The competition for optimizing storage performance is heating up and each vendor is doing his best to find the best practices for phenomenal storage performance. Here is a report on the different strategies and approaches used by the data center community to optimize storage performance.

Increasing Storage Performance in Data CentersOne of the most viable solutions in storage optimization is to correctly use inbuilt features provided by the vendor. For example, a case in point is Microsoft. Its latest Windows Server 2012 R2 has many features related to storage. One of the lesser known features is Storage Quality of Service (QoS). This feature allows configuration managers to put an upper limit on the IOPS – (Input Output Operations Per Second). Measuring IOPS gives network managers an idea on how much load the network can efficiently handle without creating a bottleneck. Another approach is to use the new Hyper-V generation 2 virtual machines. The generation 2 virtual machines offer many storage related features. The most important of the features is the ability to dynamically re-size storage based on need. These virtual machines continue to use the VHDX based hard disks, which can be expanded or compacted while the VM is still running. VM performance is increased since the communication to the VHDX files is done using native SCSI commands. Early test results indicate that the generation 2 virtual machines boot 30% faster than the generation 1 virtual machines. The time to install the operating system is also half the time, as in the previous versions.

Another technique that is gaining significant importance is auto tiering. This basically is the ability of choosing which data to place on which storage systems. Traditionally, tiering is a manual activity that is performed at the data center, and leads to extra man hours and management and operational overhead. With auto tiering one needs to invest in the licenses and any other hardware and equipment cost, but the trade-off is in the saving of the manual labor. Applications need to be profiled carefully so as to determine if they are more fit for auto tiering or manual tiering. Most applications would fit into the auto tiering environment.

Storage optimization is the need of the hour and each year brings new innovations and techniques in increasing the performance of the data center. For getting the most optimal solutions in data center hosting that are best suited to fit your needs, do get in touch with the us at today.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.