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Cloud Conversations: AWS S3 Cross Region Replication storage enhancements

March 25, 2015 – 10:01 pm
Cloud Conversations: AWS S3 Cross Region Replication storage enhancements Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently among other enhancements announced new Simple Storage Service (S3) cross-region replication of objects from a bucket (e.g. container) in one region to a bucket in another region. AWS also recently enhanced Elastic Block Storage (EBS) increasing maximum performance and size of Provisioned IOPS (SSD) and General Purpose (SSD) volumes. EBS enhancements included ability to store up to 16 TBytes of data in a single volume and do 20,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). Read more about EBS and other recent AWS server, storage I/O and application enhancements here. The Problem, Issue, Challenge, Opportunity and Need The challenge is being able to move data (e.g. objects) stored in AWS buckets in one region to another in a safe, secure, timely, automated, cost-effective way. Even though AWS has a global name-space, buckets and their objects (e.g. files, data, ...

Data Protection Diaries: Are your restores ready for World Backup Day 2015?

March 20, 2015 – 12:43 pm
Data Protection Diaries: Are your restores ready for World Backup Day 2015? This is part of an ongoing data protection diaries series of post about, well, data protection and what I'm doing pertaining to World Backup Day 2015. In case you forgot or did not know, World Backup Day is March 31 2015 (@worldbackupday) so now is a good time to be ready. The only challenge that I have with the World Backup Day (view their site here) that has gone on for a few years know is that it is a good way to call out the importance of backing up or protecting data. However its time to also put more emphasis and focus on being able to make sure those backups or protection copies actually work. By this I mean doing more than making sure that your data can be read from tape, disk, SSD or cloud service actually going ...

Collecting Transaction Per Minute from SQL Server and HammerDB

March 19, 2015 – 11:24 pm
Collecting Transaction Per Minute from SQL Server and HammerDB When using benchmark or workload generation tools such as HammerDB I needed a way to capture and log performance activity metrics such as transactions per minute. For example using HammerDB to simulate an application making database requests performing various transactions as part of testing an overall system solution including server and storage I/O activity. This post takes a look at the problem or challenge I was looking to address, as well as creating a solution after spending time searching for one (still searching btw). The Problem, Issue, Challenge, Opportunity and Need The challenge is to collect application performance such as transactions per minute from a workload using a database. The workload or benchmark tool (in this case HammerDB) is the System Test Initiator (STI) that drives the activity (e.g. database requests) to a System Under Test (SUT). In this example the SUT is a ...

Cloud conversations: If focused on cost you might miss other cloud storage benefits

March 18, 2015 – 2:18 pm
Cloud conversations: If focused on cost you might miss other cloud storage benefits Drew Robb (@robbdrew) has a good piece (e.g. article) over at InfoStor titled Eight Ways to Avoid Cloud Storage Pricing Surprises that you can read here. Drew start's his piece out with this nice analogy or story: Let’s begin with a cautionary tale about pricing: a friend hired a moving company as they quoted a very attractive price for a complex move. They lured her in with a low-ball price then added more and more “extras” to the point where their price ended up higher than many of the other bids she passed up. And to make matters worse, they are already two weeks late with delivery of the furniture and are saying it might take another two weeks. Drew extends his example in his piece to compare how some cloud providers ...

Top vblog voting V2.015 (Its IT award season, cast your votes)

March 7, 2015 – 11:58 am
Top vblog voting V2.015 (Its IT award season, cast your votes) It's that time of the year again for award season: The motion picture association Academy awards (e.g. the Oscars) The Grammys and other entertainment awards As well as Eric Siebert (aka @ericsiebert) vsphere-land.com top vblog Vsphere-land.com top vblog Eric has run for several years now an annual top VMware, Virtualization, Storage and related blogs voting now taking place until March 16th 2015 (click on the image below). You will find a nice mix of new school, old school and a few current or future school theme blogs represented with some being more VMware specific. However there are also many blogs at the vpad site that have a cloud, virtual, server, storage, networking, software defined, development and other related themes. Click on the above image to cast your vote for favorite: Ten blogs (e.g. select up to ten and then rank 1 through 10) Storage blog Scripting blog VDI blog New Blogger Independent ...

How to test your HDD, SSD or all flash array (AFA) storage fundamentals

March 7, 2015 – 11:55 am
How to test your HDD, SSD or all flash array (AFA) storage fundamentals Over at BizTech Magazine I have a new article 4 Ways to Performance-Test Your New HDD or SSD that provides a quick guide to verifying or learning what the speed characteristic of your new storage device are capable of. An out-take from the article used by BizTech as a "tease" is: These four steps will help you evaluate new storage drives. And … psst … we included the metrics that matter. Building off the basics, server storage I/O benchmark fundamentals The four basic steps in the article are: Plan what and how you are going to test (what's applicable for you) Decide on a benchmarking tool (learn about various tools here) Test the test (find bugs, errors before a long running test) Focus on metrics that matter (what's important for your environment) What this means and where to learn ...

