What to Look for in an HCI Solution for Your Tier-1 Apps

Performance is critical when it comes to hyperconverged infrastructure. Enterprise Strategy Group tested performance on Dell EMC VxRail with Intel® Optane™ SSDs, and the results are impressive.

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Intel

Move faster, they say. Become more agile, they say. Everyone—from tech gurus to your company’s leadership—says that your company’s ability to compete depends on the flexibility and agility of your IT infrastructure.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is one method organizations use to achieve this agility. If you are considering an HCI solution like Dell EMC VxRail, you are likely several milestones along in your digital-transformation journey. Maybe you have already moved your Tier-2 apps to the cloud and are looking to gain cloud-like experience on-premises for your mission-critical workloads. HCI can deliver that.

But what do you look for in an HCI solution for Tier-1 apps? It should:

  • Provide high input/output operations per second (IOPS) and low read/write latency in a consistent, predictable manner. Predictable performance is critical for end-user productivity.
  • Make the eventual migration to the cloud easier while letting you confidently move cloud-native apps from the public cloud back to an on-premises private cloud.
  • Allow you to start small—with a two- or three-node system—and easily scale as you grow.

VxRail, powered by Dell EMC PowerEdge server platforms, is a turnkey HCI platform that consolidates compute, storage, and virtualization—including Intel Optane DC Solid State Drives (SSD) as caching drives. It also includes Dell EMC SmartFabric services when deployed with the Dell EMC PowerSwitch family; integration across the VMware ecosystem, including VMware vSAN; VMware hybrid-cloud integration; and automated tools and guides designed to simplify deployment of a secure VxRail infrastructure.

Dell Technologies, VMware, and Intel work closely together to quickly bring next-generation technologies to VxRail. Additionally, 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Optane DC SSDs provide the compute and storage performance needed to service latency-sensitive business-critical workloads including Oracle applications, Microsoft SQL Server, and the SAP HANA platform.

Tier-1 Performance for Tier-1 Workloads

Testing by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) shows that VxRail with Intel Optane DC SSDs delivers the performance you need for mission-critical apps deployed on HCI. For example:

  • In a test that reflects a realistic online transaction processing (OLTP) environment, VxRail with Intel Optane DC SSDs achieved 61% more transactions per minute compared to VxRail with NAND SSDs.
  • In addition, latency on a system using Intel Optane DC SSDs for its cache was up to 30% lower than on a system using NAND SSDs for its cache.
  • NAND flash performance dropped by 39% once cache began to aggressively destage, while the system running Intel Optane DC SSDs as cache sustained consistent service with no performance degradation.

Before you choose which HCI solution is right for you, make sure you check out the full ESG report. You’ll see additional test results that might just surprise you, including full IOPS and latency details for a synthetic relational database management system (RDBMS) workload using a 22 KB block size. Get the full report here.