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Caching solutions to reduce latency, I/O bottlenecks

Posted: 08 Mar 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCIe  flash cards  server caching software 

LSI Corp. and NetApp will be offering complete server flash caching solutions that they claim will speed application performance by converting server-based flash into "hot" data cache for critical business applications.

The LSI Nytro WarpDrive family of application acceleration PCIe flash cards is going to be used by NetApp's Flash Accel software. LSI Nytro WarpDrive cards are among the first PCIe flash devices to be fully tested and qualified with NetApp's intelligent server caching software.

"Flash memory adoption in the enterprise is a powerful complement to hard-disc-based network storage," said Tim Russell, vice president, data lifecycle ecosystem group, NetApp. "Deploying flash as a high-speed cache in the server is a simple and cost-effective way to significantly reduce latency and I/O bottlenecks, while providing enterprise-level data protection and manageability for the entire infrastructure. Working with our server cache partners, we're able to offer customers a complete end-to-end, high-speed solution."

The following are the features of the LSI and NetApp server caching solutions:

  • Automated and intelligent caching of hot data to PCIe flash storage
  • Increased application responsiveness and reduced latency
  • Optimised cost per IOPS and cost per gigabyte across flash and HDDs
  • Significant power, cooling and physical footprint savings, reducing total cost of ownership
  • A fully tested, end-to-end solution that is simple to use

The companies boast that LSI Nytro WarpDrive cards deployed in conjunction with Flash Accel software intelligently place the most frequently accessed or "hot" data on ultra-low latency, high-performance PCIe flash storage. They added that test results have shown a reduction in application and server latency by up to 90 per cent while increasing throughput by up to 80 per cent. By allowing infrequently accessed data to remain on HDD storage, organisations can deploy an economical mix of flash and hard-disc storage, optimising both cost per IOPS and cost per gigabyte of storage capacity.

LSI and NetApp claim that the combined solution helps to reduce data centre footprint and overall IT costs by delivering the equivalent I/O performance of hundreds of hard drives, while using significantly less power, cooling and physical space. Storage efficiency is also improved by minimising the number of input/output operations between servers and back-end storage systems, which frees up shared storage resources to handle additional workloads. In addition, the Nytro WarpDrive card's advanced "off-loaded" multi-processor architecture uses up to four times less CPU and memory resources than competing solutions, providing high performance over the life of the product and freeing up these costly resources for other critical applications and workloads.

"LSI Nytro WarpDrive cards help datacenter managers contend with massive data growth by increasing the speed and responsiveness of critical applications," said Gary Smerdon, senior vice president and general manager, accelerated solutions division, LSI. "The combination of Nytro WarpDrive cards and Flash Accel software allows for an optimised use of flash while extending its significant performance and TCO benefits to any server connected to NetApp storage."

LSI Nytro WarpDrive cards, which are part of LSI's comprehensive Nytro portfolio PCIe flash adapters, range in capacity from 200GB to 1.6TB of MLC or SLC flash memory. It uses LSI SandForce flash storage processors to deliver reliability and energy efficiency. Using industry-standard LSI drivers, featuring extensive in-box operating system and management support, Nytro WarpDrive cards are designed for simple, plug-and-play integration into today's low-profile, high-performance system chassis.

LSI Nytro WarpDrive application acceleration cards are currently available from select OEM customers and LSI's worldwide network of distributors, integrators and VARs. NetApp offers Flash Accel software as a free download for NetApp customers.

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