Cisco Hyperflex for High-Load Database Management Systems

    We continue the series of articles about Cisco Hyperflex. This time we will introduce you to the work of Cisco Hyperflex in the conditions of highly loaded Oracle and Microsoft SQL DBMSs, as well as compare the obtained indicators with competitive solutions.

    In addition, we continue to show the capabilities of Hyperflex in the regions of our country and are pleased to invite you to visit the next demonstration of the solution, which this time will be held in the cities of Moscow and Krasnodar.

    Moscow - May 28. Record by reference .
    Krasnodar - June 5. Record by reference .

    Hyperconverged solutions, until recently, were not a very suitable solution for a DBMS, especially with a high load. However, thanks to the use of the UCS factory as a hardware platform for Cisco Hyperflex, which has proven its reliability and performance over 10 years, this situation has changed today.

    Want to know more? Then welcome to cat.


    Currently, there are two approaches to the organization of hyperconverged solutions. The first approach is based on Software-defined solutions that are delivered as software, and customers select equipment on their own. The second approach is based on turnkey solutions, that is, containing software, hardware, and technical support. We at Cisco adhere to the second approach and deliver ready-made solutions to our customers, since only in this way can we guarantee stable system behavior, high-quality technical support from one manufacturer and high performance.
    It is the high system performance that is one of the key factors in deciding on the use of a product in mission-critical tasks.

    Today, organizations typically deploy mission-critical tasks on classic three-tier architecture solutions (DSS> storage network> servers). At the same time, most organizations strive to simplify and reduce the cost of IT infrastructure, while not reducing its stability and productivity. For this reason, customers are increasingly turning to hyper-converged solutions.

    In the framework of this article, we will talk about the latest tests (February 2019), which were performed by the independent laboratory ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group). During testing, the work of highly loaded Oracle and MS SQL DBMSs (OLTP tests) was emulated, which is one of the most critical components of the IT infrastructure in a real productive environment.

    This load was performed on three solutions: Cisco Hyperflex, as well as two software-defined solutions that were installed on the same servers that are used in Hyperflex, that is, on Cisco UCS servers.

    Test configurations

    Vendor A doesn’t use a cache because the cache configuration is not supported by the solution developer. For this reason, larger storage disks were used.

    Test methodology

    OLTP tests were performed with four virtual machines and a working dataset of 3.2 TB. Before each test, each VM was filled with recorded data using a testing tool. This ensures that the test reads “real” data and writes it to existing blocks, and not just returns zero blocks or zero values ​​directly from memory. This happens when the data is not full, so it was important to make sure that the test accurately reflects how the data is read and written in the application environment. It took a long time to complete this large working set, but in our opinion it is a productive investment of time, since it allows us to obtain more accurate performance data.

    Testing was performed using the HCI Bench tool (based on Oracle Vdbench) and I / O profiles designed to emulate complex critical OLTP workloads using Oracle and SQL Server backends. Block sizes were assigned according to emulated applications with 100% random access to data (full random).

    Oracle Database Workload

    The first was an OLTP test designed to emulate an Oracle environment. Vdbench was used to create a workload with varying read / write ratios. The test was conducted on four virtual machines. Over the course of a four-hour test, HyperFlex managed to show more than 420,000 IOPS with a delay of just 4.4 milliseconds. Software solutions A and B were able to show only 238,000 and 251,000 IOPS, respectively.

    The latency level in different systems was approximately the same, except for the write delay for vendor B, which averaged 26.49 ms, with very good read latencies of 2.9 ms. Compression and deduplication were active in all systems.

    Microsoft SQL Server Workload

    Then, the OLTP workload, designed to emulate Microsoft SQL Server DBMS, was examined.

    As a result of this test, the Cisco HyperFlex cluster surpassed both competitors A and B by about two times. 490,000 IOPS for Cisco versus 200,000 and 260,000 for manufacturers A and B.

    The result of the delays in Cisco HyperFlex did not differ much from the Oracle test, that is, it was at a good level of 4.4 ms. At the same time, manufacturers A and B showed significantly worse results than in the test for Oracle. The only positive thing for competitive solution B is a consistently low reading latency of 2.9 ms; in all other indicators, Hyperflex is two times or more ahead of competitive solutions.


    Testing conducted by an independent ESG laboratory not only once again confirmed a decent level of performance of the Cisco Hyperflex solution, but also proved that hyperconverged systems are ready for widespread use in mission-critical tasks.

    Hyperconverged systems have long been considered more suitable for non-critical loads. In 2016, ESG conducted a survey among large companies. They were asked why they preferred traditional infrastructure rather than hyperconverged. 54% of respondents said that the reason is productivity.

    Fast forward to 2018. The picture has changed: a repeat ESG survey has already revealed only 24% of respondents who still believe that traditional approaches are still better in terms of performance.

    When the evolution of technology changes the criteria for making decisions in the industry, there is often a mismatch between what customers want and what they can get. Manufacturers who can see what is missing and fill this void receive an advantage. Cisco offers a hyper-converged solution that delivers simplicity and cost-effectiveness, as well as consistently high performance, which is lacking and which customers need for mission-critical workloads.

    Cisco is moving forward in the field of hyper-converged systems, which is confirmed not only by the excellent features of the Cisco Hyperflex solution, but also by its presence in the market. Therefore, in the fall of 2018, Cisco was deservedly included in the group of HCI market leaders according to Gartner.

    Already now you can make sure that Hyperflex is an excellent solution for the most complex and demanding business tasks by visiting our demonstrations, which will be held in Moscow and Krasnodar.

    Moscow - May 28. Record by reference .
    Krasnodar - June 5. Record by reference .

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