Application Resources
Company Profile
our clients
our partners
contact us
Knowledge base

To whom it may concern:

Tosco is a $15B oil refining and marketing company (NYSE: TOS). Our group located in San Francisco manages the network that allows our customers to purchase gas from '76' stations here on the West Coast, and convenience store goods from Circle K stores nation-wide. We handle over $2B worth of credit and debit card transactions yearly. We run a Stratus Continuum 1225 using ON/2 at our Production 'VSAT Control Center' in Tempe, Arizona. Here in our San Francisco office we run a 'warm backup' site on a Continuum 1215. We use DRMS-Disaster-Recovery-Mirroring-System, a software solution from SoftMark to mirror our critical transaction logs in real-time as well as our 'batch control' files. Performance of DRMS is terrific - data is mirrored immediately over our 1 MB pipe. We maintain a log that allows us to examine all performance meters. Here are some statistics regarding our operation (sample from the month of November '98):
  • Average number of transactions per day: 651,490
  • Peak day was 11/25, day before Thanksgiving (no surprise there). Volume was 814,246. That's 13.7% higher than the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 1997.
  • Peak half-hour was 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM on 11/25. We processed 31,238 transactions during that period. That's 17.4 transactions per second (TPS).
Our performance on our new Continuum (installed 10/17) has been tremendous, and we attribute much of the gain in our performance efficiency to the fact that we deployed DRMS to replace a 'homegrown' mirroring solution that was patched together by our OLTP vendor.
Here are some statistics that demonstrate our performance gain:
  • During that peak half-hour quoted earlier, we averaged 30.1% CPU usage. The CPU/TPS ratio was 1.73. On the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving 1997 (using a non-DRMS mirroring solution on an R55), our peak half-hour was 14.9 TPS. During that peak we averaged 53.7% CPU. That works out to a CPU/TPS ratio of 3.60.
  • When you compare the two ratios (3.60 vs. 1.73), you can make the conclusion that we now over 2x more efficient in terms of resources required to process a transaction.
There is little or no overhead associated with the DRMS. I just looked at our systems here at a very busy time (3:30 PM on a Friday). The single DRMS process on our primary system uses anywhere from 0.04 to 0.12 sec of CPU every 10 seconds (from doing a 'lui') (Again - this is 1225...a 2 processor machine.) We found similar results on the warm backup site. There is not any sign of page faulting. I rate that as *very* little overhead, considering that we're updating 2 - 3 files for each transaction and running at about 14-15 TPS when I took this measurement.

We rate Application Resources (the distributor of DRMS) and SoftMark (developer/owner) as our best vendors in terms of problem/issue turnaround. Even after-hours, there is no discernible drop-off in resolution speed. We had established a trusting relationship with ARI as the result of our trial run with the DBQ product (which we also purchased). It became very apparent from our discussions with Eran Mertens (ARI's President) and Coby Schanz from SoftMark (architect of DRMS and our main technical contact) that they really understood the issues behind disaster recovery. We were able also to set-up and run a quick demo of DRMS on our own application. Eran has promised that the product was easy to configure and implement and the demo proved him correct - there is nothing more that one table to configure and we were able to do that with simple phone support. No on-site ARI resources were required at any time during our evaluation or implementation of DRMS.

We are extremely pleased with our decision - the performance and reliability of DRMS as well as the level of support from Application Resources and SoftMark.
Andy Orrock
Manager, IT Infrastructure
Tosco Shared Services
Copyright (c) 2007 Application Resources, Inc.