Its Now OK to Go Insane – Datrium Insane Mode

We’ve discussed how to adjust speed on DVX hosts, and it’s awesome, but is there anything else in this area that arrays will never do? Well, yes, and one is new today.

First lets review the methods discussed so far.


  • Add more flash per host. It’s cheap and abundant.
  • Add hosts with faster clock speed or more cores – DVX’s Hyperdriver reserves 20% of cores for storage use, so more and faster systems will have more faster cycles for storage processing.

Dynamically: vMotion. If a VM is on a host that’s running out of flash or CPU, vMotion it to a host with more headroom. This is optimized on a DVX because of our architectural boundaries for isolation and locality.

Today, we’re introducing a new dynamic performance management button on our GUI.

Hyperdriver Mode: Fast vs. Insane

Datrium Insane Mode


While DVX host IO was always Fast, today we are introducing another alternative, dynamically switchable – and unavailable on arrays: Insane Mode.

Fast mode, our default, reserves 20% of host cores for DVX use. Insane mode reserves 40% of host cores. We’ve had a lot of appeal to customers with high performance needs, for example in data warehouse apps, and it lets them get the most out of their DVX performance.

This change can be toggled live in either direction while the host is in use. Since ESX CPU utilization is best kept below 80% total, we recommend that Insane mode not be applied unless a host averages less than 40% CPU utilization for VMs.

For a quick look into this capability in action, watch this short video.  (We named the feature with great respect after the briefly available Tesla feature.  As a tribute, we linked to one of their early public user experience videos briefly in the attached.)

The results below tell a pretty amazing story.


Key Points to Consider

  • 32KB IO numbers in Insane mode reset the DVX’s high benchmark bar, now offering up to 43K IOPS on a 32-core server, up from 30K, since just 2 months ago (on the same server hardware).
  • 4KB IO benchmarks are shown here for the first time. On a single 32-core server, Fast vs. Insane jumps from 73K to 110K IOPS per Host.
  • These are “hero numbers” in an ideal setting. But they should give you a sense of the power of the DVX design. 

IOPS / Core

The chart above shows the aggregate speed envelope from host flash based on the # of cores/host allocated to the DVX Hyperdriver.  It’s not just thinking outside of the array box, it’s adding server power on demand.

As you look at the storage performance requirements of your infrastructure, with Datrium DVX server powered storage, you can now include the host resources into the design and allocation to solving the problem with more flexibility and choices. It’s now OK to go Insane.