DymaxIO: Increase storage performance and fix I/O inefficiencies

Poor storage performance can affect both physical and virtual environments. DymaxIO™ helps to eliminate the I/O inefficiencies found in both virtual and physical environments, plus client devices such as laptops.

There is no question that storage is at the heart of many of the performance problems that exist among both physical and virtualized systems running business-critical workloads. Is this true with your organization? When IT administrators troubleshoot performance issues with applications, storage is often identified as the culprit.

Storage I/O inefficiencies can lead to performance degradation for both physical systems and virtualized workloads. What if you had a single solution that could help to eliminate I/O bottlenecks wherever they exist, automatically recognize the type of system, and apply the enhancements and advanced technology needed for the architecture and each specific workload?

Condusiv just released a brand-new product called DymaxIO that does just that. It is a new solution that combines the capabilities and features of three former Condusiv solutions into a single product. It now leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and install the appropriate components of DymaxIO in the relevant operating environment.

DymaxIO's mission is to increase the performance of your storage infrastructure and help eliminate storage bottlenecks and inefficiencies for faster access to data, increased throughput, and better I/O performance from systems that are on-premises or running in the cloud.

The new DymaxIO solution includes the following components:

  • Diskeeper®: If you have been a server administrator for any number of years, you no doubt remember Diskeeper. This tool has been used in myriad environments to help increase the disk performance of physical PCs and servers. It does this by preventing and eliminating file fragmentation found on the disk. Newer versions of Diskeeper include new caching technology that helps to provide even faster disk performance for physical workloads. When you install DymaxIO on a physical system, it will begin to analyze and help eliminate I/O inefficiencies on the physical disks to return storage performance.
  • SSDkeeper®: The SSDkeeper tool is a solution that provides enhancements for SSD-equipped systems. SSDs have long been plagued with write amplification issues that directly reduce the lifespan of the flash storage and impede write performance. With all of SSDkeeper’s features and functionality now included in DymaxIO, it automatically detects a system that has an SSD drive installed and applies the performance and lifespan enhancements to help prolong and extend the performance of your SSD drives.
  • V-locity®: Many virtualization architects would agree that the most challenging issue to tackle is the performance of virtualized environments. Many complexities are introduced by the aggregated nature of virtualization, especially in the realm of storage. One major one is referred to as the “I/O blender effect” and can lead to degraded performance across virtualized systems. When installed on VM workloads, it automatically detects the virtual environment and begins working to eliminate the bottlenecks and I/O patterns that lead to degraded performance.

As mentioned, one of the great new features with DymaxIO is that it automatically applies the components that are needed in your environment based on the type of workload the solution is installed on. How?

Automatic detection and installation ^

Enhancing storage performance usually means you have to know which enhancements and tweaks you need for a particular system and then implement those enhancements on a case-by-case basis. However, with DymaxIO, Condusiv has taken the heavy lifting and guesswork out of the solution by building in the ability to determine and apply the needed enhancements automatically.

This is possible by what Condusiv refers to as intelligent detection and adaptation. The three products mentioned above have been combined into a single solution that intelligently detects and adapts to the operating environment in which it is installed, using artificial intelligence (AI) learning algorithms.

It automatically detects the type of hardware on which it is installed and then deploys the appropriate performance enhancement technologies for that system. This helps to ensure the best storage performance components are implemented across the board for the system you are running.

DymaxIO also dynamically uses free, available (unused) memory to serve 30% or more of all read traffic for more performance, without any memory contention.

Another positive detail regarding the installation of DymaxIO is that it does not require a reboot. You simply run the installation on your workload and it immediately begins eliminating I/O storage bottlenecks.

Condusiv Management Console ^

You may be wondering how to manage DymaxIO if you have many nodes across your environment running them. This is where the Condusiv Management Console comes into play. The Condusiv Management Console is a single-pane-of-glass management tool that enables visibility and management of your DymaxIO installations across your infrastructure.

Subscription pricing ^

Also new with DymaxIO, Condusiv has moved to a new subscription pricing model. This can allow for an operational expenditure rather than a capital expenditure, which is often much more desirable for organizations that have less budget allocated for technology.

In addition, when you consider the benefits of eliminating I/O inefficiencies in your environment, the DymaxIO pricing solution offers a real advantage. Often, with performance issues related to storage or other issues, organizations are forced to "throw hardware" at the problem. In other words, often the only solution is to buy bigger, faster, and better storage.

By eliminating the bottlenecks associated with storage performance issues and application sluggishness, DymaxIO can help organizations to reclaim performance from their existing storage hardware. This can prevent unnecessary spending on new hardware.

Per the Condusiv website, DymaxIO is around $10/VM per month, and even less with volume purchases. This can be a big cost savings and allow you to sweat your existing assets longer and defray or eliminate those costs.

Performance increase and Disk I/O savings ^

I found the added value of the DymaxIO solution to be quite powerful when I tested the solution on a single VM. Seeing the reduction in I/Os on a single virtual machine with normal everyday activities highlight the benefits organizations would see across VMs in their virtualized environments.

The elimination of I/Os across your infrastructure will have an aggregate effect. The fewer I/Os that hit your underlying storage, the more storage performance or bandwidth that is now available for all other VMs to consume, especially your business-critical application and database servers.

Below are screenshots from an "every day" VM that runs a couple of web apps and has applied a few Windows updates and other activities. As you can see, DymaxIO has eliminated close to 40% of the I/Os on the system between read and write operations.

On a server with a heavier workload, the I/Os eliminated could easily exceed 40%. Not a bad amount of disk I/O savings for a simple install with no reboot.

Viewing the DymaxIO dashboard IOs eliminated

Viewing the DymaxIO dashboard IOs eliminated

Below, the I/O Performance dashboard shows a different view of your overall system performance. You can see the I/O performance metrics as well as your read and write percentages as captured by DymaxIO.

Viewing the IO performance metrics dashboard in DymaxIO

Viewing the IO performance metrics dashboard in DymaxIO

Final thoughts ^

DymaxIO gives organizations an option other than buying expensive new or faster hardware to solve storage problems, which do not solve the root cause of storage I/O inefficiencies. Especially in heavily virtualized environments, the “I/O blender effect” is very real. Eliminating unnecessary I/Os from your VMs provides an aggregate benefit across your environment. Each VM that saves I/Os from having to go all the way to the storage infrastructure to complete translates into more storage performance availability for the entire environment.

In addition to virtualized environments, DymaxIO can also improve storage performance for physical servers and even client devices such as laptops. By simply loading the software on a laptop, for instance, businesses may be able to extend the productive life an extra 1 to 2 years, saving time and money.

All in all, I think DymaxIO is a great solution that does what it sets out to do—restore performance by eliminating unneeded and unnecessary I/Os that can plague underlying storage environments with poor performance and, by extension, result in poor application performance.

Visit the DymaxIO Condusiv website to learn more about the solution here.

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