 DCIG Buyer’s Guide

One of the flash arrays that has consistently demonstrated technology advantages and practical use-case advantages is Nimbus Data’s Gemini arrays.  I have mentioned some of their advantages in past posts. They just picked up some accolades from the 2014 DCIG Flash Memory Buyer’s Guide.  In evaluating 39 offerings from 20 companies, Nimbus Data’s Gemini F600 and F400 were selected as Best-in-Class (#1) and Recommended (#2) respectively.  You can read more about the selection process and the win here :




Recommended Reference Architecture : Scalable Flash Storage for Building a High Performance ESX Cluster

Kaminario has an excellent write-up on how they accelerated a mixed workload of SAP which was using Microsoft SQL Server on a VMware cluster. It is an excellent read if you are interested in boosting performance of your ESX cluster and the apps running within it.


You can read the full report :


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Web Talk : Getting The Most Out Of Your Flash/SSDs For NoSQL DB

Aerospike, the highest performing NoSQL database that I know of, is offering a talk on how to get the best performance by using Flash/SSDs. Aerospike is specifically tuned to delivering high performance from flash/SSDs and they have best practices around this. One of the most important things you can do to improve the performance of your flash/SSDs with Aerospike is to properly prepare them. This Webinar will go through how to select, test, and prepare the drives so that you will get the best performance and lifetime out of them. This web talk is scheduled for February 11th at 10 am.



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