Optimize OLTP processes by limiting latency across the processing chain.
As the economy recovers from the pandemic, consumers are spending again, companies are bringing back employees and sales activities are on the rise. The subsequent increase in transactions and, by extension, server peak demand periods, has put a spotlight on system performance.

Transactions have increased in complexity due to tighter security protocols and additional transaction data. While the added data is minimal, the cumulative effect on performance over even a short amount of time is noticeable.

Internet transactions are, unfortunately, inherently subject to latency. During the pandemic, consumers of all ages became more comfortable with internet transactions, spending more time shopping from home, communicating, and conducting other business. As a result, expectations are higher and consumers are less tolerant of latency-driven delays and transaction failures.

Without a change, transactions per second (TPS) will decrease because the average transaction size has increased along with added uncontrollable latency and other processing delays.

Performance improvements must occur at the server level as attempts at the client level would be cost and resource-prohibitive. What little, if any, gains that could be achieved would be restricted to clients under the control of the organization.

Third-party service providers, such as payment processors, security and ISPs cannot be relied upon to increase their performance.
The Obstacle
At the server level, options for transaction processing performance improvements typically involve a forklift upgrade to either the network or the servers themselves. These options are exceedingly expensive and amount to a “brute strength” approach that does not address the core issue which is storage latency.

Since the storage is likely already shared, flash-based storage, the performance is already as good as it can get. Adding JBOFs might add capacity, but not speed and would not address storage latency. The fastest JBOFs are still either direct-attached 12Gb/s SAS or connect via 16GB FC or 25Gb iSCSI.

Servers relegated as storage devices, utilizing either RAM or PCIe storage cards, could be used to address storage latency, however, this again is highly expensive and perhaps even more resource-intensive than just replacing servers used for compute.

Adding more servers also means paying for additional software licenses in addition to the server hardware itself. The servers and the software are very expensive considering that they will very likely be underutilized for a significant amount of time.

The more the obstacles are dissected, the more new obstacles appear.

For example, flash drives, while very fast, are particularly ill-suited to online transaction environments, wearing out quickly and requiring frequent replacement. Online transaction processing (OLTP) involves heavy read and write cycles that eat into the life span of flash storage. Even if a drive appears healthy an older drive might force more transactions to abort than a fresh drive.

Server room space is already limited and the addition of more servers or other heat-generating hardware will add to monthly environment management costs after the cost to build-out accommodations for the new hardware.

IT has limited budget resources and other critical needs to balance against this application.

Finally, most storage vendors have little understanding of these applications and the particular challenges to these environments. Fortunately, ATTO Technology are experts in storage ecosystems that support OLTP and other real-time processing applications and we have solved storage-related problems for a multifold of high-profile customers over the past 33 years.
The Solution
The core problem here is latency and we address that with ATTO SiliconDisk storage.

SiliconDisk is a scalable, sharable state-of-the-art RAM-based storage appliance that delivers faster performance than flash-based SSD storage solutions, and with much lower latency. Data is instantly stored and retrieved with incredible speed, mitigating the read and write latency that leads to inefficiencies in daily operations.

Because SiliconDisk sits on the network, data is available to all users simultaneously without unnecessary read and write operations slowing down overall network performance. Being sharable, one SiliconDisk can support multiple servers concurrently.

The RAM-based SiliconDisk would be a cost-effective solution because it maintains its reliability even with an almost infinite number of drive writes per day – something that would degrade traditional storage in short order.

Solving the network issues is fairly straightforward using RDMA Ethernet protocols to raise QoS (Quality of Service) and eliminate network latency. ATTO recommends using the NVMe-oF (NVMe over Fabrics) protocol, a relatively new technology that is starting to be used in latency-sensitive applications, like OLTP, to provide the needed performance. This would bring typical network latency down to less than 10 microseconds, a 100x improvement over the more than 1-millisecond latency common to traditional network architectures.
The Outcome
Investing in SiliconDisk storage is a much more cost-effective solution in this case.

Because of the exceptionally low latency achievable with this new architecture, transactions can be executed and recorded quicker than with any existing outboard flash solution, eliminating system bottlenecks, lowering transaction latency and the frequency of aborted transactions.

Compared to other solutions, this solution can provide up to a 5x increase in bandwidth and over a 21x increase in IOPs.

ATTO SiliconDisk would save financial and resource costs over other solutions because there are no additional software layers to configure and manage, no additional licenses required and being a 1U rack space appliance, it takes up little space and generates much less heat.

It would reduce overall service expenses, eliminating server downtime and lower the cost of labor to manage storage systems.

Finally, since SiliconDisk does not wear out, it can help save on the cost of routine drive replacements.
Ready to Try SiliconDisk?
If you’re ready to try ATTO SiliconDisk, we are happy to oblige. Fill out the form below or contact us directly at +1-716-691-1999 to begin the free evaluation process.