Esg lab review oracle 2500 m2 mixed workload oct 12

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Esg lab review oracle 2500 m2 mixed workload oct 12

  1. 1. ESG Lab Review Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array Mixed Workload Analysis Date: October 2012 Authors: Tony Palmer, Senior ESG Lab Analyst, and Vinny Choinski, Senior ESG Lab Analyst Abstract: This ESG Lab report explores the capabilities of Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 array deployed with a cost- effectively optimized, highly available virtual infrastructure that’s built with an end-to-end combination of hardware and software from Oracle.The ChallengesESG asked midmarket (under 1,000 employees) businesses to identify the IT initiatives they believed would be mostimportant to their organization over the next 12-18 months. As shown in Figure 1, 30% of respondents cited increaseduse of server virtualization, and 19% indicated deploying a private cloud infrastructure as their most importantpriorities.1 Figure 1. Top Ten Most Important IT Priorities Which of the following would you consider to be your organizations most important IT priorities over the next 12-18 months? (Percent of respondents, N=246, ten responses accepted) Improve data backup and recovery 37% Major application deployments or upgrades 31% Increased use of server virtualization 30% Manage data growth 26% Business continuity/disaster recovery programs 26% Desktop virtualization 25% Information security initiatives 23% Use cloud infrastructure services 20% Deploying a "private cloud" infrastructure 19% Mobile workforce enablement 18% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2012.1 Source: ESG Research Report, 2012 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January 2012.The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about data center technology products for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Lab reports are not meantto replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Ourobjective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areasneeding improvement. ESG Lab’s expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use theseproducts in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by Oracle. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 2Despite the broad success of server virtualization, issues and challenges remain for IT. As a result, a low percentage ofthe potential workloads that could be virtualized have been migrated to virtual machines, and the consolidation ratios ofvirtual machines per physical servers remains relatively low. An ESG research survey explored the challenges associatedwith the next wave of server virtualization.2 Given the rapid growth in the number of virtual machines being deployed,it’s no surprise that scalability, performance, and the overall volume of storage capacity have been identified as keychallenges.The Solution: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 ArrayThe Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array is designed to provide midrange storage functionality and performance, with anaffordable cost of entry. This technology brings together the latest Fibre Channel (FC) and SAS2 technologies withOracle’s intuitive Sun Storage Common Array Manager software to create a solution that’s equally adept in a directattached storage (DAS) or storage area network (SAN) environment for the small or midsize business while integratinginto an existing enterprise storage network. In addition, the 2500-M2’s resilient design is ideal for customers such asnetwork equipment providers (NEPs) who are looking for a rugged, NEBS Level 3 certified design.The Oracle integrated IT stack has been developed over a number of years and includes Sun servers and storagehardware. Because it uses an open architecture, its advantages are available even if customers don’t use the entirestack. The 2500-M2 takes full advantage of any attached components of the Oracle stack. Organizations choosing theOracle stack can expect the confidence of single vendor support without compromising on performance and availability.Figure 2. The Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array * With Oracle Performance Enhancer software Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2The key capabilities of the 2500-M2 Array include:  Flexibility– Support for direct attachment of up to eight servers via SAS2. Larger server environments can be accommodated with 8GFC SAN connectivity.  Resilience–2GB of mirrored, battery backed cache memory that is de-staged to flash if the controllers lose power and dual-ported SAS2 drive technology on the backend ensure availability of the array.  Data Protection–Optional software features such as snapshot and volume copy offer enhanced data management and protection.2 Source: ESG Research Report, The Evolution of Server Virtualization, November 2010. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 3  Enhanced Performance– The processor has an integrated, high-speed RAID on-chip engine that performs RAID 5 XOR and RAID 6P + Q calculations with no performance penalty, enabling this compute-intensive task to be handled efficiently and effortlessly. Organizations can also realize up to a 2x performance improvement with Turbo models and Oracle Performance Enhancer software.  Reliability–AC/DC power options combined with NEBS Level 3 certification make Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500- M2 array ideal for network equipment providers (NEPs) and/or rugged environments.  Ease of Management–Sun Storage Common Array Manager makes the 2500-M2 simple to deploy and manage with an intuitive user interface.ESG Lab TestedThe Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 storage system was tested by ESG Lab in Oracles Broomfield, Colorado facility. Themethodology presented in this report was designed to assess the mixed workload performance and manageability of a2500-M2 in virtual server and consolidated application environments.Getting StartedThe ESG Lab test bed is depicted in Figure 3. Two Sun X4470 servers were attached to an Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2array via an 8GFC SAN. The servers were running Oracle VM Server 3.1.1 and hosted Windows Server 2008, OracleEnterprise Linux, and Oracle Solaris on eleven virtual machines. The 2500-M2 had 48 300GB 15K RPM SAS drivesinstalled. Figure 3. The ESG Lab Test BedESG Lab TestingESG Lab began with a look at the OVM Manager administration GUI, which gives a simple, high-level overview of servers,virtual machines, statuses, and component configurations. As shown in Figure 4, ten Windows and two Linux VMs wererunning in the environment. The Linux machines were used to emulate Oracle 11GB database servers, and the Windowsmachines were used to simulate e-mail, web, and virtual desktop servers. