Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Trevor Parsons, Michael Jannery, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Enterprise SSHD and Flash SSD Part of an Enterprise Tiered Storage Strategy

Enterprise SSHD and Flash SSD Part of an Enterprise Tiered Storage Strategy

By Greg Schulz

Enterprise SSHD and Flash SSD Part of an Enterprise Tiered Storage Strategy

The question to ask yourself is not if flash Solid State Device (SSD) technologies are in your future.

Instead the questions are when, where, using what, how to configure and related themes. SSD including traditional DRAM and NAND flash-based technologies are like real estate where location matters; however, there are different types of properties to meet various needs. This means leveraging different types of NAND flash SSD technologies in different locations in a complementary and cooperative aka hybrid way.

Introducing Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD)

Solid State Hybrid Disks (SSHD) are the successors to previous generation Hybrid Hard Disk Drives (HHDD) that I have used for several years (you can read more about them here, and here).

While it would be nice to simply have SSD for everything, there are also economic budget realities to be dealt with. Keep in mind that a bit of nand flash SSD cache in the right location for a given purpose can go a long way which is the case with SSHDs. This is also why in many environments today there is a mix of SSD, HDD of various makes, types, speeds and capacities (e.g. different tiers) to support diverse application needs (e.g. not everything in the data center is the same).

However, If you have the need for speed and can afford or benefit from the increased productivity by all means go SSD!

Otoh if you have budget constraints and need more space capacity yet want some performance boost, then SSHDs are an option. The big difference however between today's SSHDs that are available for both enterprise class storage systems and servers, as well as desktop environments is that they can accelerate both reads and writes. This is different from their predecessors that I have used for several years now that had basic read acceleration, however no write optimizations.

SSHD storage I/O oppourtunity
Better Together: Where SSHDs fit in an enterprise tiered storage environment with SSD and HDDs

As their names imply, they are a hybrid between a nand flash Solid State Device (SSD) and traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) meaning a best of situation. This means that the SSHD are based on a traditional spinning HDD (various models with different speeds, space capacity, interfaces) along with DRAM (which is found on most modern HDDs), along with nand flash for read cache, and some extra nonvolatile memory for persistent write cache combined with a bit of software defined storage performance optimization algorithms.

Btw, if you were paying attention to that last sentence you would have picked up on something about nonvolatile memory being used for persistent write cache which should prompt the question would that help with nand flash write endurance? Yup.

Where and when to use SSHD?

In the StorageIO Industry Trends Perspective thought leadership white paper I recently released compliments of Seagate Enterprise Turbo SSHD (that's a disclosure btw ;) enterprise class Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD) were looked at and test driven in the StorageIO Labs with various application workloads. These activities include being in a virtual environment for common applications including database and email messaging using industry standard benchmark workloads (e.g. TPC-B and TPC-E for database, JetStress for Exchange).

Storage I/O sshd white paper

Conventional storage system focused workloads using iometer, iorate and vdbench were also run in the StorageIO Labs to set up baseline reads, writes, random, sequential, small and large I/O size with IOPs, bandwidth and response time latency results. Some of those results can be found here (Part II: How many IOPS can a HDD, HHDD or SSD do with VMware?) with other ongoing workloads continuing in different configurations. The various test drive proof points were done in the   comparing SSHD, SSD and different HDDs.

Data Protection (Archiving, Backup, BC, DR)

Staging cache buffer area for snapshots, replication or current copies before streaming to other storage tier using fast read/write capabilities. Meta data, index and catalogs benefit from fast reads and writes for faster protection.

Big Data DSS
Data Warehouse

Support sequential read-ahead operations and “hot-band” data caching in a cost-effective way using SSHD vs. slower similar capacity size HDDs for Data warehouse, DSS and other analytic environments.

Email, Text and Voice Messaging

Microsoft Exchange and other email journals, mailbox or object repositories can leverage faster read and write I/Os with more space capacity.

OLTP, Database
 Key Value Stores SQL and NoSQL

Eliminate the need to short stroke HDDs to gain performance, offer more space capacity and IOP performance per device for tables, logs, journals, import/export and scratch, temporary ephemeral storage. Leverage random and sequential read acceleration to compliment server-side SSD-based read and write-thru caching. Utilize fast magnetic media for persistent data reducing wear and tear on more costly flash SSD storage devices.

Server Virtualization

Fast disk storage for data stores and virtual disks supporting VMware vSphere/ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, Xen and others.  Holding virtual machines such as VMware VMDKs, along with Hyper-V and other hypervisor virtual disks.  Compliment virtual server read cache and I/O optimization using SSD as a cache with writes going to fast SSHD. For example VMware V5.5 Virtual SAN host disk groups use SSD as a read cache and can use SSHD as the magnetic disk for storing data while boosting performance without breaking the budget or adding complexity.

Speaking of Virtual, as mentioned the various proof points were run using Windows systems that were VMware guests with the SSHD and other devices being Raw Device Mapped (RDM) SAS and SATA attached, read how to do that here.

Hint: If you know about the VMware trick for making a HDD look like a SSD to vSphere/ESXi (refer to here and here) think outside the virtual box for a moment on some things you could do with SSHD in a VSAN environment among other things, for now, just sayin ;).

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

SSHD can be used as high performance magnetic disk for storing linked clone images, applications and data. Leverage fast read to support read ahead or pre-fetch to compliment SSD based read cache solutions. Utilize fast writes to quickly store data enabling SSD-based read or write-thru cache solutions to be more effective. Reduce impact of boot, shutdown, and virus scan or maintenance storms while providing more space capacity.

