Have you ever wondered whether you should enable Adaptive Flash Cache on your HPE 3PAR?
Adaptive Optimization (AO) is HPE 3PARs automatic tiering solution. It provides the user with several performance and capacity related parameters for influencing the behavior of the automatic tiering. I covered this in detail in this whitepaper about HPE 3PAR AO. One of the findings from that study was that in this particular customer’s environment there were too many I/Os on the 450 GB 10K RPM drives and there were not enough I/Os on the SSDs. The result was that the 450 GB 10K RPM drives were running at nearly 100% busy all the time. My suggestion was to enable Adaptive Flash Cache (AFC) by allocating some of the under-utilized SSD capacity. AFC supplements DRAM with NAND flash devices to cache small (<64 KB) frequently accessed read blocks and ultimately to improve read response time.
The workloads, in this case, were VMWare, and an online database system. It should be noted this blog was written for a specific workload with specific AO policies and will not apply as a general guideline.
Here are the key points of this customer’s example:
- 450 GB 10K RPM drives had too much workload
- SSDs didn’t have enough workload
- Original data was captured on March 9th, 2015 – No AFC
- New comparative data was captured on December 7th, 2015 – AFC enabled with 1,024 GB of SSD
Figure 1 shows the overall Back-end Drive Rate. The overall rate was 3.61% lower on Monday, December 7th, 2015, as compared with Monday, March 9th, 2015, but close enough for this comparison.
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