SCI latest SPECsfs2008&SPECsfs2014 performance report as of September 2015

In Compellent, Dell, Dell EMC, FAS Series, FAS/V6240, FS8600, Hitachi NAS, Hitachi Unified Storage, Hitachi Vantara, Hitachi VSP, Hitachi VSP G1000, HNAS 4100, HPE, HPE BL860c, Huawei, HUS VM, NetApp, NFS throughput, Oceanstor N8500, SFS97, SPECsfs, SPECsfs2008, VG8, VNX, VNX 5700 by AdministratorLeave a Comment


This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers the new SPECsfs2014 and SPECsfs2008 benchmarks[1]. SPECsfs2008 is in “retirement status” and as a result, SPEC is no longer accepting any new submissions for SPECsfs2008.

As for SPECsfs2014, there are still no new submissions other than the original 4-references solutions (one for each workload), submitted by the SPEC SFS®. Since the transition occurred, we have discussed the new benchmarks, NFS vs. CIFS/SMB ORT, and in last quarter’s dispatch, the new report formats. This quarter we return to review another of some of our seldom seen SPECsfs charts.

SPECsfs2008 results

In Figure 1 we show our top 10 NFS throughput operations per second per node.

SCISFS150928(1)Figure 1 SPECsfs2008 top 10 NFS throughput ops./sec/node

In Figure 1, we have only shown results for submissions that had more than 2 nodes. Node counts for SPECsfs2008 submissions range from one to 140 nodes and 37 submissions have more than two nodes.

Multi-node submissions generally fall into two types of systems:

  1. NAS gateways with SAN storage behind them, this is the case for all but the NetApp solutions in Figure 1.
  2. Integrated NAS storage, this only applies to NetApp storage in Figure 1.

Node counts in our top 10 ranges from 4-nodes (#2 HDS HUS File Module 4100, #4 EMC VNX VG8 gateway/VNX5700, #5 Dell Compellent FS8600, #6 HP BL860c, #9 NetApp FAS 6240) to 24-nodes (#3 Huawei OceanStor N8500).

The one facet of Figure 1 that I find most interesting is in some cases there’s almost a pure linearity to NFS throughput performance. For example, #1 & 2 (HDS VSP G1000 & HDS HUS both with File Module 4100 gateways) had almost the exact same per node NFS throughput but one (#1) doubled the number of nodes of the other (#2) and the same applies to NetApp FAS6420 Data ONTAP submissions (#9 & #10). In fact, the next 4 ranked submissions (#11-#14) would also be various configurations of NetApp FAS 6420 with differing node counts.

Another surprise was the relatively poor showings for systems with more than 50 nodes. My guess is that these systems typically make use of DAS storage and commodity hardware for their configurations and are just not in the same league as the other systems in our top 10.


I can’t recall when I last showed our top ten NFS performance per node but it certainly paints an interesting picture of node file IO performance.

It’s now been over three quarters since SPECsfs2014 has been released. By this time in the SPECsfs2008 introduction there were at least eight non-reference submissions. The lack of any non-reference submissions for SPECsfs2014 at this point, continues to be an open question.

On the other hand, the changeover from SPEC SFS97_R1 to SPECsfs2008 was relatively minor compared to the current changeover from SPECsfs2008 to SPECsfs2014. To my knowledge, all SPECsfs2008 added was a CIFS/SMB version of the benchmark driver and made some minor modifications to the workload operational parameters to better reflect current field NAS use.

So the benchmark(s) didn’t change nearly as much last time and it still took a long time before we saw lots of vendor submissions. As such, maybe the lack of vendor submissions should not be as much a concern. Hopefully, by the next time we report on SPECsfs activity in December, there will be some vendor SPECsfs2014 submissions to review.

Until then, as always, suggestions on how to improve any of our performance analyses are welcomed.

[Also we offer more file storage performance information plus our NFS and CIFS/SMB  ChampionsCharts™ charts in our recently updated (April 2019) NAS Storage Buying Guide available for purchase on our website.]

[This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in September of 2015.  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. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers, so if you are interested in current results please consider signing up for our newsletter.]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.


[1] All SPECsfs2014 information is available at & SPECsfs2008 is available at as of 28Sep2015

[2] Available at

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