Load DynamiX today announced new products and software modules, extending its industry-leading storage performance validation solutions to include real-time and historical workload visibility. Load DynamiX 5.0 includes an all-new automated workload acquisition and analysis solution (comprised of Workload Sensors, a Workload Data Importer, and a Workload Analyzer application) that provides comprehensive insight into application workload behavior and its impact on storage infrastructure performance. The new offerings mean that Load DynamiX, with its clear understanding of production workload I/O profiles, helps storage professionals right-size storage purchases and quickly mitigate performance issues.

Storage professionals are constantly challenged to understand and predict how changes in application workload behavior and workload growth will impact storage performance.  So far, there has been no easy solution to assist them.  Existing approaches are typically vendor-specific; hence limited to infrastructure silos, and typically do not provide real time views into transient events.  More importantly, traditional solutions do not correlate performance changes to workload behavior. These challenges meant that storage teams were resolved to serious under- and over-provisioning of storage infrastructure, along with substantial delays in troubleshooting performance problems within their production storage deployments.

“Most organizations know surprisingly little about the demands their applications present to their storage systems. Storage managers routinely specify systems with expensive performance headroom to account for their lack of workload knowledge,” said Howard Marks, founder of DeepStorage.net. “Load Dynamix Workload Sensors and Workload Analyzers will, for the first time, give enterprises a full picture of their application’s storage behavior and use that data to see how their applications will work on next generation storage systems.”

Load DynamiX 5.0:  Introducing Storage Performance Analytics

Load DynamiX 5.0 offers storage teams an automated and simple way to acquire storage array and storage network workload data, and analyze that data for a holistic approach to architecting, optimizing, and troubleshooting storage infrastructure. The storage performance analytics capabilities within Load DynamiX Enterprise 5.0 include new solutions for real-time and historical workload acquisition and analysis.  These solutions build upon traditional Load DynamiX strengths in storage workload modeling and workload generation.

Workload Acquisition

Load DynamiX Enterprise 5.0 has added two new ways to acquire actual production storage workloads, analyze those workloads, and automatically create workload models.

  • Load DynamiX Workload Sensors Load DynamiX Workload Sensors are hardware-based sensor devices that enable storage engineers and operations teams to capture network switch data and statistically analyze the workloads in real-time. Using the switch SPAN ports or optical TAPs on 10G Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches, this data can be captured and then be imported into the Workload Analyzer module of Load DynamiX Enterprise for further analysis and to generate a highly accurate workload for replay in a test lab. This capture/analyze/replay capability dramatically accelerates storage performance problem identification and resolution.
  • Load DynamiX Workload Data Importer is part of Load DynamiX Enterprise 5.0 and imports any production array I/O data from the storage array logs and other tools for workload profiling. It automates and simplifies the workload modeling and creation process and provides out-of-the-box policies for most major storage vendors or the ability to add profiles from emerging vendors.

Workload Analysis

Before now, IT organizations had no fast and simple way analyze and characterize production workloads and their changing behaviors. Once acquired, production workload data can then be evaluated for performance planning and faster troubleshooting.

  •  Load DynamiX Workload Analyzer is a new module of Load DynamiX Enterprise that allows storage engineers to analyze temporal and spatial workload behavior via powerful visualization to better understand workload I/O patterns that affect storage performance. The Workload Analyzer processes the data from both the Workload Data Importer and the Workload Sensors. It creates a detailed workload profile that can be used to automatically generate a highly accurate workload. These workloads can then be applied to any file, block or object storage system via a Load DynamiX Workload Generation Appliance to fully evaluate its performance, to conduct what-if scenario analysis with modified workloads, and to efficiently troubleshoot performance problems.

“For years now, Load DynamiX has been leading the industry in storage performance validation and testing in pre-production environments,” said Philippe Vincent, president and CEO of Load DynamiX.  “But capturing and analyzing production workload data in an automated way remained elusive.  It was an art form that our customers were continually challenged with.  With our 5.0 release and its advanced storage performance analytics, we provide unparalleled insight into workload behavior and its effect on performance that turns the art form into science.”

“The new Load DynamiX workload acquisition and analysis products are very innovative,” said Christopher King, LinkedIn’s former infrastructure architect. “They will significantly improve understanding of application workload behavior, which will help me more intelligently evaluate new storage technologies, make better storage deployment decisions, and accelerate problem resolution.”