Data Protection for Transactional Applications Running on Azure Ultra SSD

actifio and Azure UltraSSD

Today, Microsoft Azure announced a brand new storage tier, Ultra SSD, which delivers extreme performance for critical applications such as SAP HANA, MS-SQL, and other databases. Some salient features are:

  1. Flexible disk size from 4 GB to 64 TB. This would easily fit the largest HANA databases.
  2. I/O performance of 300 IOPs / GB to a maximum of 160K IOPS per disk. Thus for a 1 TB SAP HANA database, you can expect 160,000 IOPS. If each IO is 4 KB, this translates to 640 Million bytes per second.
  3. Throughput of up to 2000 MBytes per second per disk.
  4. The ability to dynamically change the performance of the disk without VM restart.

As you can imagine, data protection is vital for transactional applications like those running on Ultra SSD, and so enterprise-class backup and recovery is critical.  The ideal solution would be cloud native and highly efficient when it comes to backup, recovery and database cloning.

I am excited to announce that Actifio is a launch partner with Microsoft for Ultra SSD. Our technology has been fully qualified to deliver:

  1. Application consistent incremental forever backup: Actifio can create application consistent snapshots of production databases in minutes of even the largest datasets using our unique change block tracking technology.
  2. Instant recovery and cloning in minutes: Actifio synthesizes point-in-time virtual full backups and provides instant recovery and dozens of clones of multi TB databases, in just minutes. We can also leverage Ultra SSD as our storage repository inside of Azure thus delivering database clones that run at near wire-speeds.

 

Azure SSD

We are happy to report that we saw a 4x speed improvement when protecting workloads running on Ultra SSD vs traditional SSD-based offerings!  Imagine a 4x decrease in your backup times or even more importantly a 4x improvement in recovery times. This can even allow customers to perform backups more frequently to enable more granular recovery points. (As an aside, Actifio’s technology can deliver an up to 20x improvement in recovery times versus traditional approaches and so the 4x improvement would be added on top of that.)

One of the biggest benefits of using Actifio for HANA, MS-SQL and other applications using Azure’s Ultra SSD storage tier is that the backups can be reused by DevOps and Analytics users to provision their own private virtual database clones, in minutes. This not only accelerates their Dev, QA, UAT, Security testing but also helps accelerate business analytics.

For those enterprises who want to first test and then migrate their on-premises applications to Azure to leverage Ultra SSD storage tier, using Actifio, they can back up their on-premises application; replicate to Azure Ultra SSD storage; recover the application instantly; do performance testing; get a feel for it; and then migrate to Azure.

I would like to congratulate Microsoft on their new Ultra SSD announcement.  The technology is an exciting addition to their cloud portfolio. This will no doubt help attract performance intensive applications to the cloud.  You can find more details on the product here and while you are at it, we encourage you to view Actifio’s listing in the Azure marketplace.


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