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 4 Figure 4. Oracle VM ManagerNext, ESG Lab took a look at the Sun Storage Common Array Manager, and reviewed the LUNs created for testing. TheCommon Array Manager uses a tree-based presentation model when navigating systems, physical devices, volumes,snapshots, and virtual disks. The interface is clean and intuitive, providing easy access to all features and functionality, asshown in Figure 5Figure 5. Figure 5. Sun Storage Common Array ManagerVirtualizing Business-Critical ApplicationsConventional server benchmarks were designed to measure the performance of a single application running on a singleoperating system inside a single physical computer. SPEC CPU2000 and CPU2006 are well known examples of this typeof server benchmarking tool. Much like traditional server benchmarks, conventional storage system benchmarks weredesigned to measure the performance of a single storage system running a single application workload. The SPC-1benchmark, developed and managed by the Storage Performance Council, is a great example. 3 SPC-1 was designed toassess the performance capabilities of a single storage system as it services an online interactive database application.Traditional benchmarks running a single application workload can’t help IT managers understand what happens when amix of applications are deployed together in a virtual server environment. The methodology developed by ESG Lab and3 http://www.storageperformance.org © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 5presented in this report was designed to stress the storage system more than the servers. A tile-based concept wasused. Each tile is composed of a mixture of four application workloads. Two physical servers, each configured with sixvirtual machines, were used to measure performance in two tests, as the number of active tiles was increased from oneto three.WorkloadsIndustry standard benchmarks were used to emulate the I/O activity of four common business application workloads:  E-mail: The Microsoft Jetstress 2010 utility was used to generate e-mail traffic. Similar to the Microsoft LoadGen utility used in the VMmark benchmark, Jetstress simulates the activity of typical Microsoft Exchange users as they send and read e-mails, make appointments, and manage to-do lists. The Jetstress utility is, however, a more lightweight utility than LoadGen. Using the underlying Jet Engine database, Jetstress was designed to focus on storage performance.  Database: The Orion utility from Oracle was used to generate database traffic. Much like Jetstress, Orion is a lightweight tool that is ideally suited for measuring storage performance. Orion was designed to help administrators understand the performance capabilities of a storage system, either to uncover performance issues or to size a new database installation without having to create and run an Oracle database. Orion is typically used to measure two types of database activity: response-time sensitive online transaction processing (OLTP) and bandwidth sensitive online analytic processing (OLAP).  File Server: The industry standard Iometer utility was used to generate file server traffic. The I/O definition was composed of random reads and writes of various block sizes. The file server Iometer profile used for this test was originally distributed by Intel, the author of Iometer—Iometer has since become an open source project.4  VDI: The industry-standard Iometer utility was used to generate simulated VDI traffic. The I/O characterization was composed of two distinct workloads: boot/login (100% random, 80% read) and steady state (100% random, 80% write).Each of the four workloads was run in parallel, each in its own dedicated virtual machine. Figure 6 shows scaling as VMsare brought online. Response time stayed low even with 12 VMs running different applications with different I/Opatterns.4 http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/iometer © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 6 Figure 6. Mixed Workload Performance Mixed Workload Performance 4 VMs 12 VMs Number of Virtual Machines OLTP Mail File Server VDIDetailed Results of ESG Lab testing are presented in Table 1. Table 1. Mixed Workload Performance Scalability Data Mixed Workload Average Host Virtual Exchange 2010 Virtual OLTP IOPS File Server IOPS Response Time Machines Mailboxes Desktops (ms) 4 4,040 500 675 135 7.59 12 6,075 1,500 2,315 235 12.74 OLTP (Reads) Virtual Average Host Response IOPS Throughput (MB/sec) Machines Time (ms) 1 48,577 1,329 0.10Response time only rose moderately as the workload was increased. The results are not only acceptable, but actuallysignificantly below the thresholds at which users begin to experience performance problems. The aggregate workloadson 12 VMs was determined by the number of IOPS that disks installed in the Sun Storage 2500-M2 array used in thesetests could support. By scaling up the number of disks, or using a turbo model with performance enhancer software,significantly more users, mailboxes, desktops, and transactions could have easily been supported.ESG Lab also ran an OLTP workload independently and configured it to take advantage of the 2500-M2s cache byconfiguring Orion for 100% 8KB random reads. As can be seen in Table 1, the Oracle 2500-M2 was able to sustain morethan 48,000 IOPS with sub-millisecond response times. Although this is not a real-world workload, it does give someinsight into the efficiency and power of the Oracle 2500-M2 controllers. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 7Why This MattersESG research indicates that storage scalability and performance are significant challenges for the growing numberof organizations embracing server virtualization technology.5 Storage benchmarks have historically focused on onetype of workload (e.g., database or e-mail) and one key performance metric (e.g., IOPS, response time, orthroughput). Server benchmarks have typically tested only one server running a CPU-intensive workload thatdoesn’t stress storage. To help IT managers understand how the Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 performs in a virtualserver environment, ESG Lab ran a benchmark designed to assess how real-world applications behave whenrunning on multiple virtualized servers that are sharing a single storage system.ESG Lab simulated a mid-sized organization with 1,500 Exchange 2010 users, a pair of busy OLTP databases, a fileserver supporting hundreds of users, and 235 virtual desktops all running simultaneously on just two physicalservers to demonstrate the performance and scalability of the Sun Storage 2500-M2 array and Oracle VM Server.The Oracle 2500-M2 demonstrated excellent response time throughout the tests, indicating significant availableheadroom to grow as performance requirements increase.5 Source: ESG Research Report, The Evolution of Server Virtualization, November 2010. