VirtuCache Reduces Latency of Synology All-Flash appliance for Web Bonaire

Use Case:
Storage Performance

Location:
Kralendijk, Caribbean Netherlands

Challenges:

  • Customer wanted low VM latencies for their Scada applications running inside VMware VMs.

Benefits:

  • Virtucache ensured that VM level storage latency was consistently under 2ms for customer’s Synology storage arrays connected to ESXi hosts.

VirtuCache Reduces Latency of Synology All-Flash appliance for Web Bonaire

The Virtunet Difference
The customer selected VirtuCache because:
  • VirtuCache was the only solution in the market that improves storage performance without requiring a replacement of customer's storage arrays.
  • The only other alternative was to replace all their Synology storage arrays with a faster All-Flash array like the EMC XtremIO, which would have been very expensive.
  • Kralendijk, Caribbean Netherlands. August 1,2022.

    Bonaire, a municipality of the Netherlands, is a beautiful island in the Caribbean.

    Their public utilities department, Water- en Energiebedrijf Bonaire N.V. a.k.a Webbonaire, is a customer of VirtuCache. They use VirtuCache to improve the performance of their Scada applications, which run in VMware VMs with a Synology All-Flash appliance as primary storage.

    Virtunet Systems develops VirtuCache software. VirtuCache improves the storage performance of VMware VMs by caching all VM read and write operations to in-host SSD or RAM.

    High VMware Disk Latency in Synology Appliance because of a Weak Controller

    Synology appliances that Webbonaire uses are all-Flash appliances, yet they were experiencing high disk latencies. This was because the controllers on these appliances are not very powerful. To keep the Synology appliances reasonably priced, the controller processors in these appliances are dual core Intel processors. As a result, the controller chokes when large amount of small block IO are transmitted through it, as was the case at the customer.

    How VirtuCache Reduces Latencies for Synology Appliances

    VirtuCache automatically caches all storage IO (reads and writes) from VMware VMs to ESXi host SSD or RAM. So, any reads requested by VMware VMs are serviced from in-host SSD or RAM and all writes from VMs are written to the same in-host SSD / RAM as well. So, the storage IO processing is offloaded from SAN array controllers to ESXi host CPUs. Since ESXi host CPUs are considerably more powerful and usually are underutilized, this strategy of using VirtuCache to relieve pressure on SAN array controllers and improve IOPS and latencies works very well for Synology appliances.

    Customer Environment

    • HP Gen10 servers running ESXi 7.0.
    • Datastores on Synology FS6400 storage arrays connected to ESXi hosts using 10g iSCSI.
    • VirtuCache was installed in ESXi 7 in each host, and it was configured to cache to in-host 3.2TB Samsung PM1735 PCIe SSD in each host in their 3-host ESXi cluster. In VirtuCache, ‘Write-Back One Replica’ policy was applied to all the Datastores. ‘Write-Back One Replica’ policy caches all reads and writes to in-host cache media and mirrors the write cache to cache media in one more host in the cluster. As a result, all reads and writes are serviced directly from the in-host cache media without involving the backend storage arrays, thus improving storage latencies considerably.
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