The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, such as compute resources, storage options, and networking that are delivered as a utility: on-demand, available in seconds, with pay-as-you-go pricing. New services can be provisioned quickly, without upfront capital expense. This allows enterprises, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, and customers in the public sector to access the building blocks they need to respond quickly to changing business requirements.

Updated: 10-Jan, 2023

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There are often questions surrounding the ideal Apache HTTPD Web Server configuration for HealthShare. The contents of this article will outline the initial recommended web server configuration for any HealthShare product.

As a starting point, Apache HTTPD version 2.4.x (64-bit) is recommended. Earlier versions such as 2.2.x are available, however version 2.2 is not recommended for performance and scalability of HealthShare.

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Continuing on with providing some examples of various storage technologies and their performance profiles, this time we looked at the growing trend of leveraging internal commodity-based server storage, specifically the new HPE Cloudline 3150 Gen10 AMD processor-based single socket servers with two 3.2TB Samsung PM1725a NVMe drives.

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Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides a feature rich environment for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as a cloud offering fully capable of supporting all of InterSystems products including the latest InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. Care must be taken, as with any platform or deployment model, to ensure all aspects of an environment are considered such as performance, availability, operations, and management procedures. Specifics of each of those areas will be covered in this article.

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Often InterSystems technology architect team is asked about recommended storage arrays or storage technologies. To provide this information to a wider audience as reference, a new series is started to provide some of the results we have encountered with various storage technologies. As a general recommendation, all-flash storage is highly recommended with all InterSystems products to provide the lowest latency and predictable IOPS capabilities.

The first in the series was the most recently tested Netapp AFF A300 storage array. This is middle-tier type storage array with several higher models above it. This specific A300 model is capable of supporting a minimal configuration of only a few drives to hundreds of drives per HA pair, and also capable of being clustered with multiple controller pairs for tens of PB's of disk capacity and hundreds of thousands of IOPS or higher.

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++ Update: August 1, 2018

The use of the InterSystems Virtual IP (VIP) address built-in to Caché database mirroring has certain limitations. In particular, it can only be used when mirror members reside the same network subnet. When multiple data centers are used, network subnets are not often “stretched” beyond the physical data center due to added network complexity (more detailed discussion here). For similar reasons, Virtual IP is often not usable when the database is hosted in the cloud.

Network traffic management appliances such as load balancers (physical or virtual) can be used to achieve the same level of transparency, presenting a single address to the client applications or devices. The network traffic manager automatically redirects clients to the current mirror primary’s real IP address. The automation is intended to meet the needs of both HA failover and DR promotion following a disaster.

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In the last post we scheduled 24-hour collections of performance metrics using pButtons. In this post we are going to be looking at a few of the key metrics that are being collected and how they relate to the underlying system hardware. We will also start to explore the relationship between Caché (or any of the InterSystems Data Platforms) metrics and system metrics. And how you can use these metrics to understand the daily beat rate of your systems and diagnose performance problems.

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A request came from a customer to estimate how long it would take to encrypt a database with cvencrypt utility.

This question is a little bit like how long is a piece of string — it depends. But its an interesting question. The answer primarily depends on the performance of CPU and storage on the target platform the customer is using, so the answer is more about coming up with a simple methodology that can be used to benchmark the CPU and storage while running cvencrypt.

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I am often asked by customers, vendors or internal teams to explain CPU capacity planning for large production databases running on VMware vSphere.

In summary there are a few simple best practices to follow for sizing CPU for large production databases:

  • Plan for one vCPU per physical CPU core.
  • Consider NUMA and ideally size VMs to keep CPU and memory local to a NUMA node.
  • Right-size virtual machines. Add vCPUs only when needed.

Generally this leads to a couple of common questions:

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This post will show you an approach to size shared memory requirements for database applications running on InterSystems data platforms including global and routine buffers, gmheap, and locksize as well as some performance tips you should consider when configuring servers and when virtualizing Caché applications. As ever when I talk about Caché I mean all the data platform (Ensemble, HealthShare, iKnow and Caché).


A list of other posts in this series is here

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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) solutions have been gaining traction for the last few years with the number of deployments now increasing rapidly. IT decision makers are considering HCI when scoping new deployments or hardware refreshes especially for applications already virtualised on VMware. Reasons for choosing HCI include; dealing with a single vendor, validated interoperability between all hardware and software components, high performance especially IO, simple scalability by addition of hosts, simplified deployment and simplified management.

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One of the great availability and scaling features of Caché is Enterprise Cache Protocol (ECP). With consideration during application development distributed processing using ECP allows a scale out architecture for Caché applications. Application processing can scale to very high rates from a single application server to the processing power of up to 255 application servers with no application changes.

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Enterprises need to grow and manage their global computing infrastructures rapidly and efficiently while simultaneously optimizing and managing capital costs and expenses. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) computing and storage services meet the needs of the most demanding Caché based application by providing
 a highly robust global computing infrastructure.

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Index

This is a list of all the posts in the Data Platforms’ capacity planning and performance series in order. Also a general list of my other posts. I will update as new posts in the series are added.


You will notice that I wrote some posts before IRIS was released and refer to Caché. I will revisit the posts over time, but in the meantime, Generally, the advice for configuration is the same for Caché and IRIS. Some command names may have changed; the most obvious example is that anywhere you see the ^pButtons command, you can replace it with ^SystemPerformance.


While some posts are updated to preserve links, others will be marked as strikethrough to indicate that the post is legacy. Generally, I will say, "See: some other post" if it is appropriate.


Capacity Planning and Performance Series

Generally, posts build on previous ones, but you can also just dive into subjects that look interesting.


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Article
Murray Oldfield · Sep 30, 2016 1m read
ECP Magic

I saw someone recently refer to ECP as magic. It certainly seems so, and there is a lot of very clever engineering to make it work. But the following sequence of diagrams is a simple view of how data is retrieved and used across a distributed architecture.

For more more on ECP including capacity planning follow this link: Data Platforms and Performance - Part 7 ECP for performance, scalability and availability

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The release of IBM POWER 8 processors with AIX 7.1 introduced up to 8 SMT threads per processor core (logical or physical). Which SMT level (1, 2, 4, or 8) to use can be confusing and varies based on multiple factors. This article is meant to help with a starting point for your specific application.

Firstly, if running on a version of 2014.x or older, it is advised to use SMT 4 or lower. SMT 8 with those older versions of Cache' has shown a decline in performance and scaling in benchmarking applications.

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Article
Mark Bolinsky · Nov 19, 2015 1m read
Disk and storage design considerations

There are many storage technologies available today from various vendors. The storage technology and configuration best for your application depends on the application access patterns and workloads.

The attached document discusses the various design considerations and recommendations for various technologies. This guide is to help you during discussions with your storage vendor to determine the appropriate storage technologies and products that will work best to meet the performance goals for your applications.

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++Update: August 2, 2018

This article provides a reference architecture as a sample for providing robust performing and highly available applications based on InterSystems Technologies that are applicable to Caché, Ensemble, HealthShare, TrakCare, and associated embedded technologies such as DeepSee, iKnow, Zen and Zen Mojo.

Azure has two different deployment models for creating and working with resources: Azure Classic and Azure Resource Manager. The information detailed in this article is based on the Azure Resource Manager model (ARM).

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Often times support and sales engineers are asked about recent benchmark results on various platforms and large scale configurations. These will be made available here in the Developer Community in the "Documentation" section, and as an example here's a link to a recent Intel E7 v2 series processor benchmark.

https://community.intersystems.com/documentation/data-scalability-intersystems-caché-and-intel-processors-0

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