iTalk celebrates the year of the Rabbit with five times performance boost

Published on 14-Dec-2012

"All kinds of problems just melted away… it really couldn’t have been more of a success." - Jeff Liegel, Chief Engineer, iTalk

Customer:
iTalk

Industry:
Telecommunications

Deployment country:
China

Overview

There are nearly two million Chinese immigrants in the US and every year when Chinese New Year rolls around, hundreds of thousands call their relatives back home to celebrate.

Business need:
iTalk was challenged to handle high call volume to China from the United States on the Chinese New Year which increased the transaction rate beyond what was possible using their conventional, hard disk-based storage.

Solution:
iTalk implemented Texas Memory Systems Flash system, a shareable rack-mounted SLC NAND Flash storage system that combines performance, capacity and reliability at a competitive cost

Benefits:
iTalk achieved an instant five times performance boost.

Case Study

There are nearly two million Chinese immigrants in the US and every year when Chinese New Year rolls around, hundreds of thousands call their relatives back home to celebrate.

So if you are the leading VoIP provider to China and your network must be fast enough to handle thousands of simultaneous Chinese New Year calls, what do you do?

You call Texas Memory Systems.

The situation
Families separated by 7,000 miles
iTalk Global Communications (iTalkBB.com) connects more calls to China than any other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. Unlike other vendors who simply sell VoIP telephone services, iTalk operates an entire call delivery network that is optimized to provide top quality and service to its customers.

During special occasions like Chinese New Year, the company must be ready for significant call volumes and the data transactions they generate. As more transactions and users hit iTalk’s software and hardware, their IT team must continually monitor to make sure their systems continue to perform.


To do this, iTalk developed custom Oracle® and Microsoft SQL Server® applications. These applications manage call detail records, handle authorization and authentication, and allow customers to access and query accounts.



The challenge
Eliminating I/O delays

As iTalk’s software and hardware infrastructure are tasked with handling more transactions and supporting increased volumes of concurrent users the IT team must ensure its systems continue to perform. To achieve this, iTalk developed custom software applications using Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases. These applications manage call detail records, handle authorization and authentication, and allow customers to access and query accounts.

“We are not moving a lot of data,” explained Jeff Liegel, Chief Engineer. “However we have a lot of transactions with a very high rate of throughput.”

iTalk needed to increase the transaction rate beyond what was possible using their conventional, hard disk-based storage. iTalk looked to an experienced business partner and provider of high performance storage solutions, who recommended contacting Texas Memory Systems for a no-charge performance analysis.

The solution
High-performance, reliable shared-attached Flash storage

Texas Memory Systems recommended implementing a shared attached RamSan Flash storage system. The RamSan selected is a shareable rack-mounted SLC NAND Flash storage system that combines performance, capacity and reliability at a competitive cost. It delivers 250,000 sustained IOPS for random reads and writes—500 times faster than high performance hard disk drives!

“There were no data changes with this system, so the operation was low risk,” said Mr. Liegel. “The RamSan not only fixed the performance problem, but it only used 1% of its resources to do it.”

After further testing, iTalk implemented the RamSan Flash storage system into their production environment during a scheduled maintenance window. The system was up and running in just 90 minutes.

The result
Instant 5 times performance boost

“With one easy change we vastly improved performance,” said Mr. Liegel. “All kinds of problems just melted away. Transactions were so fast we didn’t have to worry about how we managed them to squeeze them all in. With one act, we increased performance more than 5x without updating our software or making any changes other than where we stored our data. It is by far the most successful, highest-impact piece of hardware in our system. It really couldn’t have been more of a success and it was easy.”

iTalk commended the support team at TMS for being knowledgeable and proactive. Unlike other vendors, TMS helped iTalk further tweak their systems—including software—to achieve the best possible performance.

Next year the company plans to replace its remaining hard disks with RamSan Flash systems so billing and customer query operations are as rapid and reliable as the call operations. Hard disks will be used strictly for archiving data.

With the RamSan in place, the Year of the Rabbit went smoothly for iTalk. Customers called family and friends in China with ease.

Mr. Liegel summed up iTalk’s RamSan experience as “probably the best investment of technical dollars that we could have made”.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Storage: RamSan 640

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Texas Memory Systems and RamSan-620 are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Actual available storage capacity may be reported for both uncompressed and compressed data and will vary and may be less than stated.