The Virtunet DifferenceVirtuCache helped reduce latencies in Microsoft AX by caching frequently used data from CPP's backend EMC appliance to in-host SSDs. With VirtuCache larger amounts of SSD could now be deployed and for much cheaper than what it would have cost CPP to upgrade to a higher speed FC network and an All-Flash SAN array.
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 (now called The Myers-BrigGs company)
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 storage latencies for their VMware VMs that ran AX.
IT Infrastructure at CPP
ESXI hosts – Dell R710 with 72 GB RAM running VMware 5.0
Storage – Hard Disk based EMC CX3-240 on 4gbps Fiber Channel SAN
VM specs – 16 cores and 16 GB RAM was allocated to each VM
The workload was 60% sequential and 40% random, with a mix of 60% reads and 40% writes. Transfer block size was 32KB.
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.
The below charts show before and after VirtuCache performance for this ESXi host.
Benefit to CPP
As can be seen from the graphs above, with VirtuCache the throughput was 13 times higher and storage latency was a third of what it was prior.