How Condusiv Helps Datacenters Solve I/O Inefficiencies, Optimize Stack Performance, and Cut Costs With Software-Only Storage Solutions

How Condusiv Boosts Performance and Cuts Costs With Software Storage

TL; DR: Founded in 1981 as a disk defragmentation solution, Condusiv brings more than three decades of software development expertise to help organizations solve performance-related issues in the datacenter. The company operates with a “prevention is better than the cure” philosophy, giving businesses the ability to address I/O inefficiencies through its software-only storage product V-locity. Instead of masking software-based problems with large CapEx hardware buys, datacenters can employ Condusiv’s solutions to optimize stack performance, boost efficiencies, and save big on infrastructure expenditures.

CHRISTUS Health operates 350 hospitals and medical centers throughout North and South America. With locations and data spread out across two hemispheres, the multinational organization decided to follow contemporary trends and virtualize its server environments. What CHRISTUS did not anticipate, however, was the huge hit it would take on app performance.

“We realized about four months into this exercise we had serious issues impacting our MEDITECH® EHR performance,” said Tom Swearingen, CHRISTUS’s Infrastructure Services Manager. “As a result, latency, throughput, and general sluggishness became a big challenge.”

By converting from a 100% physical to a 100% virtual environment, CHRISTUS thought it was going to become much more efficient — and it did, from a server standpoint. But the company never expected how much slower workloads were going to run in the virtual environment. Luckily, Condusiv was ready to provide consultation.

“They literally just flipped the switch on 2,000 servers,” said Brian Morin, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Condusiv. “As soon as they did it, the performance of the apps doctors and support staff were using to run their hospitals came to a crawling halt.”

Collage of Brian Morin's headshot and Condusiv logo

Brian Morin, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Condusiv, told us how the company helps datacenters boost performance.

CHRISTUS needed a solution — fast — and was about to pull the trigger on a $2 million massive storage hardware buy. But, before making the purchase, CHRISTUS gave Condusiv’s software-only storage solution, V-locity, a try.

“We doubled performance for them overnight,” Brian said. “They were able to keep their existing hardware and cancel that huge purchase.”

With more than three decades in the software development business, Condusiv is helping organizations, like CHRISTUS, address performance issues by optimizing I/O inefficiencies through software-based storage solutions and is saving businesses millions of dollars on infrastructure investments in the process.

Create More Efficient Environments By Eliminating I/O Bottlenecks

Brian told us he joined the Condusiv team because he was interested in how the company’s product was solving inefficiencies in the datacenter. He knew giving organizations the ability to reduce I/O for virtual environments was going to fill a huge need in the industry with more and more datacenters going virtual.

“So many organizations are unaware that, in a virtual environment, as great as it is for server efficiency, there’s a big downside in adding complexity to the data path,” Brian said.

In addition, Brian noted Windows doesn’t work well when taken out of the physical layer, and I/O characteristics become fractured and more random.

“It creates death by a thousand cuts,” he said. “It’s a scenario of all these successively smaller writes and reads that dampens performance.”

Condusiv’s V-locity I/O reduction software unclogs these bottlenecks so, with I/O operations, payloads are transported more effectively. The best part — it’s all software-based, so there’s virtually no footprint on resources or the need to invest in additional hardware.

According to Brian, customers who install V-locity experience 50% faster application performance on their existing hardware right out of the gate. This helps them get more out of the expenditures they’ve made on infrastructure.

Don’t Throw Iron at Performance Issues: Save Costs With SaaS Storage

Brian said Condusiv regularly encounters I/O problems, like CHRISTUS’s, that can be addressed before making the decision to spend a massive amount of capital on new hardware. But, when organizations run into performance problems, their response has historically been the opposite.

“So many organizations have a knee-jerk reaction and use a brute-force approach to performance problems,” Brian said. “If there is an efficiency problem, they just throw more iron at it because that’s what everyone has always done.”

When businesses discover and employ Condusiv’s storage solutions, they find application performance increases from 50% to upward of 300%. And, according to Brian, this boost happens “literally overnight.”

Eliminating I/O bottlenecks works to quickly solve performance headaches, but, as Brian noted, the real value the software brings comes through cost savings.

“This enables businesses to avoid the death spiral of allocating an inordinate amount of their budgets to capex purchases related to plumbing,” he said. “Instead, they can repurpose those dollars toward, say, innovation rather than just trying to keep the lights on.”

Companies who “throw iron” at these types of performance problems aren’t really solving them. Instead, they’re masking the issues by over-provisioning hardware — and at a huge cost. The big question for Brian, then, is how to get these organizations on board with Condusiv.

The Challenge: Raising Awareness of the Value of Software-Only Storage

Thousands of mid-market and large enterprise-level businesses are now using Condusiv’s solutions to boost efficiencies. However, the company’s biggest challenge, as Brian noted, hasn’t been providing effective software-only storage — it’s been spreading the word about the ROI businesses can enjoy by employing it.

“Organizations don’t worry about their I/O stream,” Brian said. “They think their I/O stream is just physics. If they’re having performance problems, they think it means they just need to go out and buy more I/Ops.”

As a result of this attitude, Brian noted Condusiv realized it had to quantify the value its solutions bring to customers. Essentially, Condusiv has made education its prime directive. Organizations need to know just how effective Condusiv’s product is both in boosting performance and helping them avoid large hardware purchases to solve the inefficiencies created by virtualization.

Even though most businesses are occupied with their individual missions, initiatives, and daily operations, Brian and his team are rising to the challenge to get the message out on how Condusiv can help them with their own business cases.

“We’ve had to streamline our processes so busy IT professionals can get proof of concept with very little time investment,” Brian said. “This goes a long way on our in-product reporting to demonstrate its before-and-after value rather than having the IT professionals do all the quantifying on their own.”

A 35-Year History Brings an Unparalleled Level of Expertise

CHRISTUS Health heard Condusiv’s message loud and clear. Because the organization perceived value in Condusiv’s philosophy of “prevention is better than the cure,” it was able to save millions of dollars by canceling a large hardware-based infrastructure spend.

As one of the oldest software companies in the world, Condusiv has some of the longest tenured employees in the industry. As a result, the company has amassed a team with skill sets and knowledge difficult to match.

“The level of expertise we have on tenure here is just something I’ve never seen anywhere else,” Brian said. “There are a few individuals who have been here since day one.”

Condusiv’s more than three decades of software development have given the company a unique perspective on the trends impacting organizations around the world. This experience and expertise gave rise to the storage-only software helping businesses boost performance and save big money. As Brian noted, with announcements on the horizon on new approaches to increasing efficiencies in the datacenter, Condusiv shows no signs of slowing down.

Sean Garrity

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