Intel® Cache Acceleration Software (Intel CAS) Admin Guide

Intel® Cache Acceleration Software (Intel® CAS)
for Windows* Enterprise
Release 3.1
Administrator Guide
June 2016
Revision 1.4
Order Number: 328330-011US
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Contents
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................ 4
1.1
Scope .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 4
1.2
Revision History ............................................................................................................................................................................. 4
1.3
Terminology .................................................................................................................................................................................... 4
1.4
References ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 6
Product Overview ...................................................................................................................................................................... 7
2.1
What is Intel® CAS ......................................................................................................................................................................... 7
2.2
Supported Platforms ................................................................................................................................................................... 7
2.3
System Requirements ................................................................................................................................................................. 7
2.4
What’s New in This Release ...................................................................................................................................................... 8
2.4.1
New Features................................................................................................................................................................ 8
2.4.2
Updates to Existing Features ................................................................................................................................ 8
2.5
Limitations ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 8
Getting Started .........................................................................................................................................................................10
3.1
Prepare Caching SSD ............................................................................................................................................................... 10
3.2
Installing Intel® CAS .................................................................................................................................................................. 10
3.2.1
Using the Installer ................................................................................................................................................... 10
3.2.2
Using the Command Line .................................................................................................................................... 11
3.3
Uninstalling Intel® CAS ............................................................................................................................................................ 12
3.3.1
Uninstalling from the Control Panel .............................................................................................................. 12
3.3.2
Using the Command Line .................................................................................................................................... 13
3.4
Upgrading to a Newer Release............................................................................................................................................. 14
3.5
Known Issues ............................................................................................................................................................................... 15
Configuring Intel® CAS ...........................................................................................................................................................16
4.1
Configuring with the GUI ........................................................................................................................................................ 16
4.2
Configuring with CLI ................................................................................................................................................................. 28
4.3
Modifying the Configuration While the Cache is Running ...................................................................................... 28
Use Intel® CAS with SAN or NAS .........................................................................................................................................30
5.1
SAN ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 30
5.2
NAS ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Monitoring the Cache .............................................................................................................................................................31
6.1
Available Cache Statistics....................................................................................................................................................... 31
6.2
Viewing Cache Statistics in Perfmon ................................................................................................................................. 33
Power State ...............................................................................................................................................................................36
7.1
Standby/Hibernation (S3/S4) ............................................................................................................................................... 36
7.2
Shutdown (S5) ............................................................................................................................................................................. 36
7.3
Unexpected Power Loss with Black Screen ................................................................................................................... 36
Appendix ....................................................................................................................................................................................37
Frequently Asked Questions ................................................................................................................................................................... 37
A.1 “Functionality” Related.................................................................................................................................................... 37
A.2 “Performance” Related .................................................................................................................................................... 38
A.3 “Support” Related .............................................................................................................................................................. 39
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1
Introduction
1.1
Scope
This document offers the guidance to learn, install and begin using Intel® Cache Acceleration Software (Intel® CAS)
for Windows*. This guide assumes a basic knowledge of storage and application management and Microsoft*
Windows* Operating System.
1.2
Revision History
Document #
Description
Date
328330-001
Initial release.
December 2012
328330-002
Minor update for release 2.0.1
April 2013
328330-003
Major update for release 2.5
October 2013
328330-004
Minor update for release 2.5.1
April 2014
328330-005
Minor update for release 2.5.3
July 2014
328330-006
Major update for release 2.6.0
October 2014
328330-007
Minor update for release 2.6.1
December 2014
328330-008
Minor update for release 2.7
Febuary 2014
328330-009-10
Skip these numbers to sync up with enterprise documentation
NA
328330-011
Minor update for release 3.0.1
February 2016
328330-012
Update for release 3.1
June 2016
1.3
Terminology
Term
Definition
cache
The storage media that can transparently store data and is typically faster than the primary storage so
that future requests for that data can be served faster.
cache hit
When requested data is contained in (and returned from) the cache.
cache miss
