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Fusion IO enhances MySQL performance further

TechOps Guy: Nate

This seems pretty neat. Not long ago Fusion IO announced their first new real product refresh in quite a while which offers significantly enhanced performance.

Today I see another related article that goes into something more specific, from Data Center Knowledge -

Fusion-io also announced a new extension to its VSL (Virtual Storage Layer) software subsystem for conducting Atomic Writes in the popular MySQL open source database. Atomic Writes are an operation in which a processor can simultaneously write multiple independent storage sectors as a single storage transaction. This accelerates mySQL and gives new features powered by the flexibility of sophisticated flash architectures. With the new Atomic Writes extension, Fusion-io testing has observed 35 percent more transactions per second and a 2.5x improvement in performance predictability compared to conducting the same MySQL tests without the Atomic Writes feature.

I know that Facebook is a massive user of Fusion IO for their MySQL database farms, I suspect this feature was made for them! Though it can benefit everyone.

My only question would be can this Atomic write capability be used by MySQL when running through the ESX storage layer, or does there need to be more native access from the OS.

About the new product lines, from The Register -

The ioDrive 2 comes in SLC form with capacities of 400GB and 600GB. It can deliver 450,000 write IOPS working with 512-byte data blocks and 350,000 read IOPS. These are whopping great increases, 3.3 times faster for the write IOPS number, over the original ioDrive SLC model which did 135,000 write IOPS and 140,000 read IOPS. It delivered sequential data at 750-770MB/sec whereas the next-gen product does it at 1.5GB/sec, around two times faster.
All the products will ship in November. Prices start from $5,950

The cards aren't available yet, wonder how accurate those numbers will end up being? But in any case, even if they were over inflated by a large amount  that's still an amazing amount of I/O.

On a related note I was just browsing the Fusion IO blog which mentions this MySQL functionality as well and saw that Fusion IO was/is showing off a beefy 8-way HP DL980 with 14 HP-branded IO accelerators  at Oracle Openworld -

We're running Oracle Enterprise Edition database version 11g Release 2 on a single eight processor HP ProLiant DL980 G7 system integrated with 14 Fusion ioMemory-based HP IO Accelerators, achieving performance of more than 600,000 IOPS with over 6GB/s bandwidth using a real world, read/write mixed workload.


the HP Data Accelerator Solution for Oracle is configured with up to 12TB of high performance flash[..]

After reading that I could not help but think how HP's own Vertica, with it's extremely optimized encoding and compression scheme would run on such a beast. I mean if you can get 10x compression out of the system(Vertica's best-case real world is 30:1 for reference), get a pair of these boxes (Vertica would mirror between the two) and you have upwards of 240TB of data to play with.

I say 240TB because of the way Vertica mirrors the data it allows you to store it in a different sort order on the mirror allowing for even faster access if your querying the data in different ways. Who knows - with the compression you may be able to get much better than 10:1 depending on your data.

Vertica is so fast that you will probably end up CPU bound more than anything else - 80 cores per server is quite a lot though! The DL980 supports up to 16 PCI Express slots so even with 14 cards that still leaves room for a couple 10GigE ports and/or Fibre channel or some other form of connectivity other than what's on the motherboard (which seems to have an optional dual port 10GbE NIC)

With Vertica's licensing (last I checked) starting in the 10s of thousands of dollars per raw TB (before compression), it falls into the category for me to blow a ton of money on hardware to make it run the best it possibly can (same goes for Oracle - though Standard Edition to a lesser degree). Vertica is coming out with a Community Edition soon which I believe is free, I don't recall what the restrictions are I think one of them was it was limited to a single server, I don't recall yet hearing on what the storage limits might be(I'd assume there would be some limit maybe half a TB or something)


Fusion IO now with VMware support

TechOps Guy: Nate

About damn time! I read earlier in the year on their forums that they were planning on ESX support for their next release of code, originally expected sometime in March/April or something. But that time came and went and saw no new updates.

I saw that Fusion IO put on a pretty impressive VDI demonstration at VMworld, so I figured they must have VMware support now, and of course they do.

