Horseshoes, hand grenades, and…storage

Horseshoes, hand grenades, and storage. What do these three things have in common?

Getting closer counts in each case!

One of the most innovative directions in the PowerEdge 13th generation of servers is the purposeful effort to include technologies that get more storage closer to compute. While there has been local storage in the past, our latest servers reach new levels of density. Closer to compute means faster processing – faster processing means faster business results – faster business results means higher efficiency, lower costs, and more satisfied customers. PowerEdge servers get storage closer to compute in the following ways:

  • Many more in-chassis storage options across the portfolio – at much higher density
  • New caching technologies for both SAN and DAS storage
  • Lots of higher performance Flash storage options
  • Storage tiering with Microsoft Storage Spaces
  • The modular DAS storage block of the FX architecture

All of these technologies work – sometimes in combination – to accelerate application performance.

Just consider what the “storage closer to compute” approach has done for database workloads running on the FX architecture.

Oracle RAC with Fluid Cache

In a third party test, an Oracle RAC cluster configured with FC630 servers delivered 3.7 times the transactions per minute than a competitor’s system. How? In this case, the FX platform leverages its ability to house ultra-high performance, ultra-low latency NVMe PCIe SSD drives to enable Fluid Cache for SAN caching technology. Caching the “hot” data from the SAN on to the NVMe device drives the dramatic performance improvement – and subsequently brings business results to a whole new level. In addition to greater productivity, this solution reduces the need in a growing business for more servers (and more licenses) saving significant cost. Read about this use case in detail in this whitepaper.

SQL with all-flash VSAN

In a different third party test, the FX architecture’s quarter-width FC430 servers and innovative FD332 storage blocks were used to run SQL on an all-flash VMware Virtual SAN. When compared against a competitive, external storage SAN-based system, it delivered:

  • 3.1 times the database orders per minute
  • 4.2 times the performance per watt
  • Half the cost per operation/minute

…and did it using as little as 10% of the rack space as the SAN-based competitor solution. This use case whitepaper gives more details on exactly how a Dell PowerEdge FX solution can enable software defined storage to help you meet both your performance and budgetary goals.

SQL with increased storage density

The last example of new storage options accelerating a database on an FX platform is described in yet another third-party test that ran SQL on a 4-socket FC830 server equipped with sixteen 1.8 inch SSDs.  When compared to systems from competitors, this system’s increased storage density combined with its higher spindle count resulted in almost 4 times more orders per minute at more than 70% less cost per order. The implementation and results (against two competitors) are detailed here and here.

These three examples just scratch the surface on some of the ways that specifically PowerEdge FX benefits from the new storage technologies, yet these advantages run through the entire PowerEdge portfolio – our family of rack servers, the M-series blades and the ROBO-optimized VRTX platform.

With the explosive growth of data in today’s analytics-centric world, IT professionals are lucky to have this relatively simple way to significantly improve performance while maintaining operational efficiency. Explosive…lucky…hmmm…maybe there’s more in common with horseshoes and hand grenades than I originally thought!

Read more about how Dell is enabling the Future Ready data center with innovative IT solutions.

About the Author: Paul Steeves