Monday, October 12, 2009

Accelerate your Payroll Performance with F20 PCIe Card

I guess you already heard about Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array and its world record benchmarks.  

But it's not F5100 that I am going to talk about but its smaller sibling called Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card.  The name is a mouthful like all Sun product names so I will just call it "The Accelerator Card" in the remainder of this blog entry.  Of course the idea is not to start with the answer and find a problem with it. But I am going to narrate  is how we saw a problem and then thought of using this answer to solve the problem.

Recently our group ISV-E was doing our standard thing of  making applications run best on Sun. In this particular project with PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 on M5000 system using Sun Storage 6540, we encountered a problem that certain batch jobs where taking a long time to execute. Peoplesoft Enterprise 9.0 actually have ways to breakup jobs and run them in parallel so as to use the multi-core of the multi-processor system. But yet we could not really leverage the system enough to be satisfactory.  In this project they were using Oracle Database 11g. I got to give it to Oracle, they do have good tools. We used Oracle Enterprise Manager and saw for the troubled batch process, it was showing lot of blue color in its output.

Also looking at the top Objects, the tool reported which tables and index were  troublesome which was causing that amount of blue appear in the chart. This "Blue" problem is what led us to an idea to test out the Accelerator Card in the system and see if can help out here. What we did was created a few tablespaces and spread them out on the four Flash Modules on the Accelerator Card and moved the highly active (or "hot" ) tables and indices to the newly created tablespace. What we saw was simply huge reduction in the blue area and more green. That lead to the slogan in our team

"Go Green with the Accelerator Card !"

The Accelerator card not only reduced the time on this process but many other batch processes which had high IO components.  Here is a relative comparison of how it helped (with additional slight boost from upgrading SPARC64 VII from 2.4Ghz to 2.53Ghz CPUs).

Of course the next question is what if you take the same thing to its bigger sibling, Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array, well that's exactly what we did and as they say the rest is history.(Hint: Read the world records link and search for PeopleSoft)  For more information check out Vince's blog entry on  PeopleSoft Enterprise Payroll 9.0 NA and also  Why Sun Storage F5100 is good for PeopleSoft 9.0 NA Payroll application.

Truly if you use Oracle and use Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor your application performance and are turning blue by seeing lot of Blue area in the chart then just remember

"Go Green with the Accelerator Card !"

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