In the spring I wrote an article for this blog summarizing the results of a project that demonstrated the use of a Vblock® 540 system with All-Flash XtremIO storage for running mixed application workloads (Oracle, SAP and Microsoft SQL Server).   The test workload included a near real life mixture of transaction processing and decision support across several of the worlds most demanding enterprise applications running on a single converged infrastructure platform.  In order to further show the power and scale of the Dell EMC VCE portfolio, the same Global Solutions Engineering team recently completed another mixed application workload project this time using a Vblock® 740 system.  The Vblock® System 740 offers massive consolidation capability with up to 4 PB of raw storage capacity, Cisco UCS blade servers, and VMware vSphere virtualization. In this mixed application and workload demonstration, the engineering team highlighted the capabilities of a Vblock 740 configured with a VMAX3 All-Flash 450FX storage array.

As Todd Pavone, COO, Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, Dell EMC wrote in a recent blog post titled: Realizing the Full Potential of Your Converged and Hyper-Converged Solutions and Platforms,

"having a collaborative converged infrastructure team that understands the whole stack, not just the silos of compute, network and storage, provides an organization with the tool sets to successfully support the business".

The new  VCE Solution for Enterprise Mixed Workload on Vblock System 740 solutions guide provide a holistic view of what it takes for an IT team to configure and operate a converged infrastructure platform that will meet the exacting demands of enterprise environments.  The guide can be used to share knowledge and start dialog with the diverse talent spread across your organization to start building the critical multi-functional team that it takes to make IT more cost effective and responsive to the needs of the business.


The Value of Converged Platforms


Forester Research recently released a report that found the move to cloud computing is being driven by many factors including:


  • Replacing aging infrastructure that has reliability issues and requires very high costs and efforts to keep it running.
  • Simplifying overall infrastructure complexity and adopting greater virtualization.
  • Supporting businesses’ needs to reduce time-to-market and increase innovation.
  • Deploying additional capacity in near real time to support business growth, launch new services/products, and/or streamline expansion into new geographies.


Nowhere is this more evident than in large enterprises that have adopted multiple best-of-breed application stacks like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.  These major platforms have typically  all been allocated isolated/dedicated infrastructure silos including separate landscapes for production and multiple non-production instances.  This approach, while considered "best practices" 5 years ago,  is chaos to manage and cost prohibitive to modernize without a significant change in strategy.  Many of these "Tier 1" applications are not good candidates for moving to external contract cloud providers due to application complexity and multiple integration points with other systems. The better alternative is to consolidate mixed applications to fewer and more standardized platforms using easy to procure and easy to manage converged infrastructure.  The VCE Solution for Enterprise Mixed Workload on Vblock System 740 solution guide shows enterprise architects and decision makers how to be successful consolidating Oracle, SAP and Microsoft SQL Server mixed application workload types on a single  Vblock 740. Reviewing this guide with your team can be an effective starting point for understanding and planning your move from silos to converged platforms.


Highlights from the Solutions Guide

Generating a large enough simulated workload to exhaust the compute, networking and/or storage throughput of a Vblock 740 with VMAX All-flash storage is a big task so we didn't even set that as a goal.  Our mission was to generate enough different types of application workloads to show conclusively that the platform is not negatively impacted by random vs sequential access patterns or I/O request block size.  The following figure shows the total combined test results of the mixed workload simulated load on the Vblock 740 as described in the solution guide (see link below for download).

740 mixed workloads results.PNG.pngLatency for both reads and writes across a wide range of block sizes is significantly below all the best practices guidleines prescribed by the software vendors of the enterprise application we used for the test.  So no hero numbers in this guide but there is lots of great guidance and results showing how to setup, configure and run a consolidation environment on a Vblock.  Please have a read through the guide and start sharing with others in your organization that want to join the movement to converged infrastructure adoption - build that team.


Download the solution guide in PDF format:



Thanks for reading,

Phil Hummel, EMCDSA

Look me up on Twitter @GotDisk