I would be very interested to see how performance could be boosted and VM density incerased by leveraging local Fusion IO storage for swap in ESX.  I know of a few 3PAR customers that say they get double the VM density per host vs other storage because of the better I/O they get from 3PAR, though of course Fusion IO is quite a bit snappier.

With VMware's ability to set swap file locations on a per-host basis, it's pretty easy to configure, in order to take advantage of it though you'd have to disable memory ballooning in the guests I think in order to force the host to swap. I don't think I would go so far as to try to put individual swap partitions on the local fusion IO for the guests to swap to directly, at least not when I'm using a shared storage system.

I just checked again, and as far as I can tell, still, from a blade perspective at least, still the only player offering Fusion IO modues for their blades is the HP c Class in the form of their IO Accelerator. With up to two expansion slots on the half width, and three on the full width blades, there's plenty of room for the 80, 160 GB SLC models or the 320GB MLC model. And if you were really crazy I guess you could use the "standard" Fusion IO cards with the blades by using the PCI Express expansion module, though that seems more geared towards video cards as upcomming VDI technologies leverage hardware GPU acceleration.

HP's Fusion IO-based I/O Accelerator

FusionIO claims to be able to write 5TB per day for 24 years, even if you cut that to 2TB per day for 5 years, it's quite an amazing claim.

From what I have seen (can't speak with personal experience just yet), the biggest advantage Fusion IO has over more traditional SSDs is write performance, of course to get optimal write performance on the system you do need to sacrifice space.

Unlike drive form factor devices, the ioDrive can be tuned to achieve a higher steady-state write performance than what it is shipped with from the factory.


40 Million IOPS in two racks

TechOps Guy: Nate

Fusion IO does it again, another astonishing level of performance in such an efficient design, from the case study:

LLNL used Fusion’s ioMemory technology to create the world’s highest performance storage array. Using Fusion’s ioSANs and ioDrive Duos, the cluster achieves an unprecedented 40,800,000 IOPS and 320GB/s aggregate bandwidth.
Incredibly, Fusion’s ioMemory allowed LLNL to accomplish this feat in just two racks of appliances– something that would take a comparable hard disk-based solution over 43 racks. In fact, it would take over 100 of the SPC-1 benchmark’s leading all-flash vendor systems combined to match the performance, at a cost of over $300 million.

40 Million IOPS @ ~250 IOPS per 15K RPM disk your talking 160,000 disk drives.

Not all flash is created equal of course, many people don't understand that. They just see ooh this one is cheap, this one is not, not having any clue (shocker).

It's just flat out irresponsible to ignore such a industry changing technology, especially for workloads that deal with small (sub TB) amounts of data.

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Fusion IO throughput benchmarks

TechOps Guy: Nate

I don't visit the MySQL performance blog too often, but today happened to run across a very interesting post here comparing a Fusion IO card to an 8-disk 15k RPM RAID 1+0 array. Myself I've been interested in Fusion IO since I first heard about it, very interesting technology, have not used it personally yet.

The most interesting numbers to me was the comparably poor sequential write performance vs random write performance on the same card. Random write was upwards of 3 times faster.

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Three thousand drives in the palm of your hand

TechOps Guy: Nate

I was poking around again and came across a new product from Fusion IO which looked really cool. Their new Iodrive Octal, which packs 800,000 IOPS on a single card with 6 Gigabytes/second sustained bandwidth. To put this in perspective, a typical high end 15,000 RPM SAS/Fiber Channel disk drive can do about 250 IOPS. As far as I/O goes this is roughly the same as 3,200 drives. The densest high performance storage I know of is 3PAR who can pack 320 15,000 RPM drives in a rack in their S-class and T-class systems (others can do high density SATA,  I'm not personally aware of others that can do high density 15,000 RPM drives for online data processing).

But anyways, in 3PAR's case that is 10 racks of drives, and three more racks for disk controllers(24 controllers), roughly 25,000 pounds of equipment(performance wise) in the palm of your hand with the Iodrive Octal. Most other storage arrays top out at between 200 and 225 disks per rack.

The Fusion IO solutions aren't for everyone of course they are targeted mostly at specialized applications with smaller data sets that require massive amounts of I/O. Or those that are able to distribute their applications amongst several systems using their PCIe cards.

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