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Improving Performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP

Microsoft Dynamics AX transaction processing is write intensive and its reporting is read intensive, thus putting pressure on customer’s existing storage infrastructure. By caching frequently used data from customer’s existing storage to in-host SSDs, VirtuCache was able to reduce read and write latencies for AX running within VMware VMs.

About CPP

CPP is the world leader in personality, career, and organizational development assessments.

They help their clients with organizational challenges in the areas of team building, leadership and coaching, conflict management, career development, selection, and retention.

Issues with VMware and Storage

The IT team at CPP was looking for an easy to use, low cost solution to reduce latencies in their VMware VMs that ran AX.

IT Infrastructure at CPP

Servers – Dell R710 with 72 GB RAM running VMware 5.0
Storage – Hard Disk based EMC CX3-240 on 4gbps Fiber Channel SAN
VM specs – 4 cores and 4 GB RAM was allocated to each VM

Workload Characteristics

Workload was 60% sequential and 40% random, with a mix of 60% reads and 40% writes. Transfer size was 32KB.

Virtucache Deployment

VirtuCache was deployed on each ESXi host caching data from LUNs on the EMC Clariion appliance to one 400GB Intel S3710 SSD per host.

Using the Windows default perfmon.exe utility, read and write throughput and latencies were measured, before deploying VirtuCache and then again after deploying VirtuCache.

Below charts show before and after VirtuCache performance for this ESXi host.

CPP-Read-and-Write-Throughput-Before-and-After-VirtuCache

CPP-Latencies-Before-and-After

Benefit to CPP

As can be seen from the graphs above, throughput was 13 times higher and latency was a third of what it was prior.