by Bill Valle

OCZ ZD-XL SQL Accelerator Released - Integrated Flash Hardware and Software Solution

Winning the Best of Interop award for the Data Center and Storage area, the ZD-XL SQL Accelerator is a tightly integrated hardware and software solution that provides Microsoft SQL Server acceleration in a transparent fashion. SQL Server testing of OLAP and OLTP loads has resulted in performance gains of up to 25x! This is achieved by combining the right software technology with dedicated flash SSD hardware to provide intelligent caching of SQL databases.

ZD-XL SQL Accelerator utilizes Microsoft’s AlwaysOn technology to enable high availability allowing the server to continue operations from the point of time when stopped, with all data retained so that resumption of the processing is like no downtime had occurred.

Database data loads are large files that can reach terabytes in size, and commonly have hotter and colder data regions so it is inefficient to place them entirely on flash volumes. The approach is to cache the most relevant parts of this data to achieve a boost in performance. Caching database data on flash is performed by software which has the capability of partitioning the flash resource pool into two parts – one is used for flash caching, the other for the flash volume itself.

Direct Pass Caching Technology has just been developed which combines a data path cache director and cache analysis engine to deliver optimized SQL Server load-aware caching policies which efficiently select what data is inserted into ZD-XL SQL Accelerator’s flash cache. Another feature is a cache warm-up and analysis mechanism that monitors SQL Server workloads and pre-loads them into the cache. With the business-rule pre-warming cache engine DBAs can identify access patterns and pre-load analytical data into the cache.

Direct Pass Caching Technology’s data path cache director works in conjunction the cache analysis engine to achieve high hit ratios by selecting data for the specific SQL Server workload. The data path cache director differentiates between relevant and irrelevant data access patterns and filters out background processing tasks to prevent irrelevant data from entering the cache.

Available in three configurations immediately are 600 GB, 800 GB, and 1.6 TB versions which are available with various service/support options. Implementation wizards are used to guide DBAs through best-practice models for efficient installation into SQL Server environments.

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