OCZ announced the introduction of its next generation SQL Server acceleration solution. The new ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 supports Microsoft SQL Server 2014, 2012 and 2008 R2 versions expanding on the key flash-based storage features that improve I/O access performance.
ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 provides optimized and efficient flash acceleration for SQL Server through integration with the application and has been enriched over the previous ZD-XL 1.0 version to enable database administrators (DBAs) to unleash the full power of SQL Server 2014 features, such as flash Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) support, so that database pages can be accessed faster by loading them directly from flash. New ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 features in support of SQL Server 2014 include:
- Tight integration with SQL Server management enabling acceleration at a per database level versus having to accelerate all of the databases files on disk. This provides fine granularity for selecting only those database files that need to be accelerated.
- Support for running SQL in a virtualized environment via VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V enabling the flash resources to support multiple virtual machines (VMs) running SQL Server workloads concurrently. High Availability (HA) through the Microsoft AlwaysOn Availability Group is supported as well.
- Remote flash services enabling SQL Server to run on blade servers so they can benefit from the high-performance and high density of PCIe flash storage. This unique feature enables a remote connection over the network between SQL Server and the PCIe flash resource to deliver remote flash caching via OCZ's proprietary Direct Pass Caching Technology.
The performance increases delivered by ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 are beneficial to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as larger enterprises/data centers and based on database transactions per minute (TPM). Internal testing performed by OCZ delivered over one million TPMs for a sample of 50 virtual users when ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 was located in the same server as the SQL application. This represented a TPM increase ranging from 18x to 22x for a local HDD-based configuration so the additional performance increases not only reduce an SMB's need to invest in costly SAN and HDD storage, but protects their storage investment when they migrate to SQL Server 2014.
For larger enterprises/data centers that use ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 in a traditional SAN storage environment, the embedded software can cache large database files from the SAN onto server-side flash either locally or remotely. As a result, ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 achieved accelerated TPM performance up to 5x dependent on the performance of the SAN and the number of virtual users supported. Though performance gains may not be as high as an SMB using a local HDD configuration, performance is improved over a SAN while keeping the data highly available.
Payment processing is a SQL Server application dependent on the low-latency processing of multiple concurrent I/O commands. The processing of these commands must be as fast as possible as a large amount of small transactions are time-sensitive. In payment processing applications, storage is often the bottleneck. So as part of the development process, OCZ delivered a beta version of ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 to selective payment processing companies for their evaluation:
The new ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 is available in three Multi-Level Cell (MLC) configurations supporting 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB storage capacities in a Full-Height/Half-Length form factor.