713.864.4932 | Live Chat

  • Home
  • Company
  • Blog
  • The Key To Performance Isn’t CPU Or Memory

Elevology Blog

The Key To Performance Isn’t CPU Or Memory

Applications are driving the enterprise, whether it is a relatively simple application used by millions of customers or a complex, scalable database that drives an organization's back end. These applications, and the users that count on them, expect rapid response times. In a world that demands “instant gratification,” forcing a customer, prospect, or employee to wait for a response is the kiss of death.

–George Crump, lead analyst, IT consulting firm Storage Switzerland, LLC

For most data centers, Crump suggests, “the number one cause of these ‘waits’ is the data storage infrastructure, and improving storage performance is a top priority for many CIOs.”

Sound familiar?

It may be challenging for executives who live well outside the IT glass house to think in milliseconds, or to recognize how much speed — which translates directly to application performance — matters. It’s tough enough to wrap our heads around the fractional advantages that accrue to Olympians like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, much less grasp the arcane benefits of sub-millisecond flash storage to everyday business applications.

But matter it does. Here’s a look at why, how we got here, and what organizations need to know as they tune their IT infrastructures for maximum performance — and optimum profitability. (Hint: it’s not speed for its own sake.)

I’ve got a flash for you. If you’re an owner of a small to midsize business: (paraphrasing James Carville) it’s the storage performance, dummy.

For years, the IT establishment has been telling businesses that faster performance can be achieved through more memory and greater CPU horsepower. The problem with that is simply this: at some point, you have enough processing power and memory capacity, and you’re still not satisfied with how your applications perform.

Even within the storage business, the mantra has been “large enough” storage. Only the very savvy have been recommending faster storage for the office network. Now, with the advent of inexpensive SSD/flash disks for the office, everyone can get very fast storage within a network environment. How does this translate to the data center and the cloud? Not all that well, as it turns out. Even as you add more CPU and memory to the cloud, apps are still sluggish.

The reason is that most cloud providers have opted for larger capacity — but slightly slower and less expensive — disks. High speed flash storage has become feasible in the cloud environment only recently, but even SSD drives have their limits in the cloud. There is, after all, a reason they call it “off the shelf.” This “commodity storage” offers only incremental bumps, when the smart money should be on technologies that really do deliver palpable, strategic improvements in storage performance — and therefore application speed.

The industry hasn’t done an adequate job equipping business users with the vocabulary they need to understand storage speed. The key is latency: as market researcher StorageSwiss puts it, how long it takes for a single data request to be received and the right data found and accessed from the storage media. The norm used to be storage latency of 5 milliseconds (ms) — now, it’s 1 to 2 ms latency across the board. And that’s not even fast enough. Sub-millisecond performance is just about here — and users need to start asking their providers for that kind of capability. Before long, if providers aren’t hitting sub-ms latency, they won’t even be in the ballpark.

This quantum boost in storage speed would seem to be one of those technology breakthroughs of interest mostly to those who actually make or sell the hardware, but that would be a misreading of the trend.

An industry analyst has identified high-speed flash storage as among the three biggest emerging trends in cloud computing, noting that flash storage offers greater efficiency compared to the traditional HDD storage device. “Currently, the cost of flash-based NAS storage is several times larger than that of HDD-based NAS storage,” the firm reports. “With the increased user access needs, flash-based NAS storage arrays offer 40 to 45 times better performance than hard disk input/output (I/O) performance.” New York-based 451 Research concurs, “With the inclusion of solid-state drives (SSDs) in arrays, performance is no longer a differentiator in its own right, but a scalability enabler that improves operational and financial efficiency by facilitating storage consolidation.”

The “need for speed,” then, is neither an extravagance nor a distraction; it’s an opportunity for organizations to take stock of what they have, what they’re using, and how their IT infrastructure — whether in-house or administered in the cloud, through a third party — is supporting the business.

“The problem is that the storage industry often misleads IT professionals as to where they should direct their attention when trying to eliminate wait time,” says StorageSwiss’s Crump, intimating that IT’s confusion isn’t doing business users any favors. So not only is it “the storage performance, dummy,” it’s also “the latency, dummy.”

When it comes to recognizing the importance and impact for sub-millisecond storage performance, then, there really is no time to wait.

Hybrid Backup and Disaster Recovery from ioSafe
Why Cloud Architecture Matters

What our Clients are Saying

  • It has been such a pleasure to work with Elevology and especially its CEO, Donnie Rollins. From the very beginning, Donnie was so immersed in understanding our condo and our marketing needs. He was good about listenings and then suggesting and bouncing ideas off of us. As he took our conversations and tied them into reality, he truly captured the essence of who we are and where we wanted to go. We could not be more pleased with Donnie, with Elevology and with our new web site.
    Carol Loeb, President
    Sandcastle Council of Owners Association
  • My new look is Chic modern and mobile friendly.
    Charlotte Neal
    Houston Outcall Massage
  • Elevology offers great service and Donnie is always quick to answer any questions or concerns I have. I highly recommend them for your small business online services, they will not disappoint.
    Las Vegas
  • Our experience with Elevology has been of the utmost professionalism and quality. Mr. Rollins is a pleasure to work with. He promptly responds to our requests when changes are necessary to our web site. We highly recommend Elevology.
    Carl and Laurel Milentz
    Milentz Self Storage
  • Donnie Rollins is a great asset to our company and has an outstanding work ethic! He not only goes above and beyond the call of duty, but he has actually become part of our evolving progress to serve our overseas customers. I am very appreciative of Donnie Rollins' involvement in the branding of our company and his creative development of our website. We look forward to our many more years of great service and advice from a gentleman we consider part of our team.
    Tom George, CEO
  • We very much appreciate Mr. Rollin’s pleasant demeanor and his quick responses to when we have problems or need assistance in problem solving. As for this Court we would highly recommend Mr. Rollins and his company, Elevology, for any and all IT service needs.
    Connie Crenshaw CMCC
    Municipal Court Clerk Administrator
    City of Luling, Caldwell County, Texas
  • After recently acquiring a competitor and effectively doubling our production, we decided a make-over was in order. The team at Elevology worked with us in the midst of transition to totally re-design our company logo, websites, and install a voip phone network. Every aspect of the job has been handled with obvious dedication to meeting customer needs. Elevology is a prime pick for IT needs, web design, and more.
    J. Carroll
    AJAX Environmental
  • I like Donnie a lot, he is a good person. He is very smart and very efficient. I like the fact that he takes his personal Christian values to his company which to me it's honest, trustworthy, efficient and very professional. I would love to use Elevology with any personal and professional projects I have in the future.
    Karen Rocha

Online Payments

Copyright © 2005 - Elevology - Houston Joomla Web Designers and Houston Joomla Web Hosting Specialists