Storage performance could be one of the single most important factors when it comes to productivity, as well as user experience. Enterprises that are capable of eliminating latency and improving the speed at which users and applications can access vital data are able to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, worker productivity, and user satisfaction. There are several exciting advances in the realm of storage that make it easier to provide high speed and performance, but getting the most out of your storage does require a little tweaking and adjusting on the part of IT. Here are a few ways to optimize your storage performance.
1. Keep Storage Close to Your Compute Resources
Excellent connectivity is the key to overcoming latency as applications and users access the data. Put your storage as close to your compute resources as possible, and opt for a high-performance connectivity solution.
Adding distance between your storage structure and your applications adds unwanted latency. When you design your storage architecture, it is essential to keep it as physically close as you can to your compute resources, so that applications are able to perform well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t levy cloud storage. In fact, a cloud-based software-defined data storage solution can deliver incredibly low latency, provided connectivity is good. When it comes to accessing data from databases like SQL, strive for less than one millisecond. With larger FS files, shoot for 3 to 6 milliseconds. Use products like Direct Connect and ExpressRoute to reduce latency and improve storage performance even more.
2. Beef Up Your Storage Architecture
Using the right architecture is also a critical factor in storage performance. You have to achieve the right ratio of number of drives according to the various capacities of the drives. Storage node processor capability, the amount of cache, the ratio of flash and SSD storage versus HHD — all of these play a critical role in achieving the right level of performance. Since the costs of SSD have come down considerably, it’s now more affordable to replace many of the HHD drives with SSD as those components near the end of their lifecycles.
3. Leverage Docker Containers to Improve Performance of Specific Applications
Docker containers can be utilized to make the storage readily available to the specific applications that need the data. Docker containers encapsulate the software within a total file system that includes everything needed to run the application, including the code, runtime, system tools, libraries, etc. — everything that typically resides on the server. This assures that the applications will always produce the same level of performance, no matter what environment it’s running in.
4. Match Data Types and Applications to the Right Storage Solutions
Storage performance is also impacted when the data isn’t stored on the most suitable type of storage solution. Object storage is different than the traditional block and file storage. Be sure you’re utilizing the right storage solution for the type of data you’re storing.
In addition to putting the right types of data into the proper storage solution (according to object, file, block), be sure your applications are accessing the data from the right type of storage. This can impact latency, which is the most critical component of storage performance.
5. Watch out for Noisy Neighbors
In a multi-tenant, cloud environment some cloud vendors put multiple users on common disk drives, networks and other resources. If one user (or application) is generating a lot of I/O, it can impact the performance of other users on the system. You never want another cloud user to impact your performance. Make sure that the cloud vendor provides resource isolation. You should have the option of running your applications on your own resources to avoid the noisy neighbor problem.
6. Continual Tweaking & Adjusting
The types of data and applications you have to accommodate are constantly in flux, as is your storage architecture. Unfortunately, optimizing storage performance isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. Be committed to continually tweaking and adjusting your architecture and environment to gain a performance edge wherever it’s available. This means having an agile storage environment that can be changed on the fly. Continually analyze the architecture for that all-important performance edge.
When it comes to optimizing the performance of your storage, Zadara has the options you need to correct whatever situation you’re dealing with. You can see how when you download our latest analyst paper: Zadara Storage Voted by IT Pros as On-Premise Enterprise Storage-as-a-Service Market Leader.