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Dot Hill Ultra48 AssuredSAN Hybrid Storage Solutions Tested by ESG Lab


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Delivering performance with lower latency

  • Published Date:
    April 23, 2015
  • Author:
    Darryl Riddlespurger
  • Category:
    Dot Hill

Blog Post

The Lab Validation Report, issued by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), documents the results of expert, independent, hands-on testing of the AssuredSAN 4000 Series next-generation hybrid solution with a focus on the value of RealStor 2.0 application workload-aware intelligence software and the Ultra48 AssuredSAN high-density storage enclosure. The report confirms that RealStor 2.0 real-time autonomic tiering features and capabilities far exceed read-cache alternatives from competitors.

"IT managers are struggling with the challenges of managing data growth and improving data protection. The increasing use of server virtualization is also a top priority as organizations recognize the opportunity to improve efficiency by consolidating applications on fewer physical servers. In addition, storage-intensive big data and data analytics initiatives are on the rise as organizations look to accelerate business intelligence," said Brian Garrett, VP, ESG Lab, ESG. "The new and improved software capabilities of RealStor 2.0 and the flash-optimized Ultra48 high-density hardware platform cost-effectively address the data growth and performance challenges associated with a variety of these applications and associated workloads."

Testing conclusions:
After testing RealStor 2.0 and its range of associated services, ESG Lab drew a number of conclusions including:
RealStor 2.0 with RealPool and RealThin increased the efficiency and ease of managing a cost-effective hybrid mix of SSD and HDD storage.
RealTier started to increase performance with a hybrid mix of SSD and HDD in a matter of minutes for an OLTP database workload.
RealCache with SSD increased performance for a read-intensive database workload in a matter ofs.
RealQuick reduced RAID group rebuild times by 14.6x for a volume that was 10% full compared with a traditional full-volume rebuild.
The RealStor 2.0 management interface was used to configure an AssuredSAN 4004 Series from scratch in five minutes and 26 mouse clicks.
ESG Lab confirmed that the redundant and field-serviceable Ultra48 Platform is highly available as it rode through a barrage of simulated hardware failures.

"The pooling and automatic tiering of RealStor 2.0 is seriously smart and efficient. The fine grain 4MB efficiency and real-time frequency of RealTier provide best-in-class efficiency and performance compared with competitive tiering solutions with larger page sizes (e.g., 1GB) and a sluggish monitoring and migration frequency (e.g., 24 hours)," the report states. "Like an autonomic heart beat that you don't need to think about, automatic tiering continuall,umps data throughout the organization in real time-when and where it's needed most, at the lowest possible cost. ESG Lab testing showed significant improvements in response times for workloads mirroring typical business environments. RealStor 2.0 software quickly adapted to rapidly changing workloads. We believe customers will welcome Dot Hill's simply elegant approach to storage management that saves time and money, delivers great performance at a compelling price point, and eliminates the hassle of dealing with RAID."

"ESG Lab has validated our own findigs by providing extensive, thorough third-party performance testing of Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 and our Ultra48 AssuredSAN hybrid storage system," said Bill Wuertz, SVP, products and solutions, Dot Hill. "With high-performance controllers, redundant design, and RealStor 2.0 software included standard, Dot Hill AssuredSAN ultra-density hybrid storage arrays provide optimal hardware platforms for virtualized server environments, transaction-intensive applications or any environment that calls for a storage system that can respond in real time to constantly changing workloads."

Smart and efficient
As the ESG Lab report notes, RealStor 2.0 was designed with the goal of improving the efficiency, manageability, and performance of pools of storage.

"Pools of HDDs, SSDs and a hybrid mix of both are supported. After configuring storage into one or more autonomic pools, RealStor 2.0 kicks in and works automatically as it delivers a simply powerful range of smart and efficient storage services," states the report.

Services include:
RealTier, which improves performance and reduces costs. Frequently accessed 4MB chunks of application data are moved to a higher performing tier (e.g., SSD) for faster performance, and infrequently accessed chunks are moved to a lower cost tier (e.g., near-line SAS) for reduced costs.
RealPool, which simplifies the definition and management of tiered pools of storage with a powerful, yet simple-to-manage, storage virtualization layer.
RealSnap, which provides zero-impact data copies for quick and easy recovery and test development. Read-only and writeable snapshots are supported with redirect-on-write technology and no need for zero block recovery.
RealQuick, which reduces the risk of data loss after a drive failure with fast RAID rebuilds. Instead of rebuilding an entire RAID group, only the capacity that has been allocated to storage volumes is rebuilt to restore data protection more quickly.
RealThin, which reduces the cost of storage capacity with thin provisioning. Instead of reserving and consuming storage when host volumes are created, thin provisioning consumes capacity as needed by applications.
RealCache, which provides a quick real-time performance boost for business-critical applications with SSD configured as a caching layer for frequently accessed read data.

RealStor 2.0 is the company's second-generation storage virtualization software that delivers storage management services. Included standard with powerful AssuredSAN 4000 Series hybrid storage solutions such as the Ultra48 and Ultra56 AssuredSAN ultra-density chassis options, RealStor 2.0 fuels a set of autonomic efficiencies including SSD caching, SSD and HDD tiering in real-time, thin provisioning, zero-impact snapshots, and quick RAID rebuilds. A management interface deployment and simplifies routine storage configuration and management tasks.

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