When requested data is not in the cache, and therefore must be retrieved from its primary storage.
caching policy
A set of caching rules.
caching rule
A cache rule is one line in the “Include List” in the Intel® CAS GUI, which is used to specify which
file/folder to be cached.
CAS
Short name for Intel Cache Acceleration Software.
CLI
Command Line Interface.
cold cache
At the moment cache is turned on, there is no data in cache yet. Initial IOs will be served out of primary
storage. It takes some time for cache to warm up. Often used as opposite of warm cache.
cold data
Data is used least often. It is a relative-speaking term often used with warm data, hot data.
DAS
Direct Attached Storage. A storage system directly attached to a server or workstation, without a storage
network in between, mainly used to differentiate non-networked storage from SAN and NAS.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Term
Definition
Dynamic cache
mode switching
The ability to switch between cache modes while the cache is still running
dirty data
This refers to data that has latest copy in cache. The copy of the same data in primary storage is
outdated.
Exclude list
Customize which files/folders not to be cached.
Guest OS
The operating system running on a Virtual Machine (VM).
host
The operating system running on the physical server, which hosts the Virtual Machines.
hot data
Data is used most often. It’s a relative-speaking term. Often used with cold data, warm data. Ex:
database journaling and file system metadata are often Hot Data.
hypervisor
A hypervisor is a piece of computer software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs Virtual
Machines.
I/O blender
The I/O blender effect occurs when multiple virtual machines all send their I/O streams to a hypervisor
for processing. Under heavy work loads, I/O processes which might otherwise have been relatively
sequential, become random. This increases the read/write activity on disk heads, which in turn,
increases latency.
I/O bottleneck
A term used to describe application slowdown due to the inability of storage subsystem to keep up with
application demand.
IOPS
Input Output Per Second. The size of the IO package might be different from different vendors. Intel®
CAS defaults to 4KB IO size.
latency
Same as response time. The measure of time delay from a requested I/O operation to its response.
LUN
Logical Unit Number. A number used to identify a device accessed by storage protocols which supports
read/write operations (usually a logical disk). The term also refers to the disk itself.
NAND flash
The type of memory primarily used in today’s flash cards and SSD drives, which is connected in a way
that resembles a NAND (Negated AND) style circuit gate.
NAS
Network Attached Storage. File-level data storage (such as fixed disk and magnetic tape drives) that are
directly linked to a storage area network or other network.
NTFS
New Technology File System. A proprietary file system that Microsoft developed for Windows* NT.
NTFS supersedes the FAT file system as the preferred file system for Microsoft* Windows* operating
systems.
NTFS Volume
Mount Points
NTFS Volume Mount Points are specialized NTFS filesystem objects which are used to mount and
provide an entry point to other volumes. Mount points can be created in a directory on an NTFS file
system, which gives a reference to the root directory of the mounted volume.
over-provisioning
As it relates to primary storage, the allocation of additional physical disks to provide additional capacity
to compensate for peak IO traffic.
Pass through
The caching mode in which the cache will be bypassed for all operations
primary storage
As it relates to caching, the primary storage typically refers to DAS, SAN, NAS, etc. where the data is
stored before adding caching.
SAN
Storage Area Network. SAN is a dedicated network that provides access to consolidated, block level
data storage, which appears as if it is attached locally to the operating system.
SSD
Solid-State Disk. A device used for data storage that uses non-volatile memory chips instead of a
rotation disk.
tiered storage
A data storage technique that moves data between two or more kinds of storage, which are
differentiated by four primary attributes: price, performance, capacity, and function.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Term
Definition
UNC
Uniform Naming Convention for Windows* network resources (such as a shared file, directory, or
printer). The generic form for the “network path” is \\ComputerName\SharedFolder\Resource.
VM density
The measure of the number of virtual machines that can be supported per physical server. The greater
the VM density, the less infrastructure required to support a given number of virtual applications, and
therefore, less cost per application.
warm cache
The frequently used data has already been copied to cache, therefore subsequent IO likely will be
served from cache instead of primary storage. Often used as opposite of cold cache.
warm data
Data is used more often than cold data, but less often than hot data. It is a relative-speaking term.
Often used with cold data, hot data.
write-around
A write caching mode in which some write operations are not cached. Writes to blocks that do not exist
in cache are written directly to the core device, bypassing the cache. If a write operation is issued to a
block that is already in cache (because of a previous read operation), then writes are sent to both the
core device the cache device. Write-Around cache improves performance of workloads where write
operations are done rarely and no further read accesses to that data are performed, so there is no
benefit in caching it.
write-back
A write caching policy where data is written initially to the cache only and then written to primary
storage later. As result, it is possible that the data in cache and primary storage might be out of sync
before the latest data in cache is flushed (written) to primary storage.
write-through
A write caching policy where every write to the cache causes a synchronous write to primary storage.
As result, the data in cache is always the same as in primary storage.
1.4
References
The following resources and tools are suggested for assisting with Intel® CAS testing and benchmarking.
Table 1-1
Reference Documents
Name
Purpose
To Learn More
Windows* System Monitor
Monitor system cpu, memory and
disk usage and activities.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/enus/library/ms191246.aspx
Windows* Performance Monitor
Check out built-in Windows
performance counters and Intel®
CAS performance counters.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/
cc771692%28WS.10%29.aspx#BKMK_Scen2
IOMeter*
A Synthetic IO benchmark tool
http://www.iometer.org
Sysbench*
To benchmark MySql database
http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/benchmarks.html
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
2
Product Overview
2.1
What is Intel® CAS
Intel® CAS accelerates Microsoft* Windows* applications by caching most often used, i.e. hot data, to a local flash
device inside servers and virtual machines. Intel® CAS implements caching at the server side, which means caching
flash device is installed inside the application server as close as possible to the CPU, thus reducing storage latency
introduced by SAN or NAS.
Intel® CAS is a Windows* filter driver, working coherently with the operation system and device driver. The caching
solution is transparent to users, VMs, applications, and existing storage infrastructure. No storage migration or
application modification is required.
Intel® CAS offers both write-back and write-through cache modes. It employs a block-based caching architecture
that provides greater granularity for caching management, while providing file-level caching policy, which allows
you to conveniently customize cache for your own applications.
2.2
Supported Platforms
Table 2-1
Supported Platforms
Platform
Notes
Windows* Server 2008 R2 SP1
Can be used in VM or Physical Host
Windows* Server 2012 R2
Can be used in VM or Physical Host
VMware*
CAS must reside on the guest OS running Windows* Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows*
Server 2012 R2
Hyper-V
Can be installed in host and guest OS where guest OS is one of the supported OS
2.3
System Requirements
Table 2-2
Intel® CAS system requirements
Memory
2% of caching capacity
Supported flash/SSD
Any SATA, SAS, PCIe flash device larger than 5 GB and smaller than 16TB
The following Intel® SSDs have been fully validated:

