Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, John Mertic, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

RAID and IOPS and IO Observations

There are at least two different meanings for IOPs

There are at least two different meanings for IOPs, which for those not familiar with the information technology (IT) and data storage meaning is Input/output Operations Per second (e.g. data movement activity). Another meaning for IOP that is the international organization for a participatory society (iopsociety.org), and their fundraising activity found here.

I recently came across a piece (here and here) talking about RAID and IOPs that had some interesting points; however, some generalizations could use some more comments. One of the interesting comments and assertions is that RAID writes increase with the number of drives in the parity scheme. Granted the specific implementation and configuration could result in an it depends type response.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Here are some more perspectives to the piece (here and here) as the sites comments seem to be restricted.

Keep in mind that such as with RAID 5 (or 6) performance, your IO size will have a bearing on if you are doing those extra back-end IOs. For example if you are writing a 32KB item that is accomplished by a single front-end IO from an applications server, and your storage system, appliance, adapter, software implementing and performing the RAID (or erasure coding for that matter) has a chunk size of say 8KB (e.g. the amount of data written to each back-end drive). Then a 5 drive R5 (e.g. 4+1) would in fact have five back-end IOPS (32KB / 8KB = 4 + 1 (8KB Parity)).

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Otoh of the front end IOP were only 16KB (using whole numbers for simplicity, otherwise round-up), in the case of a write, there would be three back-end writes with the R5 (e.g. 2 + 1). Keep in mind the controller/software managing the RAID would (or should) try to schedule back-end IO with cache, read-head, write-behind, write-back, other forms of optimization etc.

In the piece (here and here), a good point is the understanding and factoring in IOPS is important, as is also latency or response time in addition to bandwidth or throughput, along with availability, they are all inter-related.

Also very important is to keep in mind the size of the IOP, read and write, random, sequential etc.

RAID along with erasure coding is a balancing act between performance, availability, space capacity and economics aligned to different application needs.

RAID 0 (R0) actually has a big impact on performance, no penalty on writes; however, it has no availability protection benefit and in fact can be a single point of failure (e.g. loss of a HDD or SSD) impacts the entire R0 group. However, for static items, or items that are being journaled and protected on some other medium/RAID/protection scheme, R0 is used more than people realize for scratch/buffer/transient/read cache types of applications. Keep in mind that it is a balance of all performance and capacity with the exposure of no availability as opposed to other approaches. Thus, do not be scared of R0, however also do not get burned or hurt with it either, treat it with respect and can be effective for something's.

Also mentioned in the piece was that SSD based servers will perform vastly better than SATA or SAS based ones. I am assuming that the authors meant to say better than SAS or SATA DAS based HDDs?

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Keep in mind that unless you are using a PCIe nand flash SSD card as a target or cache or RAID card, most SSD drives today are either SAS or SATA (being the more common) along with moving from 3Gb SAS or SATA to 6Gb SAS & SATA.

Also while HDD and SSDs can do a given number of reads or writes per second, those will vary based on the size of the IO, read, write, random, sequential. However what can have the biggest impact and where I have seen too many people or environments get into a performance jam is when assuming that those IOP numbers per HDD or SSD are a given. For example assuming that 100-140, IOPs (regardless of size, type, etc.) can be achieved as a limiting factor is the type of interface and controller/adapter being used.

I have seen fast HDDs and SSDs deliver sub-par performance or not meeting expectations fast interfaces such as iSCSI/SAS/SATA/FC/FCoE/IBA or other interfaces due to bottlenecks in the adapter card, storage system / appliance / controller / software. In some cases you may see more effective IOPs or reads, writes or both, while on other implementations you may see lower than expected due to internal implementation bottlenecks or architectural designs. Hint, watch out for solutions where the vendor tries to blame poor performance on the access network (e.g. SAS, iSCSI, FC, etc.) particular if you know that those are not bottlenecks.

Here are some related content:
Are Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) getting too big?
How can direct attached storage (DAS) make a comeback if it never left?
EMC VFCache re spinning SSD and intelligent caching
SSD and Green IT moving beyond green washing
Optimize Data Storage for Performance and Capacity Efficiency
Is SSD dead? No, however some vendors might be
RAID Relevance Revisited
Industry Trends and Perspectives: RAID Rebuild Rates
What is the best kind of IO? The one you do not have to do
More storage and IO metrics that matter
IBM buys flash solid state device (SSD) industry veteran TMS

In terms of fund-raising, if you feel so compelled, send a gift, donation, sponsorship, project, buy some books, piece of work, assignment, research project, speaking, keynote, web cast, video or seminar event my way and just like professional fund-raisers, or IOPS vendors, StorageIO accept visa, Master Card, American express, Pay Pal, check and traditional POs.

As for this site and comments, outside of those caught in the spam trap, courteous perspectives and discussions are welcome.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Donna Yasay, President of HomeGrid Forum, today discussed with a panel of technology peers how certification programs are at the forefront of interoperability, and the answer for vendors looking to keep up with today's growing industry for smart home innovation. "To ensure multi-vendor interoperability, accredited industry certification programs should be used for every product to provide credibility and quality assurance for retail and carrier based customers looking to add ever increasing num...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.