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 8ESG Lab TestingFinally, ESG Lab looked at the efficiency of the Oracle VM Server by performing a virtual machine migration and clonewhile running a heavy mixed workload on the system. First, an online VM migration was executed with a single workloadrunning on a Windows virtual machine. ESG Lab selected the win2 virtual machine, running on server brm-04, as shownin Figure 7. Figure 7. Selecting a Virtual Machine to MigrateThe migration was simple and fast, using the two step wizard, as seen in Figure 8. The migration completed in sevenseconds and the application on the VM continued to run without interruption. Figure 8. OVM Manager-Migration of a Running Desktop © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 9Once the migration was complete, the virtual machine win2 could be seen running on server brm-05, as shown in Figure9. Figure 9. The Virtual Machine After MigrationNext, a clone was created of a 40GB gold image Windows 2008 Server virtual machine. The clone completed in justunder four minutes. With these baseline tests completed, ESG Lab started up a mixed workload using the Iometer utilityrunning on 12 virtual machines, as seen in Figure 10. Iometer was generating between 7,600 and 7,800 IOPS for theduration of the test. Figure 10. Running a Heavy Mixed WorkloadAt this point, ESG Lab again migrated a virtual machine between physical servers and cloned a virtual machine, alsobetween physical servers. As seen in Figure 11, the migration took seven seconds, exactly the same amount of time as © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 10when the Oracle 2500-M2 was almost idle. The migration took 47 seconds, or just 20% longer under heavy load thanwhen the Oracle 2500-M2 was not busy. Figure 11. Clone and Migration CompletedWhy This MattersESG research indicates that broadening coverage of server virtualization is a top concern of organizations,large and small—30% of the IT managers surveyed ranked increasing use of server virtualization as theirmost important IT priority for 2012-13.Predictable performance scalability is a critical concern when multiple servers that are running diverseapplications share a storage system. A burst of I/O activity in one application can lead to poor responsetimes for others, and lost productivity. A virtualized private cloud environment potentially presents oneof the most diverse and challenging mixes of application types and I/O access patterns to a storage array.In growing environments, the ability to quickly provision data services for users is essential. As IT is beingasked to do more with less, flexible, easy-to-use tools enable efficient provisioning with minimal effort.Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 arrays offer performance to provide predictable scalability with extremelylow response times in a mixed workload environment for small to medium-sized organizations. ESG Labalso found the 2500-M2 able to support essential administrator tasks such as virtual machine migrationand provisioning new servers using the Oracle VM Manager quickly and efficiently even when the systemwas under heavy load. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. ESG Lab Review: Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array-mixed Workload 11The Bigger TruthServer virtualization is being deployed by a growing number of organizations to lower costs, improve resourceutilization, provide non-disruptive upgrades, and increase availability. Each benefit is fundamentally enabled by de-coupling servers, applications, and data from specific physical assets. Storage virtualization takes those very samebenefits and extends them from servers to the underlying storage domain—bringing IT organizations one step closer tothe ideal of a completely virtualized IT infrastructure.Although the benefits of a completely virtualized infrastructure are obvious to most IT managers, performance andmanageability are real concerns. Server, storage, and application administrators are looking for answers to a number ofquestions:  Can we meet performance service level agreements for a mix of business-critical applications?  Does the storage system have the horsepower to serve our mix of real-world applications?  Can the storage system scale to accommodate future growth and consolidation?  Can storage and system management be simplified with tools that we are familiar with?The 2500-M2 brings together the latest Fibre Channel (FC) and SAS2 technologies with Oracle’s intuitive Sun StorageCommon Array Manager software to create a robust solution that’s equally adept in a new DAS or SAN environment orfor integrating into an existing storage network for the small or midsize business.ESG Lab confirmed that the Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 scales performance smoothly for a mix of applications runningin a consolidated virtual server environment. A single 2500-M2 simultaneously supported 1,500 Exchange 2010 users, apair of busy OLTP databases, a file server supporting hundreds of users, and 235 virtual desktops all runningsimultaneously on just two physical servers—all while delivering predictably fast response times and executing criticaladministrative actions such as server migrations and deployments, without skipping a beat .ESG Lab has confirmed that the complementary components in the Oracle stack (virtualization, severs, and storage) areable to integrate smoothly and enable midsized organizations to deploy private cloud environments quickly andconfidently, delivering IT services on demand. ESG Lab is pleased to report that the Oracle Sun Storage 2500-M2 arraydelivers scalable, balanced, and predictable performance that is well-suited for a mix of real-world business applications. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at 508.482.0188. © 2012 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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