Intel® SSD P3700

Intel® SSD S3700, S3500

Intel® SSD Pro 2500 Series

Intel® SSD 750 Series
Supported storage
DAS, SAN, and limited NAS.
Application
Requirement
.NET framework preinstalled with the OS:

3.5 for Windows 7

4.5.1 for Windows 8.1

4.6 for Windows 10
Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable Package:
Will be installed by Intel® CAS installer if missing.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
2.4
What’s New in This Release
2.4.1 New Features

Dynamic cache mode switching
o

Write-around Caching (see Configuring with the GUI)
o

A write caching mode in which some write operations are not cached. Writes to blocks that
do not exist in cache are written directly to the core device, bypassing the cache. If a write
operation is issued to a block that is already in cache (because of a previous read operation),
then writes are sent to both the core device the cache device. Write-Around cache improves
performance of workloads where write operations are done rarely and no further read
accesses to that data are performed, so there is no benefit in caching it.
Pass-through Caching (see Configuring with the GUI)
o

Allows users to dynamically change cache modes while the cache is still running.
A caching mode in which the software will bypass the cache for all operations. This allows the
user to associate all their desired core devices to be cached prior to actually enabling
caching. Once the core devices are associated, the user would dynamically switch to their
desired caching mode.
Exclude list (see Configuring with the GUI)
o
This is the list of files that are selected to not be cached. You can customize which
files/folders are not to be cached by customizing the exclude list
2.4.2 Updates to Existing Features

Warm cache after dirty shutdown
This release expands the warm cache functionality. Previously cache was warn only when OS started after
a clean (planned) shutdown. Starting with this version cache is also warm after a dirty shutdown (power
failure, BSOD, etc.). In that case cache will be rebuilt only based on dirty data (data which were not
synchronized between SSD and HDD in write back mode) and, this works for write back mode only (or for a
case when cache mode was switched from write back mode to another without flushing dirty data). All
data which were marked as cleaned won’t be in cache after such OS starts.
2.5
Limitations

Maximum number of caching rules shall not exceed 65000.

Maximum number of cached files shall not exceed 65000 files. If the 65000 up limit is reached, the least
used file will be evicted in order to cache new file.

If the data in primary storage is encrypted, we suggest same level of protection for data in caching SSD.
Since we do not support software encryption, we suggest using Opal compliant Intel® SSDs to enable
hardware encryption for both caching SSD and primary storage.

Does not support software encryption/compression for the data in cache and the corresponding data in
primary storage.

Does not support Alternate Data Streams.

Does not support Transactional NTFS (TxF).

Only files larger than or equal to 4KB will be cached.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software

Only limited NAS use cases are supported. For more details, see NAS.

Intel® CAS only provides software upgrade, not downgrade. User can uninstall the newer release, then
install the older release if have to.

Only one instance of Intel® CAS application can be running at any given time.

VMware limitation – Requires Advanced Options to setup virtual disk as cache

o
Virtual disks will not be recognized as suitable for caching by Intel® CAS Drive setup wizard
o
Choose Advanced menu to configure the virtual disk as cache
Microsoft* Windows System Restore and Windows Backup limitations:
o


Intel® CAS must be stopped prior to performing a system restore or backup:

Open the Intel® CAS Acceleration Software GUI, select the “Stop Cache” Button.

