Proximal Data Announces Availability of AutoCache for Microsoft Hyper-V

Proximal Data, the leading provider of hypervisor I/O intelligence software solutions, today announced the general availability of AutoCache for Microsoft® Hyper-V™ hypervisor. AutoCache is a hypervisor-based caching solution with I/O intelligence that removes I/O bottlenecks and increases virtual machine (VM) density by up to three times to attain maximum performance for business-critical applications. AutoCache also supports VMware ESXi hypervisors. Both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi customers can take advantage of a free trial of AutoCache.

AutoCache supports Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and has received Microsoft WHQL certification. AutoCache also integrates with Microsoft Hyper-V System Center Virtual Machine Manager to provide single screen unified management.

“To meet the needs of our customers with virtualized environments, we are driven to expand our support for all hypervisor technologies,” said Rory Bolt, CEO of Proximal Data. “By providing our caching solution for both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi hypervisors, we are supporting numerous enterprise and cloud service provider requirements, as well as delivering a fast, efficient caching solution that accelerates the performance of critical business applications.”

AutoCache is the only patented hypervisor solution designed specifically to increase VM density in virtualized servers and accelerate business application performance. With its I/O Intelligence, AutoCache automatically characterizes I/O in real time and dynamically places hot I/O into a local PCIe flash card or solid-state disk (SSD), then intelligently supplies priority data traffic to VMs. AutoCache dynamically adjusts to changing workloads and will not impact high-availability processes. This incredibly simple solution is also the most cost-effective way to take advantage of the performance benefits of enterprise flash, converting a modest flash investment into a huge value.

Availability and Pricing
AutoCache for Microsoft Hyper-V is available now from Proximal Data resellers. US Pricing starts at $1000 per host for Flash caches less than 500GB.

Server Virtualization Storage Virtualization

PRIDE Enterprises Selects Proximal Data’s AutoCache to Improve VM application performance

Proximal Data, the leading provider of hypervisor I/O intelligence software solutions, today announced that PRIDE Enterprises, a nationally recognized training company, has selected Proximal Data’s AutoCache software to improve application responsiveness and performance in its virtualized environment. PRIDE was able to reduce the response time of user applications by 80 percent. AutoCache is a server-side caching solution with I/O Intelligence that removes I/O bottlenecks and increases virtual machine (VM) density by up to three times to attain maximum performance for business-critical applications.

With 500–600 users in 13 locations across Florida, PRIDE’s frequently used business applications were generating a large amount of disk storage activity and high IOPS demands, a load that overwhelmed its Storage Area Network (SAN) and diminished application performance. A performance analysis indicated the need for additional disks or Flash storage to achieve the response time PRIDE needed for these critical applications.

“We need a stable, continuously running environment, but when you have a sloppy or demanding workload, it can impact performance across the entire environment,” said Roman Diaz, infrastructure manager at PRIDE Enterprises. “We could do some segmentation to lessen or mitigate that performance impact, but that consumes additional resources, as we would be dedicating disk pools to specific workloads and VMs, and that costs more money.”

PRIDE’s search for a solution involved reviewing nine different Flash storage options. When PRIDE tested AutoCache, it immediately saw dramatic improvements in application response times and IOPS. PRIDE turned AutoCache off to see exactly how it impacted performance and found that without AutoCache the response time was 10–18 milliseconds (ms); with it on, the response time was 2–3 ms — an 80 percent time reduction.

“We liked the AutoCache interface and excellent vCenter integration better than the other solutions we tested,” said Diaz. “The AutoCache interface had a very nice plug-in and worked across the entire environment. Other products offer a single plug-in on a specific machine, whereas AutoCache runs a central management server to which data reports back. AutoCache also has cache pre-warming to move data between servers faster. Other products have this feature but cost two to three times more. Choosing AutoCache really came down to cost, performance and integration.”

AutoCache conducts hypervisor caching within VMware ESXi hypervisors along with a modest amount of Flash storage, providing a more efficient and cost-effective solution for PRIDE than the other Flash storage options it tested.

“AutoCache helps things run faster by smoothing and balancing out the workload,” said Diaz. “A lot of companies are buying bigger and bigger SANs and faster disks to get greater performance, but the amount of floor space and electricity required to support all those disks is a tough pill to swallow. With AutoCache, I automatically got a terabyte and a half of usable storage for half the price of the other solutions which gave me only 400 GB of useable storage. From that point on, I was hooked. It’s a very good product.”

PRIDE tested and now uses AutoCache with the Intel® SSD 910 Series, an add-in MLC PCIe card. The higher endurance and performance provided by the Intel SSD 910, along with AutoCache software, enables servers and storage to be more responsive as more data is transferred in less time.

Storage Virtualization

Innovative Virtual Cache Solution Using SSDs to Increase Virtual Machine Density

VMworld US 2012: Proximal Data, the leading provider of server-side caching solutions for virtualized environments, today announced a technology collaboration with Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), one of the world’s leading providers of advanced enterprise flash storage. Proximal Data’s AutoCache™ fast virtual cache software, when combined with Micron’s P400e SATA and P320h PCIe solid-state drives (SSDs), eliminates I/O bottlenecks in virtualized servers and increases virtual machine (VM) density up to three times.

“With our combined solutions, Proximal Data and Micron are changing the face of the virtualized enterprise data center and delivering a unique new solution for maximizing virtual machine density and performance,” said Ed Doller, vice president and general manager of Micron’s enterprise SSD Division. “Customers using Proximal Data’s AutoCache software with Micron’s P400e SATA or P320h PCIe solutions will dramatically improve their ability to support more business applications in virtualized environments while realizing the benefits of greater storage performance, endurance and data reliability.”

“By supporting Micron’s leading enterprise solid-state storage, we are providing enterprises with higher levels of efficiency in how their virtual machines process storage I/O. As a result, they can get more out of their virtualized servers and lower their total cost of ownership,” said Rory Bolt, CEO of Proximal Data. “With AutoCache, we offer a next-generation solution in server virtualization optimization, focused on improving virtual machine density and performance without increasing latency or impacting IT operations.”

Proximal Data’s recently announced AutoCache software works seamlessly within a hypervisor such as VMware ESXi to increase VM density up to three times with absolutely no impact on IT operations. AutoCache also does not require agents in guest operating systems. AutoCache places hot I/O into the Micron flash device to intelligently supply priority data traffic to all VMs. By removing the I/O bottleneck, VM density can be increased and efficiency is improved while minimizing system resource usage. This frees up CPU capacity to support more business applications. AutoCache is also integrated within VMware management environments (vCenter, vSphere) and does not impact processes such as those conducted by vMotion.

Micron’s P400e SATA SSD provides reliable high performance for read-intensive applications and serves as a primary drive in applications that need advanced endurance and data reliability. Micron’s P320h is a low-latency, high-IOPS PCIe SSD providing the highest read throughput in the industry and the ideal solution for optimizing applications with heavy read access. Both drives feature high lifetime endurance, enterprise-level data protection and outstanding power efficiency.

Proximal Data will be exhibiting at VMworld 2012 (Booth# 522), Aug. 26-30 in San Francisco, where they will be raffling a Micron P400e drive.

Micron will also be exhibiting at VMworld 2012 (Booth# 2430).