Table 1 Example application and workload scenarios benefiting from SSHDs

Test drive application proof points

Various workloads were run using Seagate Enterprise Turbo SSHD in the StorageIO lab environment across different real world like application workload scenarios. These include general storage I/O performance characteristics profiling (e.g. reads, writes, random, sequential or various IOP size) to understand how these devices compare to other HDD, HHDD and SSD storage devices in terms of IOPS, bandwidth and response time (latency). In addition to basic storage I/O profiling, the Enterprise Turbo SSHD was also used with various SQL database workloads including Transaction Processing Council (TPC); along with VMware server virtualization among others use case scenarios.

Note that in the following workload proof points a single drive was used meaning that using more drives in a server or storage system should yield better performance. This also means scaling would be bound by the constraints of a given configuration, server or storage system. These were also conducted using 6Gbps SAS with PCIe Gen 2 based servers and ongoing testing is confirming even better results with 12Gbs SAS, faster servers with PCIe Gen 3.

SSHD large file storage i/o
Copy (read and write) 80GB and 220GB file copies (time to copy entire file)

SSHD storage I/O TPCB Database performance
SQLserver TPC-B batch database updates

Test configuration: 600GB 2.5” Enterprise Turbo SSHD (ST600MX) 6 Gbps SAS, 600GB 2.5” Enterprise Enhanced 15K V4 (15K RPM) HDD (ST600MP) with 6 Gbps SAS, 500GB 3.5” 7.2K RPM HDD 3 Gbps SATA, 1TB 3.5” 7.2K RPM HDD 3 Gbps SATA. Workload generator and virtual clients ran on Windows 7 Ultimate. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database was on Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit) 14 GB DRAM, Dual CPU (Intel x3490 2.93 GHz)), with LSI 9211 6Gbps SAS adapters with TPC-B (www.tpc.org) workloads. VM resided on separate data store from devices being tested. All devices being tested with SQL MDF were Raw Device Mapped (RDM) independent persistent with database log file (LDF) on a separate SSD device also persistent (no delayed writes). Tests were performed in StorageIO Lab facilities by StorageIO personal.

SSHD storage I/O TPCE Database performance
SQLserver TPC-E transactional workload

Test configuration: 600GB 2.5” Enterprise Turbo SSHD (ST600MX) 6 Gbps SAS, 600GB 2.5” Enterprise Enhanced 15K V4 (15K RPM) HDD (ST600MP) with 6 Gbps SAS, 300GB 2.5” Savio 10K RPM HDD 6 Gbps SAS, 1TB 3.5” 7.2K RPM HDD 6 Gbps SATA. Workload generator and virtual clients Windows 7 Ultimate. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 database was on Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit) 14 GB DRAM, Dual CPU (E8400 2.99GHz), with LSI 9211 6Gbps SAS adapters with TPC-E (www.tpc.org) workloads. VM resided on separate SSD based data store from devices being tested (e.g., where MDF resided). All devices being tested were Raw Device Mapped (RDM) independent persistent with database log file on a separate SSD device also persistent (no delayed writes). Tests were performed in StorageIO Lab facilities by StorageIO personal.

SSHD storage I/O Exchange performance
Microsoft Exchange workload

Test configuration: 2.5” Seagate 600 Pro 120GB (ST120FP0021 ) SSD 6 Gbps SATA, 600GB 2.5” Enterprise Turbo SSHD (ST600MX) 6 Gbps SAS, 600GB 2.5” Enterprise Enhanced 15K V4 (15K RPM) HDD (ST600MP) with 6 Gbps SAS, 2.5” Savio 146GB HDD 6 Gbps SAS, 3.5” Barracuda 500GB 7.2K RPM HDD 3 Gbps SATA. Email server hosted as guest on VMware vSphere/ESXi V5.5, Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 Service Pack 1 64 bit, 8GB DRAM, One CPU (Intel X3490 2.93 GHz) LSI 9211 6 Gbps SAS adapter, JetStress 2010 (no other active workload during test intervals). All devices being tested were Raw Device Mapped (RDM) where EDB resided. VM on a SSD based separate data store than devices being tested. Log file IOPs were handled via a separate SSD device.

Read more about the above proof points along view data points and configuration information in the associated white paper found here (no registration required).

What this all means

Similar to flash-based SSD technologies the question is not if, rather when, where, why and how to deploy hybrid solutions such as SSHDs. If your applications and data infrastructures environment have the need for storage I/O speed without loss of space capacity and breaking your budget, SSD enabled devices like the Seagate Enterprise Turbo 600GB SSHD are in your future. You can learn more about enterprise class SSHD such as those from Seagate by visiting this link here.

Watch for extra workload proof points being performed including with 12Gbps SAS and faster servers using PCIe Gen 3.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2014 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.

@CloudExpo Stories
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
OneCloud Software has launched the OneCloud Partner Program. Responding to demand from prospective partners, the Program offers managed service providers (MSPs) and resellers the resources they need to grow their business with the OneCloud Recovery solution. OneCloud Recovery is an automated solution for disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC), which leverages Amazon Web Services as the disaster recovery site. “This is a tremendous opportunity with an innovative hybrid cloud-based DR pro...
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, showed how Esri products hook into Hadoop cluster to allow you to do spatial analysis on the spatial data within your cluster, and he demonstrated rendering from a data center with ArcGIS Pro, a new product that has a brand new rendering engine.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...
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 Big Data Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, disc...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...