After System Restore is complete, open GUI, select the “Start Cache” Button.
Microsoft* Windows Server 2008 R2 – OS support for SHA-2 Certificates is required to install Intel® CAS
beginning January 1, 2016
o
If Microsoft* Windows Update is enabled no user intervention is required.
o
If Internet access is enabled, the Intel® CAS application will dynamically install the necessary
patch and no user intervention is required
o
On platforms that do meet the above conditions, the Intel® CAS application will inform users to
manually install the patch KB3033929 to enable OS support for SHA-2 certificates.
o
Please see Instructions in Appendix A.1 section for manually installing KB3033929
Intel® CAS Support policy for 4K Sector drives
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o
Intel® CAS does not support 4K native (4K logical sector size) drives.
o
Intel® CAS supports the physical format of drives that are 512-byte logical sectors.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
3
Getting Started
3.1
Prepare Caching SSD
First make sure the SSD capacity meet min and max requirement (see System Requirements section).
Make sure to install latest driver from the vendor for the caching SSD.
Web Link for Intel® Solid State drives:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/solid-state-drives.html
If there is no usable data on the SSD, leave the SSD as raw device. If there is usable data on the SSD and the
remaining capacity still meets minimum and maximum requirements, Intel® CAS provides a setup wizard to guide
you through creating dedicated partition for caching.
3.2
Installing Intel® CAS
3.2.1 Using the Installer
Run installer IntelCacheAccelerationSoftware_x64-x.x.x.x.exe * with administrator rights.
1.
At the Welcome screen, click Next.
2.
At the License Agreement screen, click the I accept the terms of the license agreement option and click
Next.
If Microsoft Visual C++ Distributable Package hasn’t been installed on the system yet, INTEL® CAS installer
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
will install it.
3.
At the Destination Folder screen, you can change default installation folder, or click Next to continue.
4.
At the Ready to Install the Program screen, click Install.
5.
At the InstallShield Wizard Completed screen, click Finish.
3.2.2 Using the Command Line
You can install Intel® CAS from command line in silent mode. Open a command window with administrator right,
change to the directory where Intel® CAS installer is saved. Type following command line:
C:>IntelCacheAccelerationSoftware_x64x.x.x.xxxx.exe /S /v" /qn INSTALLDIR=\"C:\\Program Files\\Intel\\Cache Accele
ration Software\\\" REBOOT=\"ReallySuppress\""
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
3.3
Uninstalling Intel® CAS
3.3.1 Uninstalling from the Control Panel
1.
Go to Control Panel, Right click Intel® Cache Acceleration Software and choose Change.
This opens the Intel® InstallShield, which can repair or remove Intel® CAS as well.
2.
Click Next.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
3.
At the Program Maintenance screen, choose to remove Intel® CAS and click Next.
4.
At the InstallShield Wizard Completed screen, click Finish.
Normal uninstall should not requires reboot. But if inconsistency information is found, a reboot will be
required to clean up the situation.
3.3.2 Using the Command Line
Use the WMIC (Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line) or from command line prompt (CMD.exe)
with a filter "name like '%%Cache Acceleration Software%%'" to uninstall.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
3.4
Upgrading to a Newer Release
You can upgrade to newer release without uninstalling older release. The installer will automatically uninstall the
older release. We recommend stopping the cache before upgrading.
Assuming no change on caching SSD, the old configuration (caching SSD partition, caching mode, include list) will
be kept after upgrade. Caching will be stopped during upgrade.
Run IntelCacheAccelerationSoftware_x64-x.x.x.xxxx.exe with administrator right to start upgrade. Upgrade process
will be similar to install process, except following a few extra screens.

Intel® CAS detected an older release, are you sure you want to proceed?

Some components related with Intel® CAS are running in background, for instance GUI, CLI, Service,
therefore a warning message like this is expected.
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3.5
Known Issues
Reference
Description
Solution
CAS-W-91714
When limit of 65000 cached files in
some cases new files are not added
to cache.
Fixed
CAS-W-91966
CAS cannot be uninstalled through
Apps & features on Windows 10.
Fixed
CAS-W-93680
CAS Service must be sometimes
manually started after OS boot.
Fixed
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
4
Configuring Intel® CAS
4.1
Configuring with the GUI
Figure 4.1.1 Default Setup
Red means cache stopped
Green means cache running
Start/Stop cache
Choose a cache drive.
(details below)
Choose a cache mode
(details below)
Switch between Advanced
and Default Setup

Click + to start to customize Include and exclude List
(details below)
Cache Drive
If you are going to use the whole SSD as the caching drive, you can choose it from the drop down list. If
you are going to use partial SSD as caching, you will have to create a partition from the SSD, which can
only be done in the Advanced Setup.

