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Lab Insight: Application Performance with Multi-Tiered Storage

Published April 9th, 2018. This Lab Insight reviews testing results of HPE MSA 2050 in use cases designed to highlight performance when accessing data from storage tiers of the MSA system.

Managing data is a continuing challenge for organizations, as the amount of data grows the associated time and cost of management can increase proportionally. For many companies without full time application or storage administrators, the resources necessary to manage data are not available. This is one reason that while the concept of data lifecycle management is appealing, it is seldom implemented in practice. Thus, although there are tangible cost and performance benefits to migrating or data archival, many companies are not able to realize the potential advantages.

Rather than relying upon manual administrative policy or procedures, tools that are able to perform data movement autonomously are much more practical, without the need to rely upon human intervention. The challenge has been to find tools that are simple to use that do not add additional complexity or costs. One such technology that fits this description is automated storage tiering, which quite simply moves data between different types of storage media based upon polices or rules. The most reliable and easily implemented tiering implementations are storage systems that are able to move data between storage media within the same system.

The HPE MSA storage system is a storage system designed for mid-sized enterprises who want reliable, high performance with minimal cost and complexity. The MSA series supports enterprise features and includes the ability to move data between high-performance flash, traditional performance hard disks and large capacity drives designed for on-line archive usage. MSA features such as snapshots and replication provide the features desired by enterprise application users.

In this paper, Evaluator Group reviews testing results of an HPE MSA 2050 in several specific use cases designed to highlight application performance when accessing data residing on different storage tiers of the MSA system. The testing clearly showed that adding online archive media provided significantly greater capacity retention, without impacting active data performance. Then, by adding solid-state tier to the system, the performance increased dramatically, while still having the ability to retain access to the online archive data.

Testing showed two different MSA 2050 configurations delivered performance levels sufficient for a mid to large health-care environment accessing medical image data in a 60 TB file repository. Specifically:

  •  2-Tier MSA accessing 60TB repository
    • AccessRate:188files/second(averagefilesizeof512KB)
    • ReadRate:81.5MB/sReadat25.8ms.averagelatency
  •  3-Tier MSA for 60 TB (4X higher processing rate at 5X lower latency compared to 2-Tier)
    • AccessRate:760files/second(averagefilesizeof512KB)
    • ReadRate:329.5MB/sReadat5.0ms.averagelatency

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