This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013/2016 Solution Review Program (ESRP) results. Since we last reviewed this over 5000 mailboxes category nine months ago, there have been five new submissions that include four from Dell EMC (Dell EMC DSS 7000/7500, Dell EMC PowerEdge R730xd & MD1400 storage, and two Dell EMC SC5020 (one with 7.2K and the other with 10Krpm drives) and one from HPE, their ProLiant DL380 G9 & P840ar smart array. Many of our top 10 charts have changed and we present some of these charts below.
Latest ESRP V3.0 & 4.0 (E2010&E2013) performance
In Figure 1 we show our Silverton Consulting, Exchange normalized database transfers per second per 1000 mailboxes.
In Figure 1 one can see the Dell EMC PowerEdge R730xd & MD 1400 storage solution came in 2nd place in our normalized database transfers per second. Although, ESRP reports an absolute DB/xfers/sec number we prefer our normalized (per 1000 mailboxes) DB/xfers/sec metric as it’s not skewed for larger mailbox systems. Yet, it’s based on the number of mailboxes in the ESRP submission and you shouldn’t use this metric to try to scale to mailbox counts much beyond what the submission used.
A couple of items to note, each PowerEdge R730xd server in the submission was used as an Exchange server with both internal direct attached storage (14 3.5” drives per server across 7 servers) and used the MD1400 as 12 Gbps SAS connected external storage (12 3.5” drives), for 110 drives total. SAS was listed as the storage protocol used for the Exchange solution.
It’s unusual to see a combination of internal and external storage used in an ESRP submission. But it seems to work fine, at least on a normalized DB/xfers/sec basis.
Next, we report on top ten ESRP total database backup in Figure 2.
In Figure 2, we can see the new HPE ProLiant DL380 G9 & P840ar Smart Array solution came in at #7. Once again this was a SAS attached storage system. There were 4 (or 5) DL380 G9’s acting as Exchange servers connected to the P840ar Smart Array storage. The Smart Array storage used 12 10TB 7.2Krpm drives. It just shows that even with relatively slow high capacity drives you can still pump a lot of data (at least sequentially).
ESRP reports on database backup using metrics for MB/sec/server and MB/sec/DB. But we happen to prefer our metric which is a rollup (total) of all servers and all databases being backed up.
Also, please recall that during ESRP database backups there is a low level of normal Exchange simulated database transaction activity also going on. This insures that customers can view the backup metrics reported as something like what one might see during real Exchange backups while Exchange was still online.
We’re always happy to see new submissions, especially in the >5K mailbox configurations. We firmly believe that ESRP is the most comprehensive, real world measure of storage system performance that exists today, even if Microsoft won’t call it a “benchmark”.
It’s interesting to see all the new Dell EMC submissions in ESRP and it was informative to see what same systems can do with different speed drives. It’s unfortunate that the two Dell EMC SC5020 submissions (one with 10Krpm and the other with 7.2Krpm drives) didn’t place in any of our top ten charts. But what we can reveal is that on a per spindle basis the 10Krpm drive version was able to do about 50% more database transfers per second than the 7.2Krpm solution using the same SC5020 hardware and under the same ESRP (Exchange simulated) workload.
If you are interested in even more information on block storage performance please examine our SAN Storage Buying Guide available for purchase on our website, which includes ChampionCharts™ for OLTP, Throughput and Email workloads across enterprise, mid-range and SMB storage systems and now includes an all flash array (AFA) ChampionsChart for OLTP. Use the QR code below left for more information on the SAN Storage Buying Guide. We also provide some additional ESRP results analysis in our recently updated, SAN-NAS Buying Guide, also available on our website.
Constructive comments on how to improve our analyses for Microsoft ESRP (Exchange) or any of our performance reports are always welcome. Moreover, if you detect errors in this or any of our other performance reports, please do let us know and we will correct them as soon as possible.
If you received this report from someone else, please consider signing up for your own free copy of SCI’s Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) monthly e-newsletter using the QR code below right. We provide commentary on recent major storage system announcements as well as analyze current storage system performance results/benchmarks every month. We plan to analyze Microsoft ESRP results again in three months.
Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.
(QR code: SAN Storage Buying Guide) (QR code: Newsletter signup)
 ESRP results from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dn756396.aspx as of 24Jul2017