Traditional data centers were built around discrete groups of infrastructure: storage, networking, and compute. These infrastructure products were purpose-built, with control and programmability embedded in the hardware. Traditional deployments have enjoyed a lot of success. However, they lack agility, scalability, ease of management, as well as cost advantage compared to hyper-converged infrastructure.

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) based on software-defined technology is evolving rapidly to meet the requirements of modern data centers. Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) is a relatively new technology from Microsoft as part of the Windows Server 2016. It uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage.

To simplify the S2D deployment process for customers, Dell EMC has introduced the Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Node solution. With improved IO performance, S2D can now comfortably support mission critical workloads such as SQL Server. To aid IT professionals in their SQL implementation, the Dell EMC Global Solutions team has conducted OLTP and OLAP testing to evaluate the performance and scalability of the S2D Ready Node solution.

Our testing results demonstrate that the S2D Ready Node is able to scale storage and compute on demand while providing resilience at drive, server, and VM levels. A 4-node configuration including HA can deliver up to 10,850 transactions per second (TPS) and 20,861 queries per hour (QphH) making it a compelling software-defined infrastructure to deploy SQL Server workloads.