In terms of passenger throughput, Shinjuku Station in Japan is considered the world’s busiest train station. Connecting rail traffic between central Tokyo and its western suburbs, Shinjuku recorded an average 3.64 million passengers per day in 2007. Now imagine upping that to 10 million per day without adding any new trains and the associated cost. That’s sort of what it’s like to reach 1.9 million row insertions per second in a database table using the new HP ioDrive2 IO Accelerators configured within HP ProLiant Gen8 servers.
If you work with databases, you know that 1.9 million row insertions per second is much more than a lot. We knew that the new generation of HP IO Accelerators, released on May 14th together with the next wave of HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, would provide our customers with a tremendous application performance boost. And recent testing in a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 environment made us virtually giddy.
HP IO Accelerators place data close to the server CPU, dramatically improving application performance by bypassing traditional storage controllers and unlocking trapped compute cycles. Based on ioMemory technology from Fusion-io, they operate as a new storage memory tier within the server. These devices install on the PCIe bus within your rack, tower, or blade server to help eliminate I/O bottlenecks, performance limitations, latency problems, and database blocking. For database applications such as Microsoft SQL 2012, you can accomplish this by (1) hosting the entire database in the server (and mirror with a second server if you need high availability), or by (2) using HP IO Accelerators as a high performance read cache for frequently accessed files (such as log files), with the balance of the dataset hosted by external storage.
Three Microsoft SQL Server 2012 database transaction log stress tests were conducted over the past seven months with the 2nd generation HP IO Accelerators. Earlier this month, we created a Microsoft SQL Server environment using a single HP ProLiant DL380p Gen8 server configured with two of the new 1.2 TB HP ioDrive2 IO Accelerators. Comparing this testing with results from the same test operations performed with two other configurations, tested in November 2011 and March 2012, we saw a huge lift in performance. The November test used four ioDrive2 devices with a single 4-socket server. The March test was conducted live at SQLBits in London using three ioDrive2 devices with a single HP DL380 G7 server. This test was structured in particular to maximize use of the transaction log, and what we found was stunning: The environment with the HP DL380p Gen8 server and two HP ioDrive2 IO Accelerators easily sustained over 900 MB/s of log file access – 72% higher performance than the November 2011 tests and 20% more than the March 2012 tests. And this environment provided 1.9 million row insertions per second – representing 50% more bandwidth than the November 2011 tests and 20% more than the March 2012 tests. And, this was accomplished by using only two HP ioDrive2 IO Accelerators within a single HP DL380p Gen8 server. Better performance with fewer cards – that’s a crowd pleaser!
Dynamic workload acceleration is a huge part of the Gen8 story. By pairing HP IO Accelerators with HP ProLiant Gen8 servers and HP Insight Control management software, you have an ideal platform for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 – as well as other databases – to accelerate performance, improve response times, and boost efficiency.
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