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Pernix Data launches storage performance tool, Architect, and upgrades FVP

Flash caching specialist Pernix Data launches storage performance monitoring tool, Architect, that runs as a module in vSphere and helps identify I/O issues in storage traffic

Pernix Data has launched a storage performance tool called Architect, which interrogates and analyses I/O to allow customers to optimise application, virtualisation and storage deployments.

The launch comes alongside an upgrade to Pernix Data's core product – FVP – to version 3.0, which is largely based on the introduction of support for VMware vSphere 6.0.

Architect is deployed as a module in the VMware hypervisor or in traditional storage environments and captures information about I/O, such as block size, proportion of reads and writes. From this information it can generate reports on the behaviour of traffic that can be sliced and diced from the point of view of the virtual machine (VM), hypervisor, host, application and storage.

A key benefit, said Pernix Data chief technologist Frank Denneman, is that it can help to identify mismatches between the components of the storage and virtualisation infrastructure and the applications they serve.

“Architect can detect attributes that impact application behaviour,” he said. “Typical use cases include, for example, when an application is upgraded and the customer suffers a decline in performance. They need to know why. Architect could, for example, quantify application behaviour such as a change in the proportion of reads and writes.”

Another example provided by Henneman is where block size is not matched between the application and its storage, or in cases where there is so-called unaligned I/O, which can adversely affect storage performance.

Because Architect operates as a module in the hypervisor it is agnostic to storage networking protocols.

The key changes in Pernix Data's flash caching software, FVP, are its support for vSphere 6.0 plus a new user interface and a feature called Pernix Plus, which collects metadata about virtual machines (VMs), caching methods in use and other information to allow proactive resolution of issues in the virtual environment.

PernixData FVP is one of a number of flash caching software products. It runs on the VMware hypervisor, intercepts database writes and routes them to local host-based flash storage or RAM. That hot data is then available to applications, with extremely rapid access, while data is also written to the storage array.

Flash caching products have arisen alongside flash storage. As customers have placed flash storage into servers to boost access times to hot data, software products have emerged that can help route that data efficiently.

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