OLTP databases are ubiquitous in enterprise applications including stock trading and order processing. These applications generally run short transactions with high frequency and require low latency. The capabilities of persistent storage are no longer able to keep up with the I/O demands and the latency requirement. The non-volatile dual in-line memory module (NVDIMM-N) technology enabled in the 14th Generation of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers has the potential to reduce latency and improve performance. NVDIMM-N is a new class of memory that provides storage persistence with the speed of memory. It combines NAND flash, DRAM, and an optional power source into a single memory subsystem. It delivers DRAM-like latencies and can back up any data it handles.

The Dell EMC PowerEdge R740 server is a powerful workload-optimized 2U, 2-socket platform capable of handling demanding workloads such as OLTP databases. The PowerEdge R740 supports NVDIMM-N capabilities.

For Microsoft SQL Server OLTP transactions, a significant performance bottleneck that causes latency issues occurs when committing to transaction log. SQL Server 2016 SP1 introduces a new capability that can accelerate transaction commit times by 2-4 times when using NVDIMM-Ns.

In this study, we compared the performance of PowerEdge R740 with NVDIMM-N and a similar system without NVDIMM-N. The results indicate that using NVDIMM-N:

  • Increases transactions per second by ~42%
  • Increases batch requests per second by ~43%