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Avoid Performance Bottlenecks With These Storage Tips

Level 10

What makes an application perform optimally? I would say it is when there is collaborative performance from the server or the VM running the application, the network on which the application is used, and the storage. In this post, I provide information regarding storage and ways to configure it to avoid application performance bottlenecks.

LUN contention

LUN contention is the most common issue that storage admins try to avoid. Here are a few common mistakes that usually lead to LUN contention:

  • Deploying a new application on the same volume that handles busy systems, such as email, ERP, etc.
  • Using the same drives for applications with high IOPS.
  • Configuring many VMs on the same datastore.
  • Not matching storage drivers with processors.

Application issues can be traced to LUN contention only if the concerned database is being monitored. Drilling down to the appropriate LUN helps you make sure that the application runs fine.

Capacity planning

Poor application performance often can be tied to increased demand for services, and many times it can be storage and its IOPS. Storage is costly, and no organization wants to waste it on applications.

Capacity planning involves knowing your application, how much space it needs, and the kind of storage it requires. Capacity planning helps in predictive analytics, which allows users to choose the amount of storage their application requires. Capacity planning should be done before the application is moved into production. Doing so not only helps to right-size the application’s storage environments, but eventually helps lower the number of performance issues an application might experience during rollout.

Make sure it’s not the storage

SysAdmins often blame storage for application performance issues. It is always recommended to monitor your storage, which helps eliminate the blame game. Monitoring your storage helps you see whether it’s actually storage that’s causing performance issues, rather than the server or the network itself. Continuously monitoring your database can also help you avoid LUN contention. You will also be able to monitor the performance of your capacity planning, and be alerted when it’s not performing optimally.

Storage is the lowest common denominator of application monitoring. Application stack monitoring allows you to troubleshoot issues from the application itself. Consider the following troubleshooting checklist, and ask yourself:

  • Is it the application itself?
  • Is it the server on which the application is hosted?
  • Is it the VM?
  • Is it the storage?

I will walk you through the different layers and how they help troubleshoot application issues in my next blog. Also, to find out more about App stack monitoring, please visit us at booth HH18 at this year’s IP Expo in London.

Level 8

Good article...

Level 8

yes nice

Level 12

Awasome information

Thanks that is helpful.

Level 21

Storage performance is definitely one of those things that can quickly speak up on you and bite you if you aren't paying close attention to it and it's also one of the more difficult things to monitor and understand; storage performance is a bit like in ocean in that you don't want to turn your back on it.  It also doesn't help that many of the storage vendor tools are terrible to work with so it almost makes you not want to monitor it. 

Level 10

@pravin manohar this is a great article. Your have really taken your time with the details.


looking forward to seeing the next steps...

Appreciating these continued blurbs.

Level 10

You are right !

Level 14

Thank you for a well written article.

About the Author
I've been in IT for almost 30 years beginning in the stockroom and working my way up through operations to help build and develop the Automated Operations Team at Radioshack before Enterprise Management was a cool thing. Working in several different shops over the years has exposed me to a number of different challenges regarding monitoring and alerting. I am a amateur radio operator, Skywarn spotter for the National Weather Service, and a volunteer firefighter in a rural county just West of Fort Worth.