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Taking Control of System Storage Performance

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The Intel Storage Performance Snapshot Tool gives you a fast, high-level look at system storage performance and helps you understand the potential benefits of moving to faster storage. To demonstrate the power of this tool, let’s consider two snapshots while running a MySQL database workload against the same system but with two storage configurations. The first, a RAID 10 of 6 enterprise-class hard disk drives, and the second a single enterprise-class NVMe solid state drive.

The move to an NVMe SSD has the potential unlock additional improvements over the hard disk drive solution thanks in part to its PCI Express interface along with a software protocol optimized for non-volatile memory,” said Ken Letourneau, Data Center Solutions Architect, Intel Storage Products.

Let’s take a look at the hard disk solution first. The figure below shows the various metrics collected about the storage system including: OS, CPU, memory and storage devices. The Intel Storage Performance Snapshot Tool gives you a fast high-level look at system storage performance and helps you understand the potential benefits of moving to faster storage. We also see a capture of CPU performance over the duration of the workload. The tool helps us determine whether memory and network were under any pressure, specifically the percentage of time the CPU was idle. I/O wait is another metric that could potentially indicate trouble, for example if I/O represents a significant percentage of the non-idle CPU time spent. In the figure, the busy disk (the RAID 10 drives) is highlighted in red.

 

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Intel Storage Performance Snapshot Tool – HDD RAID 10

The big question is whether faster storage for this workload will result in less I/O waits and more I/O throughput? Understanding the random access patterns inherent to database workloads, you can expect significant improvements by making the change to an NVMe solid data drive.

The Intel Storage Performance Snapshot Tool gives you a fast, high-level look at system storage performanceClick To Tweet

The figure below now shows metrics provided by the Snapshot tool for a single NMVe SSD. There is no discernible I/O wait in the CPU graph. I/O wait has come down to 1% from 12%. Average I/O operations has increased to over 6,000 from 3,700 for the hard disk drive solution. Now the storage subsystem looks pretty optimized for the workload.

 

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Intel Storage Performance Snapshot Tool – SSD

 

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