Transforming Data Center Economics and Performance via Flash and Server Virtualization

How OCZ PCIe Flash-Based SSDs and VXL Software Create a Lean, Mean & Green Data Center

By Allon Cohen, PhD
Scott Harlin

Publish April 2012

Introduction

A new breed of flash-based data center architectures is unleashing the full potential of server virtualization. As more enterprises and cloud providers deploy virtualized PCIe flash-based SSDs into their environments, CAPEX (capital expenditure) and OPEX (operating expenses) are reduced as the data center gets transformed into a lean, mean and green environment.

Server virtualization enables multiple virtual server loads to run concurrently on a single physical host which not only increases utilization of server CPU and memory resources, but also simplifies deployment, high availability (HA) and maintenance of the server loads as well. This virtualized approach of partitioning server resources has radically changed data center economics for the better by delivering a reduction in server CAPEX and OPEX.

Since their inception, server CPUs and RAM modules quickly grew to support virtualized server environments and the increase in associated workloads, but it soon became apparent that the hard disk drive (HDD) storage aspect of the IT environment was lagging behind. While all other components in the data center are silicon-based, HDDs are the only mechanical devices with rotating disks. As a result, HDDs have physical limitations and simply cannot keep pace with growing server workloads in virtualized environments, impeding cost savings as well as the potential benefits that virtualization can achieve. As detailed in this white paper, the combination of host-based flash and storage virtualization alleviate the storage issues that bog down virtualized server deployments, creating a new power and cost-efficient extreme performance data center.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How Legacy Storage Architectures Impede Virtualization
  3. Unleashing Host-Based PCIe Flash in Virtual Environments
  4. OCZ’s Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSDs and VXL Software
  5. Optimal Deployment of PCIe Flash in Virtual Server Environments
  6. The Transformed Data Center
  7. Conclusion