February 2015 Server StorageIO Update Newsletter

February 27, 2015 – 2:55 pm
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VMware announces vSphere V6 and associated virtualization technologies

February 2, 2015 – 3:06 pm
VMware announces vSphere V6 and associated virtualization technologies VMware has announced version 6 (V6) of its software defined data center (SDDC) server virtualization hypervisor called vSphere aka ESXi. In addition to a new version of its software defined server hypervisor along with companion software defined management and convergence tools. VMware vSphere Refresh As a refresh for those whose world does not revolve around VMware, vSphere and software defined data centers (believe it or not there are some who exist ;), ESXi is the hypervisor that virtualizes underlying physical machines (PM's) known as hosts. The path to software defined data center convergence Guest operating systems (or other hypervisors using nesting) run as virtual machines (VM's) on top of the vSphere hypervisor host (e.g. ESXi software). Various VMware management tools (or third-party) are used for managing the virtualized data center from initial configuration, ...

Server and Storage I/O Benchmarking 101 for Smarties

February 1, 2015 – 12:12 pm
Server Storage I/O Benchmarking 101 for Smarties or dummies ;) This is the first of a series of posts and links to resources on server storage I/O performance and benchmarking (view more and follow-up posts here). The best I/O is the I/O that you do not have to do, the second best is the one with the least impact as well as low overhead. Drew Robb (@robbdrew) has a Data Storage Benchmarking Guide article over at Enterprise Storage Forum that provides a good framework and summary quick guide to server storage I/O benchmarking. Via Drew: Data storage benchmarking can be quite esoteric in that vast complexity awaits anyone attempting to get to the heart of a particular benchmark. Case in point: The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has developed the Emerald benchmark to measure power consumption. This invaluable benchmark has ...

Server and Storage I/O Benchmark Tools: Microsoft Diskspd (Part I)

February 1, 2015 – 12:12 pm
Server and Storage I/O Benchmark Tools: Microsoft Diskspd (Part I) This is part-one of a two-part post pertaining Microsoft Diskspd.that is also part of a broader series focused on server storage I/O benchmarking, performance, capacity planning, tools and related technologies. You can view part-two of this post here, along with companion links here. Background Many people use Iometer for creating synthetic (artificial) workloads to support benchmarking for testing, validation and other activities. While Iometer with its GUI is relatively easy to use and available across many operating system (OS) environments, the tool also has its limits. One of the bigger limits for Iometer is that it has become dated with little to no new development for a long time, while other tools including some new ones continue to evolve in functionality, along with extensibility. Some of these tools have optional GUI for easy of use or configuration, while others simple have ...

Microsoft Diskspd (Part II): Server Storage I/O Benchmark Tools

February 1, 2015 – 12:11 pm
Microsoft Diskspd (Part II): Server Storage I/O Benchmark Tools This is part-two of a two-part post pertaining Microsoft Diskspd.that is also part of a broader series focused on server storage I/O benchmarking, performance, capacity planning, tools and related technologies. You can view part-one of this post here, along with companion links here. Microsoft Diskspd StorageIO lab test drive Talking about tools and technologies is one thing, installing as well as trying them is the next step for gaining experience so how about some quick hands-on time with Microsoft Diskspd (download your copy here). The following commands all specify an I/O size of 8Kbytes doing I/O to a 45GByte file called diskspd.dat located on the F: drive. Note that a 45GByte file is on the small size for general performance testing, however it was used for simplicity in this example. Ideally a larger target storage area (file, partition, device) would be used, otoh, ...

Server and Storage I/O Benchmarking and Performance Resources

February 1, 2015 – 12:57 am
Server and Storage I/O Benchmarking and Performance Resources Updated 3/7/15 The following are a list of various articles, tips, post and other resources about server storage I/O performance benchmarking for legacy, virtual, cloud and software defined environments along with associated tools. The best server and storage I/O (input/output operation) is the one that you do not have to do, the second best is the one with the least impact. This is where the idea of locality of reference (e.g. how close is the data to where your application is running) comes into play which is implemented via tiered memory, storage and caching shown in the figure above. Server storage I/O performance applies to cloud, virtual, software defined and legacy environments What this has to do with server storage I/O (and networking) performance benchmarking is keeping the idea of locality of reference, context and the application workload in perspective regardless of if cloud, virtual, software ...

I/O, I/O how well do you know about good or bad server and storage I/Os?

February 1, 2015 – 12:57 am
How well do you know about good or bad server and storage I/Os? The best IO is one you do not have to do. What about all the cloud, virtual, software defined and legacy based application that still need to do I/O? If no IO operation is the best IO, then the second best IO is the one that can be done as close to the application and processor as possible with the best locality of reference. Also keep in mind that aggregation (e.g. consolidation) can cause aggravation (server storage I/O performance bottlenecks). Example of aggregation (consolidation) causing aggravation (server storage i/o blender bottlenecks) And the third best? It's the one that can be done in less time or at least cost or effect to the requesting application, which means moving further down the memory and storage stack. Leveraging flash SSD and cache technologies to find and fix server storage I/O bottlenecks On the other ...

Green and Virtual IT Data Center Primer

January 31, 2015 – 2:56 pm
Green and Virtual Data Center Primer Moving beyond Green Hype and Green washing Green IT is about enabling efficient, effective and productive information services delivery. There is a growing green gap between green hype messaging or green washing and IT pain point issues including limits on availability or rising costs of power, cooling, floor-space as well as e-waste and environmental health and safety (PCFE). To close the gap will involve addressing green messaging and rhetoric closer to where IT organizations pain points are and where budget dollars exists that can address PCFE and other green related issues as a by-product. The green gap will also be narrowed as awareness of broader green related topics coincide with IT data center pain points, in other words, alignment of messaging with IT issues that have or will have budget dollars allocated towards them to sustain business and ...