Cache Mode
All modes, write-through, write-back, write-around and pass-through modes are supported.
Definition
328330-012
Write-through
Write-back
Write-around
Pass-through
Every data is written
to both cache
device and primary
storage. As result,
the data in cache
device is always in
sync with data in
primary storage
Data is only written
to cache device at
first. Later on, the
data is flushed, i.e.
written, to primary
storage.
A caching mode in
which some write
operations are not
cached. Writes to
blocks that do not
exist in cache are
written directly to
the core device,
bypassing the
cache.
Allows users to
dynamically
change cache
modes while the
cache is running.
16
Intel® Cache Acceleration Software

Advantage
Every data has two
copies, one in cache
device and the
other in primary
storage.
Write performance
is as fast as cache
device write
performance.
Improves
performance of
workloads where
write operations
are done rarely
and no further
read accesses to
that data are
performed, so
there is no benefit
in caching it.
Disadvantage
The write
performance is
bottlenecked by
primary storage
write performance.
The dirty data has
only one copy of
data in cache
device.
A read request for
recently written
data will create a
“cache miss” and
have to be read
from the primary
storage and
experience higher
latency.
Dynamically
switching to passthrough mode is
useful in
preventing cache
pollution when
the system is
undergoing
maintenance
operations, for
example.
Data is not cached
Include List
You can customize which files/folders to be cached by customizing the include list.
You can either “Include” or “Pin”. The difference is:
Include
Pin
Best Effort,
Ensure
The cache will make best effort to
promote the data to cache
The cache will ensure that the
pinned data shall be promoted in
cache and remain in cache
When?
First access of the file
Immediately
What?
Files and folders
Files only
Why?
Narrow the caching target to the
identified files/folders
Warm the cache in advance, and
avoid eviction of the identified files
Guaranteed?
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Figure 4.1.2 Include List
Click “…” to
browse file/folder
Figure 4.1.3 Browse File
Click Add to include
If you want to “Pin”
to “Include List”
instead of “Include,”
check Pin and then Add
Choose the file/folder
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Figure 4.1.4 Finish a Cache Rule
This is how it looks after you “include” a file.
This is how it looks after you “Pin” a file.
Note the “>” sign in front of it.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Figure 4.1.5 Add Multiple Cache Rules
Click the open space below the
previous cache rule to add one more
cache rule.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Figure 4.1.6 Remove a Cache Rule
Click X to remove a cache rule.
Click Apply when finished.
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software

Exclude List
You can customize which files/folders not to be cached by customizing the exclude list.
Figure 4.1.7 Exclude list
Click Exclude list to
browse file/folder
Figure 4.1.8 Exclude list
Click “…” to
browse file/folder
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software
Figure 4.1.9 Exclude list
Click Add to include files/ folders
to “Exclude List”
Figure 4.1.10 Exclude list
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Intel® Cache Acceleration Software

Write-Around Caching mode
In write-around mode, the caching software writes data to the flash device if and only if that block already
exists in the cache and simultaneously writes the same data “through” to the core device (disk drives).
Write-around is similar to write-through in that it ensures the core device is 100% in sync with the cache
and in that this type of cache will accelerate only read intensive operations. However, write-around further
optimizes the cache to avoid cache pollution in cases where data is written and not often subsequently reread.
Figure 4.1.11 Write-around caching mode

Pass-through mode
Allows users to dynamically change cache modes while the cache is running. In pass-through mode, the
caching software will bypass the cache for all operations. This allows the user to associate all their desired core
devices to be cached prior to actually enabling caching. Once the core devices are associated, the user would
dynamically switch to their desired caching mode.
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Figure 4.1.12 Pass-through caching mode
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Figure 4.1.13 Advanced Options
If the SSD has file system on it already, use
Format drive to reformat the SSD to become
eligible as caching SSD again.
If there is free space on the SSD and you’d like
to use the free space as caching, choose Use
free space.
If you would like to reuse an existing
partition as caching, choose Replace
existing partition.
Figure 4.1.14 Confirmation
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Figure 4.1.16 Wait for Setup to Complete
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4.2
Configuring with CLI
Intel® CAS also provides command interface to assist scripting of setup and modification of configuration.
Administrator privilege is required to use Intel® CAS CLI.
To start CLI, open a command window as Administrator. Change to following path. Then run IntelCASCLI.exe with
valid command options.
Use –H after the command to learn detailed instruction. For example:
C:\Program Files\Intel\Cache Acceleration Software\IntelCASCLI.exe –S -H
NOTE: Adjust accordingly if using different installation folder.
The available command options are:
Command
(short)
Command
(long)
Description
-S
--start-cache
Start new cache instance or load using metadata
-T
--stop-cache
Stop cache instance
-Q
--set-cache-mode
Set cache mode
-A
--add-rule
Add new caching rule to cache instance
-R
--remove-rules
Remove caching rules
-L
--list-caches
List all cache instances
-P
--stats
Print statistics for cache instance
-Z
--reset-stats
Reset cache statistics
-X
--list-rules
List all caching rules
-F
--flush-cache
Flush all dirty data from the caching device to core devices
-V
--version
Prints Intel Cache Acceleration Software version
--set-NAS-support
Enable/disable NAS support
Valid command line options:
-N
--set-NAS-support –N -m –mode<MODE> ON/OFF
Ex:
“IntelCASCLI.exe –-set-NAS-support –-mode ON”
OR “IntelCASCLI.exe –N –m ON”
-H
4.3
--help
Give this help list
Modifying the Configuration While the Cache is Running
You are not required to stop caching to modify the configuration. However, certain modifications will cause the
cache to restart from cold cache.
The following modifications will NOT cause caching to restart from cold cache:

Adding/removing/modifying a cache rule.
The following modifications will cause caching to restart from cold cache:

Changing caching from one SSD to another.
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
Changing caching from one partition to another on the same SSD.
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5
Use Intel® CAS with SAN or NAS
5.1
SAN
SAN by nature is a block device, therefore you can use Intel® CAS with SAN pretty much the same as if it were DAS.
The only thing special is that SAN can be connected through a drive letter or NTFS Volume Mount Point.

