Quality of Service and Application Performance

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It’s no secret that software developers and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers are releasing applications that are more robust and complex than ever before. At the same time, they are struggling to achieve peak performance in a multi-tenant environment. As a result, Quality of Service (QoS) is being used to ensure applications perform at optimum levels. But what exactly is QoS and why do you need it? Following is an overview of QoS and why it should be part of your technology portfolio.

Quality of Service Networking vs. Storage

Quality of Service is the ability to prioritize different applications, user or data flows in order to manage performance levels. QoS for networking is used by IT teams to deal with limited bandwidth, especially in regard to Internet connectivity. Network administrators leverage QoS in order to effectively distribute a limited amount of bandwidth to all the workloads using it.

QoS for storage is a policy that IT teams apply to a storage workload in order to influence its performance. In QoS for storage, a Min/Max/Burst approach is used to manage IOPS:

  • Min IOPS is needed to ensure every volume gets a minimum guaranteed level of performance, regardless of system conditions or application activity.
  • Max IOPS is needed to set a maximum level of performance that each volume receives over time as a means to ensure “fairness” among all volumes.
  • Burst IOPS is needed to accommodate the occasional spikes in demand that occur in virtually all database applications.

Storage QoS and Performance

IT teams often grapple with delivering the right storage performance to applications, often earmarking capacity with certain performance characteristics. LUNs (logical unit numbers) are often created using a variety of RAID disks, creating additional application volume. But if two or more applications are served from the same LUN, performance for both can be compromised. When this occurs, IT teams can take one of the applications off the server and spin up a new server. Many storage providers offer auto-tiering software to automate this process, however, it doesn’t always prevent applications from “going rogue” and taking up more resources than it really needs.

By having storage QoS in place, IT teams can prioritize applications with a minimum set of services (IOPS, throughput, latency, etc.) assigned by the administrator. They can limit a customer’s workloads and prevent them from impacting other customers – what is generally known as noisy “neighbors” syndrome.

HOSTING SolidFire Storage with QoS

The best storage QoS solutions, such as those found in the HOSTING SolidFire storage solution with QoS, ensure that the IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) performance gains will be predictable and consistent over time and under changing configurations and conditions. It also provides the minimum set of assigned resources to each application, and allocates any excess resources available to in order of priority.

The HOSTING SolidFire storage solution with QoS gives customers the ability to generate IOPS for the applications on a 100% solid state drive (SSD) platform.  Performance and capacity can be scaled dynamically, as needed, without disrupting applications. Other features include:

  • All-SSD architecture – enables delivery of consistent latency for every IO
  • True scale-out architecture – allows for linear, predictable performance as systems scale
  • RAID-less data protection – ensures predictive performance in any failure condition
  • Balanced load distribution – eliminates hot spots that create unpredictable IO latency

Download our latest white paper, Scaling Database Applications in the Cloud for Peak Price and Performance, to learn how the HOSTING SolidFire All-Flash Storage solution with QoS can help you optimize application performance.

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