Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Roger Strukhoff, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Virtualization, SOA & WOA, Open Source, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo

Virtualization: Blog Feed Post

RAID and IOPS and IO Observations

There are at least two different meanings for IOPs

There are at least two different meanings for IOPs, which for those not familiar with the information technology (IT) and data storage meaning is Input/output Operations Per second (e.g. data movement activity). Another meaning for IOP that is the international organization for a participatory society (iopsociety.org), and their fundraising activity found here.

I recently came across a piece (here and here) talking about RAID and IOPs that had some interesting points; however, some generalizations could use some more comments. One of the interesting comments and assertions is that RAID writes increase with the number of drives in the parity scheme. Granted the specific implementation and configuration could result in an it depends type response.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Here are some more perspectives to the piece (here and here) as the sites comments seem to be restricted.

Keep in mind that such as with RAID 5 (or 6) performance, your IO size will have a bearing on if you are doing those extra back-end IOs. For example if you are writing a 32KB item that is accomplished by a single front-end IO from an applications server, and your storage system, appliance, adapter, software implementing and performing the RAID (or erasure coding for that matter) has a chunk size of say 8KB (e.g. the amount of data written to each back-end drive). Then a 5 drive R5 (e.g. 4+1) would in fact have five back-end IOPS (32KB / 8KB = 4 + 1 (8KB Parity)).

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Otoh of the front end IOP were only 16KB (using whole numbers for simplicity, otherwise round-up), in the case of a write, there would be three back-end writes with the R5 (e.g. 2 + 1). Keep in mind the controller/software managing the RAID would (or should) try to schedule back-end IO with cache, read-head, write-behind, write-back, other forms of optimization etc.

In the piece (here and here), a good point is the understanding and factoring in IOPS is important, as is also latency or response time in addition to bandwidth or throughput, along with availability, they are all inter-related.

Also very important is to keep in mind the size of the IOP, read and write, random, sequential etc.

RAID along with erasure coding is a balancing act between performance, availability, space capacity and economics aligned to different application needs.

RAID 0 (R0) actually has a big impact on performance, no penalty on writes; however, it has no availability protection benefit and in fact can be a single point of failure (e.g. loss of a HDD or SSD) impacts the entire R0 group. However, for static items, or items that are being journaled and protected on some other medium/RAID/protection scheme, R0 is used more than people realize for scratch/buffer/transient/read cache types of applications. Keep in mind that it is a balance of all performance and capacity with the exposure of no availability as opposed to other approaches. Thus, do not be scared of R0, however also do not get burned or hurt with it either, treat it with respect and can be effective for something's.

Also mentioned in the piece was that SSD based servers will perform vastly better than SATA or SAS based ones. I am assuming that the authors meant to say better than SAS or SATA DAS based HDDs?

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Keep in mind that unless you are using a PCIe nand flash SSD card as a target or cache or RAID card, most SSD drives today are either SAS or SATA (being the more common) along with moving from 3Gb SAS or SATA to 6Gb SAS & SATA.

Also while HDD and SSDs can do a given number of reads or writes per second, those will vary based on the size of the IO, read, write, random, sequential. However what can have the biggest impact and where I have seen too many people or environments get into a performance jam is when assuming that those IOP numbers per HDD or SSD are a given. For example assuming that 100-140, IOPs (regardless of size, type, etc.) can be achieved as a limiting factor is the type of interface and controller/adapter being used.

I have seen fast HDDs and SSDs deliver sub-par performance or not meeting expectations fast interfaces such as iSCSI/SAS/SATA/FC/FCoE/IBA or other interfaces due to bottlenecks in the adapter card, storage system / appliance / controller / software. In some cases you may see more effective IOPs or reads, writes or both, while on other implementations you may see lower than expected due to internal implementation bottlenecks or architectural designs. Hint, watch out for solutions where the vendor tries to blame poor performance on the access network (e.g. SAS, iSCSI, FC, etc.) particular if you know that those are not bottlenecks.

Here are some related content:
Are Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) getting too big?
How can direct attached storage (DAS) make a comeback if it never left?
EMC VFCache re spinning SSD and intelligent caching
SSD and Green IT moving beyond green washing
Optimize Data Storage for Performance and Capacity Efficiency
Is SSD dead? No, however some vendors might be
RAID Relevance Revisited
Industry Trends and Perspectives: RAID Rebuild Rates
What is the best kind of IO? The one you do not have to do
More storage and IO metrics that matter
IBM buys flash solid state device (SSD) industry veteran TMS

In terms of fund-raising, if you feel so compelled, send a gift, donation, sponsorship, project, buy some books, piece of work, assignment, research project, speaking, keynote, web cast, video or seminar event my way and just like professional fund-raisers, or IOPS vendors, StorageIO accept visa, Master Card, American express, Pay Pal, check and traditional POs.

As for this site and comments, outside of those caught in the spam trap, courteous perspectives and discussions are welcome.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore’s Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, to discuss how infrastructure teams should be aware of the capitalization and depreciation model of these expenses to fully understand when and where automation is critical.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.