FlashSoft® software for Windows Server® increases the performance of enterprise applications such as Microsoft SQL Server® and Microsoft Exchange. It enables the deployment of solid-state devices in the server to increase application performance while increasing storage efficiency.
FlashSoft software for Windows Server targets Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). Hyper-V virtual machines hosted on CSV can be accelerated with FlashSoft — with full support for Hyper-V cluster features like LiveMigraton and Failover. FlashSoft supports the use of CSVs when the cache is used in write-through mode. FlashSoft installs as a base Windows Server driver, not inside virtual machines, making it efficient to run and simple to install and manage.
FlashSoft software for Windows Server can accelerate applications running in Failover Clusters with shared storage. FlashSoft includes a "Safe Write-through" technology that maintains cache coherence in the case of server Failover by invalidating the parts of the cache that could be impacted by the Failover.
With FlashSoft an administrator can set a policy to exclude certain files on an accelerated volume for the cache. Especially useful in Hyper-V environments, this policy can deliver the maximum benefits of caching without modifying VM configurations.
FlashSoft software for Windows Server cost-effectively boosts database and application performance on Windows servers, by enabling a solid-state device to function as a cache for frequently accessed data ("hot data") in a server, reducing data access latency and improving storage efficiency.
Performance tests2 illustrate FlashSoft software was able to accelerate the workload from 450 IOPS to 6,462 IOPS – over 14x increase in performance compared to the non-accelerated back end. Storage latency was also greatly improved dropping from 1,272 milliseconds to 55.65 milliseconds – over 22x improvement in response time.
Write-Through and Write-Back caching is available for optimal performance with workloads such as databases and transactional applications.
FlashSoft software can also be deployed as a read-only cache for read-intensive workloads such as Web servers, search and discovery, analytics, and streaming media. Cache data and metadata are maintained entirely on the SSD for persistence in the event of a server crash or system failure, and FlashSoft’s unique metadata model allows full recovery of the cache in milliseconds upon system restart.
FlashSoft caching software runs transparently as a block-level filter driver within the Windows Server operating system. The administrator directs the FlashSoft software to the SSD that it will use as a cache, and identifies the data volumes to be accelerated.
FlashSoft automatically identifies the hot data and begins accelerating applications. FlashSoft for Windows is managed via a plug-in to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), so administrators can manage FlashSoft functions and operations directly from the GUI, starting and stopping acceleration and monitoring cache performance. PowerShell commandlets provide CLI users and script writers with full access to FlashSoft management features.
Flashsoft software uses any standard SSD attached via PCIe, SAS, SATA or NVMe from any vendor, and it supports all SAN and DAS storage infrastructures.
FlashSoft software uses flash devices installed in the server to minimize latency and reduce I/O between server and storage. Unlike flash deployed in storage systems, FlashSoft delivers the benefits of flash performance to the specific servers and workloads that require acceleration, without requiring modifications to storage infrastructure. As more I/O operations run on the solid-state devices installed in servers, traffic on the storage infrastructure is significantly reduced, increasing the value and the useful lifetime of existing storage investments.
|Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 (64-bit)|
|CSV support is limited to Windows Server 2012 R2|
|FlashSoft software runs on any standard SSD (PCIe, SAS, SATA or NVMe)|
|Minimum cache size: 16GB|
|Maximum cache size: 16TB|
|Server Memory & CPU|
|Recommended CPU: Dual core or greater, 2GHz or above, 64-bit x86 processor|
|Memory utilization: 500MB|
|CPU utilization: 3% - 5%|
|All server configurations: rack mount, tower, blades or skinless|
|Any DAS or SAN storage|
The performance benefits of FlashSoft in any specific environment depend on the latency in the current storage infrastructure, the characteristics of the workload and I/O behavior, and other factors including server and network capabilities. To learn more about how FlashSoft can improve application performance in your environment, please consult a SanDisk FlashSoft representative about a free evaluation.
The optimal cache size depends on the amount of data on the disks being accelerated, the applications running on the server, and the peak utilization. Please consult a SanDisk FlashSoft representative to discuss the optimal SSD for your needs.
Aug 31, 2015 — SanDisk FlashSoft Integrates Data Service for VMware vSphere by Lyle Smith, StorageReview
Aug 31, 2015 — SanDisk Announces FlashSoft 4 Integrated In VMware vSphere by Paul, Alcorn, Tom's IT Pro
Aug 26, 2014 — VMworld 2014 - Storage News Part 1: vSphere APIs for I/O Filters, Storage & Virtualization blog by Cormac Hogan
FlashSoft software is now available in bundles with SanDisk PCIe, SAS, and SATA.
1. CSV support and Windows Filover Clustering support is limited to Write-through (read-only) functionality.
2. Based on internal testing conducted by SanDisk. Full configuration details and measured results available upon request. Performance results may vary according to system architecture, configurations and applications.
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