Case Study: Storage Vendor Poc

Load DynamiX enables this leading storage vendor to implement a more efficient POC process

Overview

The pre-sales team at this storage vendor turned to Load DynamiX to help accelerate their global POCs (Proof of Concepts) for block and file-based storage systems. Load DynamiX products empowered the team to implement a more efficient POC process – with the ability to complete tests in a fraction of the time they had experienced with freeware tools.

Benefits:
-Quickly and accurately perform customer POCs
-Faster time-to-revenue
-Greater employee and customer satisfaction

Background and Challenge

This leading storage vendor has POC centers in every major geography throughout the world. Some of the challenges they faced included file-based environments that are more complex than block-based environments along with many “moving parts” associated with both. The biggest headache was in setting up the environment to the customer’s unique specifications. It usually took days to prepare the environment per the customer’s request in terms of setting up the multiple images on the servers and clients requested. In addition, considerable time was spent on using freeware tools such as Iometer and Vdbench, which offer no professional support.

“We’ll get a 10X saving from what we were doing in just the time saved in setting up the environments to do the testing and then constantly resetting it.”

— Storage Test Manager,
Major Storage Company

Getting access to servers for storage testing was an ongoing headache. The testing manager stated that “I have spent so much time with Vdbench just in terms of getting to know the tool and how to set things up in order to satisfy all of the customers’ requests and getting to know the limitations of what it can and cannot do. We found out how it eats memory and CPU, and once you have run the tests, aggregating all the data from the various runs was a very arduous task, including how to prepare them to present them in a meaningful way to the customer.”

Another issue came up when a customer would come back at a later date and wanted to re-run those same tests again. There was no guarantee that the results could be repeated, or that the test environments could be exactly replicated. The environment simply changes too frequently.

Load DynamiX Evaluation

The storage vendor’s field POC team has been doing its testing using freeware tools. They allocated three days to evaluate how Load DynamiX could be used instead of freeware tools when conducting a customer POC.

Before the tests began, the POC team wanted to spend time learning Load DynamiX Enterprise, so the Load DynamiX regional systems engineer spent two and a half days explaining the product, showing them how to create repeatable tests, and answering questions from an eager audience. On the afternoon of the third day the customer POC tests were run successfully and the vendor team understood the clear value of the Load DynamiX storage performance validation platform.

The Load DynamiX Solution

Load DynamiX performance validation appliances, plus its user interfaces (the Test and Development Environment and Load DynamiX Enterprise) were all evaluated by the vendor to understand the capabilities of each. The diagram below is a simple representation of the test topology.

Figure 1: Diagram of the storage vendor’s POC test system.

Figure 1: Diagram of the storage vendor’s POC test system.

“Load DynamiX changed my life!”

— Storage Test Manager
Storage Vendor Company

Results Realized

The Storage Test Manager for file-based products said it best: “I was a non-believer when we started. But my counterpart raved about Load DynamiX as they were great testing block. I’ve tested block for years and know that it’s easier to test than file, as it mostly comprises reads and writes. But the file side of testing is a completely different animal — it comprises metadata, various OS characteristics, TCP scaling windows, etc. But after using Load DynamiX for file storage testing, I’m a true believer. And the fact that Load DynamiX can easily address any complicated setup via a customer request is a huge time saver. Thank you!”

Summary

The file services storage testing team now knows how to quickly complete POCs in days rather than weeks or even months by using Load DynamiX. They’ve joined their block colleagues in the active use of Load DynamiX and they are eagerly anticipating their next endeavor – using Load DynamiX for their object storage testing needs.