NFS ChampionsChart™ – chart-of-the-month

SCISFS120926-001, Q4-2012 NFS ChampionsChart(tm) (c) 2012 Silverton Consulting, Inc., All Rights Reserved

SCISFS120926-001, Q4-2012 NFS ChampionsChart(tm) (c) 2012 Silverton Consulting, Inc., All Rights Reserved

We had no new performance data to report on in our September StorInt™ newsletter so we decided to publish our NAS Buying Guide ChampionsCharts™.   The chart above is our Q4-2102 NFS ChampionsChart which shows the top performing NFS storage systems from published SPECsfs2008 benchmark results available at the time.

We split up all of our NAS and SAN ChampionsCharts into four quadrants: Champions, Sprinters, Marathoners and Slowpokes.  We feel that storage Champions represent the best overall performers,  Sprinters have great response time but lack in transaction throughput as compared to storage Champions, Marathoners have good transaction throughput but are defficient in responsiveness and Slowpokes need to go back to the drawing board because they suffer both poor transaction throughput and responsiveness.

You may notice that there are two categories of systems identified in the NFS Champions Quadrant above.  These represent the more “normal” NAS systems (numbered 1-7) such as integrated systems and NAS gateways with SAN storage behind them vs. the more caching oriented, NAS systems (denoted with letters A-E) which have standalone NAS systems behind them.

In our Dispatch we discuss the top 3 NAS Champions in the integrated and gateway category which include:

  1. NetApp FAS6080 – although a couple of generations back, the FAS6080 did remarkably well for its complement of hardware.
  2. Huawei Symantec Oceanspace N8500 Clustered NAS – this product did especially well for its assortment of hardware in response time and not necessarily that great in NFS throughput but still respectable.
  3. EMC Celerra VG8, 2 DM and VMAX hardware – similar to number one above, a relatively modest amount of cache and disks but seemed to perform relatively well.

One negative to all our ChampionsCharts is that they depend on audited, published performance data which typically lag behind recent product introductions.  As evidence of this the FAS6080 and Celerra VG8 listed above are at least a generation or two behind current selling systems.  I am not as familiar with the Huawei systems but it may very well be a generation or two behind current selling products.

As for our rankings, this is purely subjective but our feeling is that transaction performance comes first with responsiveness a close second. For example in the above ranking Huawei’s system had the best overall responsiveness but relatively poorer transaction performance than any of the other Champions.  Nonetheless as the best in responsiveness, we felt it deserved a number two in our Champions list.

The full Champions quadrants for the NFS and CIFS/SMB ChampionsCharts are detailed in our NAS Buying Guide available for purchase on our website (please see NAS buying guide page).  The dispatch that went out with our September newsletter also detailed the top 3 CIFS/SMB Champions.

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The complete SPECsfs2008 performance report with both NFS and CIFS/SMB ChampionsCharts went out in SCI’s September newsletter.  But a copy of the report will be posted on our dispatches page sometime this month (if all goes well).  However, you can get the latest storage performance analysis now and subscribe to future free newsletters by just using the signup form above right.

As always, we welcome any suggestions or comments on how to improve our SPECsfs2008 performance analysis or any of our other storage performance analyses.


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