SCI’s latest Microsoft Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP) performance report as of April’16

In ESRP, ESRP v3/Exchange 2010, ESRP v4/Exchange 2013, Lenovo, Storage S2200, Storage S3200 by AdministratorLeave a Comment


This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers Microsoft Exchange 2010 (E2010) and Exchange 2013 (E2013) Solution Review Program (ESRP) results.[1]  Since we last reviewed this 1000 and under mailbox category nine months ago, there have been two new entries, the Lenovo Storage S3200 and  S2200 both with x3550 M5 Server 750. Just about all of our ESRP top ten performance charts have changed, some of which we present below.

Latest ESRP V3.0 & 4.0 (E2010&E2013) performance

In Figure 1 we show an SCI derived metric, normalized (per 1000 mailboxes) database transfers per second.

SCIESRP160429-001Figure 1 SCI’s top ten ESRP normalized DB transfers per second

As can be seen in Figure 1, we can see that the two new Lenovo systems came in at #8 and 9. The Lenovo Storage S3200 was FC (16Gbps) connected, dual controller solution and used 12-4TB 7200RPM disk drives with 12GB of cache. The lower end, Lenovo Storage S2200 was also FC (8Gbps) connected, dual controller solution using the same 12-4TB drives with 12GB of cache. For some unknown reason the lower storage solution with the slower FC interfaces did better on the total DB transfers per second (and normalized DB transfers per second) than the higher end, faster FC interfaced solution. It’s possible that DB transfers are such small blocks that faster data transfers would make no difference in IO performance. We see more information on DB transfers in Figure 2.

SCIESRP160429Figure 2 Top ten ESRP database read access latency

The Lenovo story continues with read latency of the lower end system doing slightly better than the higher end system. The differences between the two are almost rounding errors for database reads and log write latencies, but the database write latency was about 0.2msec faster for the lower end system. I can only surmise that this is due to having less intelligence in the lower end system and the small DB transfer block sizes didn’t benefit the the higher end storage with its faster FC interfaces.

Figure 3 Top ten ESRP (1MB) Log Playback timeSCIESRP160429-003

In Figure 3 we can see that the higher end Lenovo system did better than the lower end system, with the S3200’s average Log Playback time of ~1.8 seconds vs. ~2.0 seconds for the S2200. Log playback is a more sophisticated workload that involves a baseline DB update activity while at the same time playing back an Exchange log file, applying updates to a busy database. A more sophisticated storage system should do better on this sort of mixed workload. It’s also possible that the larger, 1MB log files helped the S3200 perform better because of its faster (16 vs. 8Gbps) FC interfaces.

SCIESRP160429-004Figure 4 SCI’s top ten ESRP total database backup throughput

In Figure 4 we can see an SCI derived metric called total database backup. ESRP doesn’t typically report on storage level backup activity, it only reports DB and server level backup throughput. But we sum up all this activity to compute a storage system DB backup throughput metric in Figure 4. Again we can see the superiority of the 16Gbps FC interfaces on the Lenovo Storage S3200 doing much better in the database backup workloads. Again faster data transfer probably helped here, with the faster S3200 storage doing ~694MB/sec vs. the lower end S2200 doing only ~415MB/sec.


Although there have only been a pair of new submissions in this 1K and under category, they have managed to beat out quite a few of the older submissions in most of our top ten charts. We historically show these 4 metrics as the best indicators of Exchange storage performance, outside of our derived Email Champion Charts included with our SAN Storage Buying Guide.

Constructive comments on how to improve our analyses for Exchange or any of our performance reports are always welcome. Moreover, if you detect errors in this or any of our other performance reports, please do let us know and we will correct it as soon as possible….

[Also we offer more block storage performance information plus our OLTP, Email and Throughput ChampionsCharts™ in our recently updated (May 2019) SAN Storage Buying Guide, or for more information on some select ESRP performance results please see our recently updated (May 2019) SAN-NAS Storage Buying Guide, both of which are available for purchase on our website.]

[This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in April of 2016.  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] ESRP results from as of 25Apr2016

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