Around the Storage Block

Increase business-critical database performance with All-NVMe Storage

Initial test results show almost 2X the database I/O performance for SQL Server on the new HPE Alletra 9000, versus previous generation storage arrays. Learn how to increase your business-critical database performance with All-NVMe Storage.

Increase business-critical database performance with All-NVMe Storage shutterstock_1435002494.pngCaterpillars versus birds

A typical caterpillar travels at significantly less than 1 mile per hour. This makes them an easy target for a typical bird, say a Black Warbler, which clocks in at a speed of about 27 MPH. Why does this matter? Well, when our test engineers where first looking at the results of our SQL Server performance testing on the earlier generation storage arrays that many of our customers are still using – and then looked at the new HPE All-NVMe Alletra 9000 –  it was like comparing a caterpillar to a completely different species. 

And anyone reading this blog knows how important performance is to a database. Whether in terms of increasing throughput or reducing response time, these key measurements determine the user experience, as well as the number of transactions executed by the system in a given amount of time. Today we’re seeing proof of how well All-NVMe storage delivers in both departments, especially for SQL Server.

Increase business-critical database performance with All-NVMe Storage shutterstock_1927160003.pngFrom caterpillars to butterflies

Microsoft SQL Server is the #1 workload on the HPE Storage installed base. This presents an exciting opportunity for our team to work with the installed base to achieve multiples of performance beyond what was previously possible. It is truly rewarding to help with the metamorphosis of their legacy environments into more high-performance platforms like the HPE Alletra.

HPE Alletra is our newest data storage platform that lets customers shed the complexity and silos inherent in conventional data storage, and replace with a cloud-native data infrastructure. HPE Alletra comes with cloud-native management of the storage environment through a single, SaaS-based console.  Rather than having to move data to the cloud, this new platform brings the cloud to your data.  The All-NVMe media brings new levels of IOPS and ultra-low latency especially suited for business and mission-critical applications and data.

Why the SQL Server on HPE story has legs

Caterpillars typically have 5 sets of what are called ‘prolegs’, and there are at least as many reasons why customers are choosing HPE Storage for their SQL Server environments

  1. HPE Storage ensures SQL Server workload availability. It’s the only vendor with an unmatched 100% availability guarantee on enterprise-class data storage. And the guarantee comes specifcially with the new HPE Alletra 9000.  This assurance is enabled through HPE InfoSight, the AI-enabled feature that predicts and prevents disruptions across storage, servers, and virtual machines.
  2. HPE makes SQL Server faster with a variety of data storage technologies. This includes All-flash SSD, storage class memory, NVMe media, and now All-NVMe storage. This helps databases and applications run faster, lets users work faster, and enables businesses to create value and innovate faster.
  3. HPE has a leading breadth of platform solutions for SQL Server. It’s a complete line of storage infrastructure solutions for SQL Server – from mission-critical to entry level – with gradients for levels of performance, availability, usability, scale, and economics.
  4. HPE is evolving to hybrid cloud. With Storage solutions spanning on-premises with Microsoft Azure along multiple dimensions, or in enabling cross-cloud data protection and mobility through HPE Cloud Volumes and our recent acquisition of Zerto. Windows Admin Center extensions make it easier to manage all of your resources whether on-premises or in the Azure Cloud through a single view. And you can also launch solutions on native hybrid offerings such as Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack HCI, and Azure Arc.
  5. HPE makes SQL Server infrastructure available as-a-Service. With the recently announced HPE GreenLake for SQL Server customers can continue to experience the familiarity and control of HPE Storage infrastructure on-premises, but only pay for what they use. Along with this innovative pay-per-use model, HPE GreenLake reduces deployment risk, reduces upfront cost, and increases manageability with a cloud-based administration console.

All-NVMe performance as smooth as silk

As soon as we could, we got our hands on a new HPE Alletra model 9080, and brought it into the Solution Engineering lab in order to put it through its paces. Specifically, we wanted to see how it performed up against a typical platform that many of our customers are currently using for their SQL Server. In this case we set up a similar system class comparison versus the HPE 3PAR 9450. 

A detailed whitepaper will be published within the next month, but here is a sneak-peak into the SQL Server test results so far:

  • Database I/O is almost 2x what’s delivered by the legacy system (3.8 GB/s vs 2.0 GB/s).
  • Read IOPS are 76% greater (370k vs 210k) where more is better.
  • Read Service Times on the HPE Alletra conversely are just a fraction of what’s possible on the older systems (only .28 ms vs. 1.2 ms) where less or faster is better.

Read Service Times of the HPE Alletra 9080 remain consistently low (lower is better) vs. HPE 3PAR 9450 during a demanding Index creationRead Service Times of the HPE Alletra 9080 remain consistently low (lower is better) vs. HPE 3PAR 9450 during a demanding Index creation

As you can see in the chart created from related tests, Read Service Times of the HPE Alletra 9080 remain consistently low (lower is better) versus the HPE 3PAR 9450 during a high IOPS Index creation. In this test which ran over 115 minutes (or almost 2 hours), the 9080 registered a response time 68% less (less is better) than the 9450.

HPE Alletra 9000 for mission-critical workloads with extreme latency sensitivity and availability requirementsHPE Alletra 9000 for mission-critical workloads with extreme latency sensitivity and availability requirementsMake your move now to SQL Server on HPE Alletra 9000 Storage

If you feel stuck in a cocoon of last-generation storage, now’s the time to make your move to a new HPE Alletra 9000 for your SQL Server environment.  Along with proven enhanced performance, availability guarantees, and new as-a-Service purchasing, there are also related programs available through HPE to help migrate your data. Reach out today to learn more about the Database Consolidation and Migration Services available through HPE Pointnext professional services, as well as specific limited-time promotional offers.

Learn more about how the new HPE Alletra storage systems let you run SQL Server – or any important business application – without compromise.

Mike Harding
Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Mike Harding | Microsoft Solutions Product Management
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
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