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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:16

MaxParallel speeds SQL Server with parallel I/O

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DataCore's MaxParallel accelerates SQL Server and other workloads with no changes to hardware or applications, the company claims. DataCore has also announced new software for its SANsymphony and Hyperconverged Virtual SAN products.

MaxParallel is the "next evolution" of DataCore's technology, ANZ regional director Marco Marinelli told iTWire, and provides "quick win results" for customers using SQL Server.

According to global senior director of product and solutions marketing Sushant Rao, the problem is that organisations want to be able to analyse data collected from more sources and over longer periods of time.

While more data can yield better results, it takes time to do the extra processing.

There's a particular issue with SQL Server in that while it can split a task into threads and execute them in parallel, only one task can read or write data at a time, and that tends to be the bottleneck, leaving some CPU capacity fallow.

One sign that this problem is the limiting factor can be that an increase in users results in a significant increase in response time, while the CPU utilisation and the number of transactions per second remain constant.

Parallelising the I/O means each thread gets its data sooner, allowing the overall job to be completed faster.

Rao gave the example of a system that was performing well with 40 users, but slowed unacceptably with an extra 10 users. Caching improved the effective limit to 60 users, at which point 49% more work was getting done, but the system became too slow with 100 users.

MaxParallel allowed the system to support 150 users with a significantly faster response time than the original configuration could manage with 40 users, and it could accommodate 200 users before it ran out of CPU cycles.

Adding MaxParallel is simple, he said: just stop SQL Server, install MaxParallel, and restart SQL Server. No software reconfiguration is required.

This is easy enough for a typical sysadmin, suggested Marinelli, and is something that "will bring a lot of benefit to a lot of customers."

The decision to align MaxParallel with SQL Server was made for marketing reasons, Rao said. Any application limited by single-thread disk I/O would benefit, including Oracle database and Microsoft Exchange.

MaxParallel costs US$211 per core per year for the standard edition, or US$789 for the enterprise edition. There is a four-core minimum, and cores must be licensed in pairs. The software is also available by the hour via Azure Marketplace.

Evaluation licences are available so potential customers can satisfy themselves that MaxParallel does actually boost the speed of their application.

In related news, DataCore announced new versions of the software for its software-defined infrastructure product family.

PSP7 supports replication to the cloud (including AWS and Azure) for disaster recovery, performance improvements, support for Kubernetes and containerisation, and improved on-premises availability (eg through additional mirrored copies of data), Rao said.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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