SCI 2009 Nov 19 latest SPC-1 & SPC-2 benchmark results analysis

In IBM, IOPS, LDQ, LFP, LRT, MBPS, SPC, SPC-1, SPC-2, VODby Administrator

We once again return to the classic block storage benchmark, the latest Storage Performance Council (SPC) results*.  Also we report on the new SPC-1/E energy usage benchmark for the first time.

SPC-1*results

There have been four new SPC-1 results this past quarter, IBM Power 595 with SSDs, TMS RamSan-620 with SSDs, Sun Storage 6180 and Fujitsu ETERNUS DX80 (rebadged 8000) storage subsystems. Both SSD subsystems made it into the top 10 on a number of charts.  Let’s start with IOPS™.

(SCISPC091119-001) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISPC091119-001) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

The top IOPS storage subsystem now stands as an IBM Power 595 server using SSDs and comes in at ~301K IOPS.  TMS’s RamSan-620 at number 5, hit almost 255K IOPS.  All the remaining, non-SSD, top-10 IOPS results save one (IBM SVC 3.1), had over 1000 drives.  In contrast, the TMS RamSan-620 used only 20 SSDs.  Not sure what the IBM Power 595 is doing in a storage subsystem benchmark butfor SAS attached SSD storage, it’s a screamer.

(SCISPC091119-002) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISPC091119-002) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Both the RamSan-620 and the IBM Power 595 tied for 3rd at 0.5 msec LRT. All the rotating disk results range from 0.9 to 1.7 msec LRT.  It’s almost inconceivable that the TMS RamSan 400 hit a 0.1 msec LRT and its counterpart, the TMS RamSan-320 hit only 0.2 msec but both have been reported before.  What’s somewhat surprising is that the FC attached SSDs (TMS) and the SAS attached SSDs (IBM) perform equally well in LRT results, probably indicating that LRT performance does not always depend on drive interface.

(SCISPC091119-003) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISPC091119-003) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Recall that in our last report we now restrict the IOPS/drive chart to only those subsystems using 140GB drives or larger.  To that we now must add that results for SSDs are also excluded along with other memory subsystems.  We would need a log scale to include the latest SSD results here, as the TMS RamSan-620 hit over 12.7K IOPS/Drive and the IBM Power 595 hit over 3.5K IOPS/Drive.

In contrast, both the Sun 6180 and Fujitsu’s DX80 made it into the top 10 for IOPS/drive at 326 and 300 IOPS/drive respectively.  Also the Sun 6180 and IBM’s DS5020 Express perform exactly alike and seem to represent almost the same storage subsystem (OEMed probably from LSI, see also SPC-2 results below).

(SCISPC091119-004) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISPC091119-004) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Readers will recall that this chart used to show a minimum LRT of 1.5 msec.  With the addition of the TMS RamSan-620 we have had to rescale the chart below 1.5 msec.  The other two additions to this chart were the Sun 6180 and the Fujitsu DX80, although they are difficult to discern in the crowd around 25K IOPs and 2.0 msec LRT.  This chart always seems to tell us that subsystem price is not the lone factor in determining SPC-1 performance.

SPC-1/E

There have been no new SPC-1C or SPC-1C/E benchmarks this last quarter but a new benchmark has been released for subsystem wide energy use, the SPC-1/E.  Xiotech has released results for their Emprise 5000 system with both 146GB/15Krpm and 600GB/10Krpm drives.

(SCISPC091119-005) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISPC091119-005) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Xiotech used the same number of drives in each case (20), probably why the 600GB drive subsystem cost so much more (note bubble size).  But more significant is that even with over 4 times the storage capacity the subsystem running the newer drives operates at ~26% less power.  In all honesty the new 600GB drives operate slower, at 10Krpm than the 15Krpm 146GB drives.  However, peak performance dropped only 14% from 6962 to 6057 IOPS and as such, seems a viable tradeoff.

SPC-2 results

There were eight new SPC-2 results submitted this last quarter, Sun 6180 and IBM DS5020 Express at RAID5 and RAID6 and Sun 6780 and IBM DS5300 with 8GFC at RAID5 and RAID6.  Similar to the discussions above (see IOPS/drive), these two sets of subsystems perform exactly alike, i.e., the Sun 6180 equals the IBM DS5020 Express and the Sun 6780 equals the IBM DS5300 in performance, and so seem to be two of the same subsystems OEMed from the same vendor (probably LSI).

(SCISPC091119-006) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

(SCISPC091119-006) (c) 2009 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Actually the Top 11 are shown as the old (4GFC) Sun 6780/IBM 5300 results are tied for last place here. One can see the new (8GFC) Sun 6780/IBM DS5300 showing up at positions 5 through 7.  We would have thought the 8GFC might make more of a difference with the SPC-2 throughput oriented testing but it only seemed to boost MBPS by ~17% (for RAID5).  From our perspective, the sad part about this chart is that there really are only four subsystems represented here the HDS and it’s OEM, the two (LSI) OEMs, and the IBM SVC.

Significance

Power use continues to gain more interest.  We again applaud SPC for providing yet another new energy benchmark.  The other items of note from these results are that SSDs perform well whether FC or SAS attached and that a subsystem with only 20 SSDs (TMS RamSan-620) can easily break into the top 10 IOPS chart.

This performance dispatch was sent out to our newsletter subscribers in November of 2009.  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 SAN storage system features and performance please take the time to examine our recently revised (May 2019) SAN Storage Buying Guide available for purchase from our website.

A PDF version of this is available at

SCI 2009 Nov 19 Update to SPC benchmark results

As always we welcome any feedback on how to do this better.  So, if you have any comments please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.


* All results from www.storageperformance.org as of 27 August 2009