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Alex Khizhniak

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Performance of RAID Arrays on Windows Azure: an Alternative to Horizontal Scaling

Sergey Balashevich

While working with several different NoSQL databases heavily loaded with write requests, we faced a situation when the hard drive became a bottleneck. Scaling the cluster horizontally could easily solve this kind of problem, but it would also increase the monthly payments. This is why we decided to take a look at other options.

The first thing that comes to mind when a DB starts experiencing HDD performance issues is to combine several virtual drives into a RAID array, but how will it work with Windows Azure virtual infrastructure? To check this, we compared the performance of a single virtual drive and different RAID arrays (types: 0, 1, 4, 5, and 6) using the Bonnie++ tool for hard drive subsystem verification.

Below you will find the test results and step-by-step instructions on how to configure a RAID array on your own.


Test 1: RAID performance under Write/Read/Re-write workloads

In the first test, we measured the performance of different RAID arrays for simple read/write operations:

sudo bonnie++ -d /raid1/ -m 'raid1' -u root -n 100:8192:16384:20 -x10 -s 16g -f > raid1.csv

Bonnie++ was run 10 times (-x10). Each test worked with 100 files of 8-16 KB in size and 20 subdirectories. In total, there were 16 GB of “files” in each iteration. Since a large Windows Azure instance has 7 GB of RAM, we had a chance to avoid caching.

You can see the first test results below. The x-axis stands for megabytes per second, the y-axis indicates repetitions (we ran each test 10 times).

Write test results:




The First CloudCamp in Denmark: Cloud Deployment, Security, and Business Use

Olga Belokurskaya

On October 11, 2011, Altoros organized and took part in the first CloudCamp in Denmark held within the GOTO Aarhus Conference. The event was held in a form of an informal conference—the so called unconference—and united adopters of Cloud technologies willing to share their ideas, experiences, challenges, and solutions.

The event was opened by four speakers who took part in the Lightning Talks. Their presentations were dedicated to Cloud deployments, security, and business use of cloud technologies.

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