SCI 2011Oct29 Latest Exchange 2010/ESRP v3 reports analysis

In Celerra, Dell EMC, E5300, Emprise 5000, ESRP, ESRP v3/Exchange 2010, FAS2040, HPE, NetApp, NX4, P2000 SAS G3, VNX, VNXe, X-IO Storage (nee XIOTech)by AdministratorLeave a Comment

This ESRP Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers recent Microsoft Exchange 2010 Solution Review Program (ESRP)[1] v3.0 results. Since we last discussed this 1K-and-under mailbox category nine months ago, there have been seven new ESRP submissions. Future dispatches will report on the 1K-to-5K and over-5K mailbox categories, but all previous ESRP V2 and ESRP V3 performance dispatches are available on SCI’s website[2].

This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers recent Microsoft Exchange 2010 Solution Review Program (ESRP)[1] v3.0 results. Since we last discussed this 1K-and-under mailbox category nine months ago, there have been seven new ESRP submissions. Future dispatches will report on the 1K-to-5K and over-5K mailbox categories, but all previous ESRP V2 and ESRP V3 performance dispatches are available on SCI’s website[2].

Latest ESRP V3.0 results

We start our ESRP analysis with Exchange database and log access latency results.  Recall that this chart is sorted by database read latencies.

Multi column chart showing ESRP database read, database write, and log access latencies

(SCIESRP111029-001) (c) 2011 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Figure 1 Top ESRP database-read latencies

For Figure 1, the 3-HP systems (#8-10) and the 2-EMC VNXe systems (#3 & 6) are new here. ESRP database and log latencies remain a favorite ESRP metric because it correlates so well with end-user experience.  However, I coming to the belief that latency is driven by disk speed.  For example, the first three systems above had 15Krpm drives, and all the rest were 7200 or below except for the other EMC VNXe 3100 (#6) that was running 15Krpm drives.  Unclear why it had such poor read latency, but maybe it was overtaxed.

We now turn to ESRP database transfers per second.

 

Stacked column chart showing unnormalized read and write database transfers per second

(SCIESRP111029-002) (c) 2011 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Figure 2 Top 10 Database transfers per second

Similar to the above all the HP and EMC VNXe runs were new to this chart. As discussed previously the Xiotech system seems to dominate this metric but at least we can see one system that is almost 1/2 as good (#2 HP P2000 G3).   Here we have a nice mixture of FC (#1), iSCSI (#2,6,7,8&10), and SAS attached (3,4,5&9) storage systems.

 

 

Next we examine Exchange log playback performance.

 

Column chart showing average time to process a 1MB log file

(SCIESRP111029-003) (c) 2011 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Figure 3 Top log playback times

This is one of my favorite ESRP metrics because:

  • It’s independent of Exchange and ESRP configuration parameters, i.e., it uses similar 1MB log files for any and all storage subsystems
  • It’s a mixture of log and database processing that’s done as fast as the storage system and server(s) can accomplish it.

There are seven new submissions on this chart, i.e., everything except for the EMC Celerra (#5), Xiotech (#6) and EMC CLARiiON (#8) is new.  The NetApp FAS2040 had a surprisingly good showing here just edging out the HP P2000 G3 iSCSI system.

For no apparent reason, ISCSI systems (#1-5, & 8) seem to dominate log playback, the Xiotech is FC and the remainder are SAS attached systems. Also drive speed doesn’t seem to have any impact here as the top 2 and bottom 4 use 7200rpm drives, while the middle 4 use 15Krpm (#3,4, & 6) or 10Krpm (#5) drives.

Unclear why the two top systems were able to process logs so fast with such slow disks. But it may have something to do with the sequential nature of log processing which could negate the drive speed advantage.  There’s more to this metric than is obvious to the casual observer.

We have discussed this before but another of my favorite ESRP reported metrics is DB backup activity. ESRP publishes two measurements on database backup activity 1) Data backed up as an average MB/sec/database and 2) Data backed up as an average MB/sec/server.  Neither backup metric is entirely sufficient from our perspective so we have computed a new one.  Specifically, we multiply the average MB/sec/database times the number of databases to calculate a total database backup in MB/sec.

Column chart showing the total database backup throughput per second

(SCIESRP111029-004) (c) 2011 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Figure 4 Top 10 total database backup rates

Figure 4, summarizes our new total database backup rate metric and ranks the top 10 storage systems in this category.  One would think that more disk drives would provide better backup performance and for this category this seems to be the case.  The #1 system had 78 disk drives used in a RAID10 configuration which seemed to help it beat the competition.  The #2 (Xiotech) system had 20 active disk drives and the remainder of these systems all 12 or fewer drives.

 

Finally, we discuss the database transfers per spindle metric.

 

Column chart showing the total (read & write) database transfers per second per disk spindle

(SCIESRP111029-005) (c) 2011 Silverton Consulting, All Rights Reserved

Figure 5 Total DB transfers/second/disk drive

Once again Xiotech dominates this category but the other surprise is the very same VNXe 3100 with 1Kmbx we thought was overtaxed in the read latency chart (see Figure 1 above).  There seems to be nothing wrong with its showing here, but this may be due to the fact that it was only running 7 drives.

Conclusions

Recently, we were asked what 3 metrics to use for measuring ESRP subsystem performance. Of course we responded with 4: read latency, log playback, total database backup and database transfers per spindle.  Note that only two of these are actually reported in ESRP reports.  However, we would probably now add normalized database transfers per second.

Absolute (non-normalized) numbers were used in this 1K-and-under mailbox results analysis but we would typically be reporting on database transfers per 1000 or 5000 mailboxes just to remove the correlation to mailbox count.  Nevertheless, we reserve the right to use whatever metric we can to analyze future ESRP runs.

Finally, as discussed in prior dispatches, ESRP/Jetstress results seem destined to be difficult to compare but in our view, merit the effort.  As such, feel free to contact us with any constructive ideas on how to improve.  In that regard, our contact information can be found below or on our website at SilvertonConsulting.com.

[This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in October of 2011.  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 SAN Storage Buying Guide available for purchase from our website.]

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



[1] ESRP results from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/ff182054.aspx, as of 29 October 2011

[2] All prior SCI ESRP Dispatches can be found at http://silvertonconsulting.com/cms1/news-4/

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