SAN attached storage using a drive letter is included the same way as if it were DAS.

SAN attached storage using NTFS Volume Mount Point is included the same way as if it were a local folder.
5.2

NAS
Intel® CAS can also support NAS for following two use cases. Any other use cases are not supported.
Use Case1: Caching of NAS-based files with Read-Only Permission (If the file needs to be updated, turn off
the caching on all installed machines, update the file, and turn on caching again.)
Use Case2: Caching of NAS-based files with Read/Write Permissions, but only a single machine (physical or
virtual) that writes the file can be configured to cache the file. Other non-caching machines can only read
the file.
WARNING: Turning on NAS support for use cases other than the two Use Cases identified above could result
in data loss or data corruption.

NAS devices must have static IPs assigned to them. Dynamically assigned IPs are not allowed.

“Pinning” files from NAS is not supported. Only “include” files from NAS is supported.

Only write-through mode is available for caching NAS.

NAS support is turned off by default. If you are using one of the above identified two use cases, you can turn
it on by doing following:
o
If using 3.1 or newer releases:
Use CLI to enable/disable NAS support. (See Configuring with CLI )

NAS attached storage is included in the form \\IP address\Folder Name\...
or \\DNS\Folder Name\...
You can type this syntax in the cache rule box in the Intel® CAS GUI.
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6
6.1
Monitoring the Cache
Available Cache Statistics
Intel® CAS provides many statistics about cache. The basic and extended statistics available are shown in the
following tables.
Table 6-1 Intel® CAS – Basic Statistics
% Cache Read Hits/sec
Percentage of cache read hits per second
% Cache Read Misses/sec
Percentage of cache read misses per second
% Cache Write Hits/sec
Percentage of cache write hits per second
% Cache Write Misses/sec
Percentage of cache write misses per second
% Cumulative Cache Read Hits
Percentage of total cache read hits
% Cumulative Cache Read Misses
Percentage of total cache read miss
% Cumulative Cache Write Hits
Percentage of total cache write hits
% Cumulative Cache Write Misses
Percentage of total cache write misses
Cache Read hits/sec
Number of read hits per second
Cache Read misses/sec
Number of reads missed per second
Cache Write hits/sec
Number of write hits per second
Cache Write misses/sec
Number of write missed per second
MB Active Cache Size
Total Active Cache size in MB. The amount of data in the cache device.
MB Cache Cleaned
Total dirty data cleaned in MB
MB Cache Cleaned/sec
Dirty data cleaned in MB per sec
MB Cache Freed
Total data evicted from cache in MB
MB Cache Freed/sec
Data evicted from cache in MB per second
MB Cache Read Hits
Total cache read hits in MB
MB Cache Read Hits/sec
Cache read hits in MB per second
MB Cache Read Misses
Total cache read missed in MB
MB Cache Read Misses/sec
Cache read missed in MB per second
MB Cache Write Hits
Total cache write hits in MB
MB Cache Write Hits/sec
Cache write hits in MB per second
MB Cache Write Misses
Total cache write missed in MB
MB Cache Write Misses/sec
Cache write missed in MB per second
Reads
Total Number of read
Reads/sec
Number of read per second
Writes
Total Number of write
Writes/sec
Number of write per second
MB Reads
Total MB of read
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MB Reads/sec
MB of read per second
MB Writes
Total MB of write
MB Writes/sec
MB of write per second
Table 6-2 Intel® CAS – Extended Statistics
Average of Page Sizes Read
Average number of 4k-page due to read
Average of Page Sizes Written
Average number of 4k-page due to write
Blocked Requests
Blocked request due to cache contention
Blocks Compulsory Misses
Number of misses in blocks due to the cache being empty
Blocks Conflicts Misses
Number of capacity misses in blocks
Blocks Invalid Misses
Number of misses in blocks because the block is being updated
Blocks Non-sequential Hits
Number of random hits in blocks
Blocks Reads
Number of actual blocks read in blocks
Blocks Sequential Hits
Number of sequential hits in blocks
Blocks Writes
Number of actual write in blocks
Bypassed Read Requests
Number of read request sent to primary storage directly even it might be in
include/pin list (ex: error handling)
Bypassed Write Requests
Number of write request sent to primary storage directly even it might be in
include/pin list (ex: error handling)
Cache Full Misses
Number of full cache misses
Cache Hits
Number of full cache hits
Cache Non-sequential Hits
Number of non-sequential cache hits
Cache Partial Misses
Number of partial cache misses
Cache Sequential Hits
Number of sequential cache hits
Maximum of Page Sizes Read
Maximum number of 4k-page due to read
Maximum of Page Sizes Written
Maximum number of 4k-page due to write
Minimum of Page Sizes Read
Minimum number of 4k-page due to read
Minimum of Page Sizes Written
Minimum number of 4k-page due to write
Random Requests (128p)
Number of random requests with more than 128-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Random Requests (16p)
Number of random requests with more than 16-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Random Requests (1p)
