We return now to file system performance and our analysis of the latest SPECsfs® 2008* benchmark results. Unfortunately there have been no new NFS or CIFS/SMB submissions since our June report. That being the case I thought we could discuss my ChampionsChart™ included in our NAS Buying guide available for purchase from our website.
Latest NFS ChampionsChart
Figure 1 NFS ChampionsChart
Our champions chart is hard to explain but easy to understand. On this chart higher represents better relative NFS throughput and to the right is better relative NFS ORT. The squares represent NAS accelerator boxes and the triangles NAS systems and NAS gateway systems. System performance is split into 4 quadrants
- The Champions™ has comparatively the highest NFS throughput and the shortest ORT.
- The Sprinters™ has comparatively the lowest NFS throughput but the shortest ORT.
- The Marathoners™ has comparatively the highest NFS throughput but the longest ORT
- The Slowpokes™ has comparatively the lowest NFS throughput and the longest ORT.
If all the systems were performing as well as their allotted hardware could, they would all be on top of one another and located at the origin of the chart (where the two axes cross) regardless of actual NFS throughput and ORT results. However, there are some systems that are quicker than they should be (Champions), slower than they should be (Slowpokes) and somewhere in between (Sprinters and Marathoners).
For this analysis I won’t bore you with the NAS accelerator rankings and just focus on the NAS system rankings above. I suppose everyone would like to know who all the systems are in the Champions quadrant and that is listed in our latest NAS Buying Guide but here I will only identify the top 3 NAS systems.
- NetApp FAS6080 – although a couple of generations back, the FAS6080 did remarkably well for its complement of hardware.
- Huwei 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 respectively above average.
- 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 surprise (at least to me) is that none of these have SSDs or any flash memory caches. Not sure but this seems to imply that although flash gives NAS systems a significant boost in throughput and/or ORT but seems to do so equally well for most systems. Probably need to go deeper into the Screamers to find a standout system that included SSDs or flash.
Latest CIFS/SMB ChampionsChart
Figure 2 CIFS/SMB ChampionsChart
The CIFS/SMB ChampionChart is just not as interesting. The three top systems in the Champions quadrant include:
- NetApp FAS3140 system, using FCAL disks, which had great performance for it’s system.
- EMC VNX VG8 Gateway/VNX5700 5-X blade system, which had a large amount of SSD (over 100TB) that helped it do much better than average here.
- EMC Celerra VG8/VMAX system, which was a previous generation VG* with the latest generation backend storage.
Sadly, there’s really not as much data available in the CIFS/SMB SPECsfs2008 results to really make a lot of distinctions here. The blue diamonds are products which are no longer shipping.
Given the lack of any new SPECsfs2008 results, we have elected to reveal a little of our internal analysis of NAS system performance, previously only available to our buying guide readers. Our various SPC, SPECsfs2008 and ESRP ChampionsCharts attempt to distill all the performance information available about storage systems into one plot per benchmark and as such, give an easy to see, overall ranking of system storage performance. If you are interested in more information on our ChampionsChart please see our recently revised (April 2019) NAS Buying Guide available from our website .
We are always interesting in improving our performance analyses for SPECsfs2008 as well as other benchmark results. If you have any ideas as to how to enhance our analysis or that supplies better insight into storage system performance characteristics, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
[This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in September of 2012. If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports.
Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.