SCI 2008 Sep 25 Final SPECsfs SFS97 results analysis

In Celerra, Dell EMC, NetApp, NFS throughput, NSX, ONTAP/GX, ORT, SFS97, SPECsfs by Administrator

Our last performance results dispatch was on SPC block storage performance so in this report we return to NAS system performance using SPEC SFS97_R1* NFS V3 results.  This may be the last time we talk about these results, as the deadline for SFS97 results has expired and we now will need to move on to SFS2008 benchmarks to see the latest results.  To date, there have only been three results for SFS2008-CIFS and six results for SFS2008-NFS that have been published, but that’s double what we saw last quarter.

Latest SFS97_R1 NFS V3 results

Since our last report there have been four significant benchmark results released, namely BlueArc’s new Titan 3210, the 3210 Cluster, the 3110F, and the 3110F cluster. Figure 1 reports on the latest top 10 SpecSFS ops benchmark results using 10gbe.

(SCISFS080925-001) (c) 2008 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISFS080925-001) (c) 2008 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

As can be seen by the chart BlueArc systems hold 7 of the top 10 positions and except for NetApp’s ONTAP/GX, Panasas, and EMC NSX Cluster, there seems to be no one else in this performance class.

The top 10 normalized performance results also changed for this report but it doesn’t seem to matter much.  All of the top 10 are BlueArc products using LSI or HDS backends, and current or prior generation NAS head hardware.  As is well known in the industry BlueArc’s performance uses special purpose hardware and as can be seen by this chart they continue to ratchet up their hardware performance every generation.

(SCISFS080925-002) (c) 2008 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISFS080925-002) (c) 2008 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Also, just for completeness we show the top 10 ORT results but there was no change here.

(SCISFS080925-003) (c) 2008 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISFS080925-003) (c) 2008 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved


SpecSFS97 has been a well-known benchmark for NFS class storage for much of the last decade.  Early versions had some issues but the latest revision, V3, seemed to settle most of those issues.  It’s unclear how it came to be that most NAS vendors almost always submitted SpecSFS97 benchmarks for their latest equipment but, for whatever the reason, it clearly helped popularize this storage class and was very useful in providing an independent and verifiable source of NFS performance data.  One can only hope that SpecSFS2008-NFS and –CIFS can follow in this decade long tradition.

This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in September of 2008.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) or subscribe by email and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports.  Also, if you need an even more in-depth analysis of NAS system features and performance please take the time to examine our NAS Briefing available for purchase from our website.

A PDF version of this can be found at

SCI 2008 September 25 Final report on SPEC® SFS97 results

* Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation System File Server results from as of 25 September 2008