Cartal-Rijsbergen Automotive Improves SQL Server Performance and I/O Database Access with OCZ’s PCIe-based ZD-XL SQL Accelerator

ZD-XL SQL Accelerator Significantly Boosts Data Warehousing, Data Mining and OLTP Applications Delivering 4.5 Times Improved Performance over HDD SAN Storage

Scott Harlin

Cartal-Rijsbergen Automotive

User Objectives

  • Reduce/eliminate disk I/O storage bottlenecks
  • Improve SQL Server database performance
  • Accelerate access to stored SQL Server data

Return on Investment (ROI)

  • Improved SQL Server database performance by over 450%
  • Improved SQL Server data throughput by 150%

Introduction

Cartal-Rijsbergen Automotive (CRA) has been active in the Netherlands for many years as a leading provider of automotive parts, equipment, tires, tools and accessories supporting such customers as garages, mechanics, dealers, specialists, custom fitters, rebuilders, fleet owners, insurance agencies, etc. With headquarters in Amsterdam, 18 sales locations throughout Holland (and growing), and two large central warehouses, CRA has earned a competitive advantage of wide product availability and fast delivery that has resulted in high customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and significant return business.

Supporting this after-market business is an IT infrastructure that features a Microsoft SQL Server platform for such critical database applications as data warehousing, data mining and OnLine Transaction Processing (OLTP). In its introductory stage of implementation a few years ago, this environment sufficed the needs of CRA and its customers, but as more products were added to the data warehouse, and more data analysis was required to improve business decisions, and more orders were secured, data traffic increased considerably and disk I/O performance became taxed and challenged.

In mid-2013, the IT department initiated an infrastructure assessment to evaluate its hard drive-based storage area network (SAN) and find the best way to overcome their SQL Server performance bottlenecks. This included an evaluation of solid-state drives (SSDs) that use NAND flash memory to store data, and with no moving mechanical heads like hard disk drives (HDDs), handle random data access with ease to deliver I/O performance comparable to a large SAN array with hundreds of HDDs implemented.

As part of the assessment process, CRA conducted its own internet research and found PCI Express (PCIe) SSDs as a viable storage option to improve database performance, and with a compact card format (half-height or full-height) that fits directly into a server’s PCIe bus, not only improves power efficiency but delivers more than 40 times faster speed than SAS or SATA cabling interfaces. Through this research, CRA became familiar with a solution from storage leader OCZ Storage Solutions designed specifically for SQL Server platforms. After extensive testing, CRA’s IT team would select this solution and deploy it into their production SQL Server environment.

This case study outlines how Cartal-Rijsbergen Automotive’s IT team addressed the storage challenges it faced by upgrading its storage infrastructure with improved capabilities that deliver optimized flash caching so that data is right, relevant and readily available to SQL Server when the application needs it. OCZ’s tightly integrated plug-and-play ZD-XL SQL Accelerator solution provides accelerated access to SQL Server data and once deployed into the CRA enterprise, significantly improved database performance while reducing data center costs.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Key SQL Server Databases
  3. Infrastructure Issues
  4. The ZD-XL SQL Accelerator Solution
  5. Innovative Flash Caching
  6. TempDB Flash Volumes
  7. Testing and Implementation
  8. Conclusion