Prowess Consulting benchmark tests on Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers demonstrate how NVMe RAID controllers help organizations meet the needs of demanding workloads.
VMware vSAN™ has become a mainstay for many organizations by providing manageability, reliability, and availability for traditional business applications. However, some applications based on modern workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data-intensive analytics demand higher performance than VMware vSAN might be capable of providing. That’s because VMware hypervisor and management software layers add latency, creating performance gaps that are difficult and costly to overcome by merely optimizing or upgrading servers, memory, and other components.
One way to accelerate performance would be to remove those latency layers by running critical workloads on a bare-metal server with RAID. This solution eliminates hypervisor latency while still providing reliability and availability, but only at the cost of introducing new latencies from Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS)–based RAID controllers.
NVMe RAID Brings Significant Performance Gains
Newer NVM Express® (NVMe®)–based RAID controllers can help solve this performance dilemma by overcoming the latency gaps caused by both VMware vSAN hypervisors and the slower SAS protocol.
Testing by Prowess Labs showed that Dell™ PowerEdge™ R750 servers, built with newer Dell™ PowerEdge RAID Controller 11 (PERC 11) NVMe RAID controllers, significantly boosted performance for critical workloads while still ensuring the high levels of reliability that businesses require. Microsoft® SQL Server® workloads on a single PowerEdge R750 server with RAID showed 13.9x more transactions in HammerDB TPROC-C database benchmark testing than did a four-server cluster built with VMware vSAN.