The idea behind a server cluster is to provide consistent and reliable
software and server-based resource access to users even when a failure occurs. Server
clusters are designed for applications that have long-running in-memory states or
frequently updated data such as file servers, print servers, database servers and
All servers in the cluster experience the NTFS action of writing data in pieces
to the disk and thus increasing, exponentially, the amount of I/Os it takes to complete
a task. Even virtualized servers and virtual machines integrated into server clusters
face this same excessive I/O issue generated at the NTFS file system level.
When organizing servers into a fail-over system, best practice would dictate also
increasing the reliability and efficiency of each system at the same time. The result
would build a strong foundation of uptime. To do this, it is imperative that excessive
and unnecessary I/O be handled.
The Shift to I /O Optimization to Boost Virtual and Physical Server
How do I Improve Cluster Server uptime and efficiency?
The first thing to realize is that resource waste begins right at the O/S level
when files split into many pieces upon write. Because this is at the top of the
IT stack, the repercussions can be wide ranging and hard to source. Many IT managers
consider things like declining system response and rapidly filling disk space to
be part of the cost of doing business. But if the tidal wave of unnecessary I/O
is corrected or prevented before it can happen, many system issues disappear and
storage space is used more effectively.
Server clusters are commonly virtualized. Virtual Machines running on Windows NTFS
file systems inherit all the random I/O of a logical drive on a physical disk. Some
administrators mistakenly think this is no longer an issue, but the truth is unnecessary
I/O affects the efficiency and speed of every system it touches.
V-locity® I/O optimization software
uniquely addresses the unnecessary I/O patterns of reads and writes by aggregating
data on writes to perform sequentially while caching reads on available server memory
without contention to the application. As a result, V-locity boosts application
performance by 50% or more by (1) maximizing the efficiency of every single I/O
from write requests that leave the server and (2) caching the most active data from
read requests using available server memory.
Read I/O Optimization – Much of the I/O traffic moving through
the infrastructure shares similar data, yet every byte of that data travels the
entire distance from server to storage and back for every I/O request, even when
it is frequently accessed data. IntelliMemory™ technology addresses
this read request inefficiency by caching the most active data in the server’s available
memory. Should an application require more memory, V-locity serves memory back to
the application to ensure there is never a case of memory starvation or resource
contention. Condusiv Technologies’ self-learning caching algorithms have set the
gold standard for the industry as they are OEM’d by eight of the top ten largest
PC manufacturers in the world.
Write I/O Optimization – V-locity’s IntelliWrite®
technology optimizes I/O write operations, eliminating the performance penalties
associated with the Windows OS, splitting files into pieces and writing each piece
to a different logical location within the SAN or NAS. V-locity is aware of space
allocation and aggregates writes to behave sequentially—requiring less I/O for every
file written. Subsequent reads also benefit, since only minimum I/O is required
to fulfill the request. As a result, only productive I/O requests are processed
across the entire infrastructure, enabling more data to be processed in the same
amount of time.
When only productive I/O traffic is processed through the server, network and storage,
I/Os per second are accelerated, latency is greatly reduced, and more work can be
performed in the same amount of time. This greatly improves the efficiency of all
VMware ESX/ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual platforms and physical servers for
V-locity I/O optimization is tailored for virtual environments that leverage a SAN
or NAS as it proactively provides I/O benefit—improving storage performance and
benefiting advanced storage features like snapshots, replication, data deduplication
and thin provisioning. Since V-locity optimizes I/O at the server level, it is complementary
to all SAN and NAS storage systems and media types (e.g., HDD or SSD).
Download a trial of V-locity and put it to the test in your real-world environment »