Number of random requests with more than 1-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Random Requests (32p)
Number of random requests with more than 32-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Random Requests (64p)
Number of random requests with more than 64-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
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Read Requests
Number of read IO
Sequential Requests (128p)
Number of sequential requests with less than 128-page seeks between the
current and previous IO in the primary storage.
Sequential Requests (16p)
Number of sequential requests with less than 16-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Sequential Requests (1p)
Number of sequential requests with less than 1-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Sequential Requests (32p)
Number of sequential requests with less than 32-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Sequential Requests (64p)
Number of sequential requests with less than 64-page seeks between the current
and previous IO in the primary storage.
Serviced Requests
Total number of IO not by-passed
Total Requests
Total number of IO (serviced plus by-passed will be total)
Variance of Page Sizes Read
Variance of different page sizes due to read
Variance of Page Sizes Written
Variance of different page sizes due to write
Write Requests
Number of write IO
6.2
Viewing Cache Statistics in Perfmon
The performance and operation statistics of Intel® CAS are managed using Windows* Performance Monitor
(perfmon), which is included by default with the supported Windows* operating systems.
To view cache statistics in Performance Monitor:
1. Type perfmon in the Start Search box, and press Enter.
2. Click Performance Monitor on the left panel to display Performance Monitor screen.
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3. Click the green “+” icon on the toolbar to display the Add Counters screen.
Scroll down to find Intel Cache Acceleration Software – xxx Statistics
Basic Statistics
Extended Statistics
After choosing the basic or
extended statistics,
Click Add button to add.
4. Switch view mode to “report”
Switch to “report” view
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5. View cache statistics
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7
Power State
7.1
Standby/Hibernation (S3/S4)
System with Intel® CAS being turned on will continue to be able to do S3/S4. Caching will be turned off
before entering S3/S4 and will resume after exiting S3/S4.
7.2
Shutdown (S5)
Cache configuration and content will be kept over power cycle. On next system reboot, cache will restart
as warm cache.
7.3
Unexpected Power Loss with Black Screen
After unexpected power loss, cache will be stared during next reboot. Cache will be partially warm. In that
case cache will be rebuilt only based on dirty data (data which were not synchronized between SSD and
HDD in write back mode), sot this works for write back mode only (or for a case when cache mode was
switched from write back mode to another without flushing dirty data). All data which were marked as
cleaned won’t be in cache after such OS starts.
This will allow cache to start quickly. OS boot time in that case should take be similar as during typical
boot procedure
If using caching in write-through mode, there will be no extra risk of data loss due to caching in
unexpected power loss. If using caching in write-back mode, its possible cache can be recovered
successfully. But it’s also possible cache can’t be recovered. So there is increased risk of data loss should
unexpected power loss happen. Be cautious when using write-back mode.
To reduce the chance of data loss, consider to disable write back caching in HDDs and use flush command
often. To avoid the chance of data loss, consider to use power backup.
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8
Appendix
Frequently Asked Questions
A.1 “Functionality” Related
How do I delete all the cache content?
To delete all cache content, click the Stop Cache button in the Intel® CAS GUI.
Why can’t I make any configuration changes?
You must log on as an administrator or a user with administrator privileges to make any configuration changes.
Why pinning doesn’t work for me?
When the files you want to pin are used by other applications, Intel® CAS will not be able to pin them. For example,
for files that are locked and in use (such as Microsoft SQL Server database files), we recommend stopping the
application before adding those files to the cache.
Can I pin a file larger than cache? What happens when pinned file grows larger than cache?
No, you can’t pin a file larger than cache size. Once it exceeds the cache size, cache maintenance will start clearing a
portion of the file that is least likely to be used in order for the cache to continue to reflect the hottest data. If you
restart the cache, it will then refuse to pin the file.
How to manually install the patch to enable SHA-2 Certificates support on OS Windows Server 2008 R2

Instructions for manually installing KB3033929 patch from Microsoft:
o
From another computer with access to the following website, enter KB3033929 into the search
box

