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

In ESRP, ESRP v4/Exchange 2013 by AdministratorLeave a Comment

This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers Microsoft Exchange 2010  and Exchange 2013/2016 Solution Review Program (ESRP) results[1].  Since we last reviewed this over 1000 and under 5000 mailbox category nine months ago, there have been no new submissions. As such, none of the charts in our last report on this category have changed. So instead of viewing the same charts, we have decided to show a chart that we typically only display in our SAN-NAS Storage Buying Guide.

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

In Figure 1 we provide a scatter chart for ESRP database transfers per second against the number of drives in a submission, by interface type.

esrp-e2013-2016jul25Figure 1 SCI’s ESRP scatter plot: drives vs. total DB transfers/second by type of interface to storage

In Figure 1 we only plot ESRP submissions with 10K mailboxes and under and only those using 10K RPM disk drives. On the horizontal axis, we plot the number of drives in a submission and on the vertical axis, we plot the aggregate database transfers per second. We have also added linear regression lines for the three interfaces. As can be seen in Figure 1, for database transfers per second performance, SAS interface solutions seem to do best (y=104.9x), iSCSI (y=46.0x) came in next and FC (y=29.7x) was last.

A few caveats  are in order:

  • There are only three submissions for SAS 10K RPM drives, six submissions for iSCSI and seven submissions for FC. Any linear regression with these few submissions is subject to much uncertainty.
  • The SAS submissions all had under 20 drives, while the FC submissions had one submission with ~95 drives and another two with ~40 drives (on top of one another).
  • The three SAS submissions are all very recent while sowe FC and iSCSI submissions go all the way back to 2010. Newer storage systems generally perform better than older ones with the same drives.
  • The R**2 correlation coefficients are poor for FC (-1.8), but better for iSCSI (0.75) and SAS (0.61). Which means that FC submissions have a wide variability in performance with respect to the linear regression line. This can be seen in Figure1 as the wide disbursement about the FC linear regression line.
  • There’s an intermix for the FC submissions of FC SAN systems and FC direct (no SAN swiching) systems.

There is one significant outlier on this chart for FC at ~95 drives. If we remove that one data point, FC now performs faster (y=61.7x) than iSCSI and also has a better correlation coefficient (R**2=0.31).

In general, our view is that for 10K RPM drives, SAS performs best, FC next and iSCSI worst in ESRP database transfers per second. With the proviso that we have removed one data point, the outlier for FC.


Although there are no new submissions for this over 1K and under 5K mailbox category, ESRP submissions (that span multiple categories) still have something to teach us.

I have similar SAS vs. iSCSI vs. FC charts (not shown here) for Log Playback performance and Total DB backup throughput. They show slightly different rankings, with FC very close to SAS in throughput for Total DB backup activity (mainly sequential workloads), and surprisingly, iSCSI performing best for Log Playback (mainly random with small segments of sequential workloads)  – go figure. For these comparisons I have also removed the one FC outlier.


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 them 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 July 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 25Jul2016

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