Data Center Tech Blog


The time for a new architecture of servers with solid-state storage acceleration has arrived!

Today we announced a technology that will be available for the next generation of Dell PowerEdge servers: the SanDisk® DAS Cache software. It’s one of the many advantages of the new Dell PowerEdge servers that you’re going to want to get to know better.

You already know that storage latency is a performance bottleneck for many of your applications; and you’ve heard how flash memory reduces storage latency. But servers with direct attached storage can’t benefit from solid-state memory deployed in external storage systems like all-flash arrays or hybrid flash SAN appliances.

Now, by complementing the disk-based storage in the server with a solid-state cache, Dell PowerEdge servers bring the performance benefits of flash memory to servers with direct-attached disk-based storage. The combination gives you the reliability and capacity of the disk-based storage, but with SSDs, which help reduce I/O latency and dramatically raises application performance.

At SanDisk, we’ve tested the new SanDisk DAS Cache solution with a variety of workloads and performance measurements to prove that it can:

  • Reduce latency and increase transactions per minute in OLTP workloads;
  • Increase throughput and reduced process time in analytics; and
  • Provide greater concurrency and performance for line-of-business applications.

In a typical test, the SanDisk DAS Cache delivered an 11x increase in performance for a standard OLTP workload.*

So how does SanDisk DAS Cache work?

The SanDisk DAS Cache software runs as a driver within the server operating system, where it identifies your applications’ “hot data,” and makes it accessible from the SSD. Because it offers both “write-back” and “write-through” caching, the software can accelerate both read and write operations.

But there’s more to the story than just increased performance. The SanDisk DAS Cache is designed to deliver flexibility, scalability and value.

As a software-based caching solution, the SanDisk DAS Cache gives you the flexibility to set up the cache in your tower, rack and blade server configurations, and you can choose the SSDs that are most appropriate to your capacity, performance and budget requirements. You can also configure the SSDs in the hardware or software RAID that works best for you, and the software simply works with the logical volume that you create from the SSDs you’ve selected and configured.

We’re also really excited that the SanDisk DAS cache can scale to support the capacity for SSD storage in the new Dell PowerEdge servers. The maximum cache capacity is 16TB, and you can create up to four separate caches in a single server, for different QoS requirements. Oh, and how could I forget to mention that with SanDisk DAS Cache software, you can also provide acceleration for up to 2048 volumes!

How solid-state storage will save you money

Finally, one of the best reasons to take a closer look at the SanDisk DAS Cache software is to show that putting solid-state storage in a server will actually save money. By using just a small amount of solid-state storage, the cache reduces overall storage latency and increases application performance. So you continue to benefit from the economical capacity of disk-based storage, but in a system that delivers flash performance.

This solution for application acceleration means that the next Dell PowerEdge server you purchase can give your organization a giant step forward in terms of both performance and value. The time for a new architecture of servers with solid-state storage acceleration has arrived.

Learn more on Dell’s website and on the Dell TechCenter blog.

*Testing by SanDisk with a standard OLTP workload on MS-SQL server showed an 11x increase in TpmC score versus the same server with only HDD storage in RAID 5 configuration. Complete test methodology and results are available here.

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