The Value of Accelerating Applications in Today’s Data Center

There is a saying in business that “revenue solves all problems.” In the data center, the best equivalent for applications is “performance solves all problems,” especially if the specific performance metric is server I/O capacity. The more I/O transactions that a given server supports for an application, the more users that the application can support per server. Lower server I/O capacity means that the server is supporting fewer users for that server’s applications.

What is the business cost of decreased server I/O capacity? The answer is twofold. For applications such as e-commerce transaction processing systems, fewer transactions per server means a reduction in the revenue that the server can produce. This means that business growth has to be accommodated by adding more server platforms to support the required transactional load. For the business, this approach increases both capital expenses (CapEx) by requiring the purchase of more servers, and operational expenses (OpEx) through the increased manpower, support and utilities infrastructure needed to deploy, provision, manage and power those servers.

As a simple example, let’s take a cloud data center with 10,000 servers whose traffic is growing 30% per year. If the data center operators add more servers to cover their increase in traffic, they will have nearly 17,000 servers two years later. This would increase the business’s CapEx and OpEx by roughly 70%. As an alternative, what if the I/O capacity of the existing servers could be increased? This approach could potentially reduce the number of servers required in the data center, reducing both CapEx and OpEx.

This week Solarflare announced the Cloud Onload® application acceleration platform that allows cloud data centers to reclaim 25% or more in server resources, by improving server efficiency and performance.

Cloud Onload is the first in Solarflare’s planned family of application acceleration products, and the cornerstone in our plan to remove billions of dollars of waste from today’s private and public cloud infrastructure investments. Customers can convert wasted servers into valuable services for their customers, leading to increased revenue and lower costs.

In our next blog, we will examine what factors limit I/O capacity on a server, and potential approaches to “accelerating applications” as an alternative to purchasing more servers.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how Solarflare can allow you to take back 25% or more in data center resources, please contact your local Sales representative.