Recently, I was talking to a client about performance issues they were having with their primary database server. Their business has taken off in recent months and they have added additional staff. That has resulted in an increase in both the amount of data in their system, and the number of users accessing it. They had come to me a while ago about ways to speed up some workstations that they use for CAD work. I had suggested trying solid state drives. They followed my recommendation and saw drastic improvements in the performance of those systems. Because of that positive experience, they wanted to try the same thing with this database server. But, putting solid state drives in servers with large storage requirements can be a much more complicated and expensive undertaking than putting one in a laptop or PC.
We initially investigated solutions from the major SAN and server manufacturers, but the costs were two to three times what the customer’s budget would allow. We then started brainstorming alternative solutions. I knew that Intel is one of the best manufacturers of solid state drives. I also knew that they have been winning awards with a new line of servers. So, I looked into the Intel solution and found the perfect combination of price and performance. It was exactly what the client was looking for. To make things even better, Intel had a case study of another organization that had implemented the exact server configuration we were considering.
If you are still reading this, I appreciate it. Here’s where it gets interesting. The case study is about a photography project called Paris-26-Gigapixels by Kolor. It is the third project of its type in the world. The project stitches together more than 2,000 individual photos to form a single photo over 100 gigabytes in size and features more than 26 billion pixels. It would take 12,909 screens to display it as a full HD TV image. It can be printed at excellent resolution on 6,500 square feet of paper. You can check it out at http://www.paris-26-gigapixels.com.
The Paris-26-gigapixels rendering took three hours and 14 minutes. That may not sound too impressive, until you learn that two years ago it took 48 hours to render the Harlem-13-gigapixel project. That means twice the amount of data was processed 15 times faster than before. That drastic performance improvement was due to switching from traditional hard drives to solid state hard drives and from Intel 5300 series processors to 5500 series processors.
Even if you aren’t processing gigantic pictures of Paris, this is a great example of how your company’s efficiency can benefit from newer and faster hardware. Maybe you just want your computer to boot 15 times faster. Whatever your desire, new technology can help quench your need for speed. Contact us today to find out where the bottlenecks are in your systems.