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download
o
Navigate to the version of Windows you wish to update, and click the download button.
o
Click Save to copy the download to your computer for installation at a later time and save the
downloaded zip file to your USB device
o
Copy the zip file to a temp file on the platform OS, right click on this downloaded KB3033929 zip
file and choose to run as an administrator. This will extract the actual hotfix patch onto C:\.
o
Navigate to this .exe file and double click it.
o
This runs the patch update.
o
Once the KB patch is installed successfully, restart the system and install Intel® CAS Software.
My installation on Windows Server 2008 R2 is failing with the message “Your system does not contain up-to
date list of trusted Root Certificates and installation cannot be continued…” What should I do?
If you see this message, it means that you do not have the up-to data list of Trusted Root Certificates on your OS. In
order to update the list of Trusted Root Certificates you can:


Connect your machine to internet. This will cause your system to update this list
If you do not want to connect your machine to the internet you must manually download the missing
certificate from the vendor site using other machines connected to network
https://support.comodo.com/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/Article/View/917/91/
Manually copy certificate file (addtrustexternalcaroot.crt) it into your machine with Intel® CAS
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Install this certificate in following way:


















Click on start menu and type: “mmc”
Click on “File” in the console root
Choose “Add / Remove Snap-in” from the drop down menu
Click on “Certificates” in the left menu items
Click the “Add” button
Select “Computer account” radio button
Select “Next”
“Select Computer” screen appears, select “Finish”
On “Add or Remove Snap-ins” screen, select “OK”
Click on "Certificates (Local Computer)” from “Console1- [Console Root]"
Right click on "Trusted Root Certification Authorities (outline item)" in "Console1 - [Console Root]"
Click on "Import... (menu item)"
Click "Next" in "Certificate Import Wizard"
Click "Browse... (push button)" in "Certificate Import Wizard"
Navigate to where addtrustexternalcaroot.crt was copied to your machine
Double click on addtrustexternalcaroot.crt
Click “Next” in “Certificate Import Wizard”
Click “Finish” then “OK”
A.2 “Performance” Related
How do I tell what applications need more I/O?
Disk usage statistics are recorded in Windows* Performance Monitor (perfmon), which is included by default with
the supported Windows OSes*. Two counters that can be monitored to determine overall disk I/O activity are:
 PhysicalDisk: % Disk Time (percentage of time that the disk is busy with I/O)
 PhysicalDisk: Avg. Disk Queue Length (how many system requests are waiting for disk access)
Individual applications may have specific counters to determine the amount of I/O generated by the application.
For example, in Microsoft* SQL Server:
 SQL Server:Buffer Manager:Page reads/sec
 SQL Server:Buffer Manager:Page writes/sec
Refer to “Chapter 6 Monitoring the Caching” for more information on monitoring Intel® CAS performance.
How do I test performance?
In addition to Windows* Performance Monitor, there are several third-party tools which can help you test I/O
performance on your applications and system, including IOMeter* (http://www.iometer.org/) for overall I/O
performance, and sysbench for SQL (http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/benchmarks.html)
Performance is slower than I expect. What can I do?

Instead of using default caching everything policy, consider to use a customized cache policy by using
include or pin.

Make sure you have warmed up the cache before taking the performance benchmarking.

Make sure your workload has “hot spot”, i.e. has data which is used more than once. If your workload has
no “hot spot”, Intel® CAS will not be able to boost the performance, which is true for any caching solution.

If you have pinned files, ensure that their combined size does not exceed the physical cache size since
there may be performance penalty if that occurs. You may need to install a larger cache drive to avoid this
performance issue.
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
If you have pinned file, make sure all the pinned files cached into SSD before starting benchmarking.
My memory is running low after turning on Intel® CAS
Intel® CAS uses memory for metadata. The amount of memory we need is proportional to size of caching. This is
true for any caching software solution. You could add more memory or shrink the size of the caching device used
for cache.
Intel® CAS performance counters fail. What should I do?
If the exception Setting up performance counters failed displays, you must rebuild the configuration registry key by
running lodctr /R from a Windows* command prompt. Information regarding Performance Monitor Counters is
stored in the registry and this exception implies that the configuration registry key is invalid. This is a known issue
with Windows* performance counters.
A.3 “Support” Related
How do I contact technical support?
Contact technical support by phone at 1-800-404-2284 or at the following URL:
http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/highlights/sftwr-prod/cas
Does Intel® CAS work with any SSD?
By theory, Intel® CAS should work with any SATA or NVMe* SSD. However, following are advantages to use Intel
SSDs.

Optimized performance for Intel SSDs

Unique features for Intel SSDs (in roadmap already)

We only validate with Intel SSDs

Get favorable price with Intel SSD, and even better bundle price with Intel Data Center SSDs.

The criteria to choose a caching SSD is higher than choosing a regular storage SSD. Caching SSD needs to
have:
o
o
o
Premium performance
Premium endurance
Advanced features like power loss protection
What happens when my trial expires?
Intel® CAS will still be running, but only stop cache will be available. All other options will be blocked. User will be
able to read data from caching SSD, not be able to write any data to caching SSD. Also when stopping the cache
(manually) after trial expires, it is not possible to start it again.
If you have not finished the evaluation, please contact us. We will be happy to extend your trial.
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