Condusiv Technologies Server Solutions

Cluster Server

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 others.

Cluster Server 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.

Read about The Shift to I /O Optimization to Boost Virtual and Physical Server Performance »

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 increased bandwidth.

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 »