SCI’s latest SPEC sfs2014 performance report as of June 2018

In Build MinRT-ORT, Build Ops/Sec/Drive, Builds, D24, E8 Storage, Huawei, OceanStor, OceanStor 6800F, SPECsfs, SPECsfs2014, Spectrum Scale, SW Build workload, WekaIO by AdministratorLeave a Comment

This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) dispatch covers SPEC sfs2014 benchmark[1]results. There have been only one new vendor SPEC sfs2014 for the SWBUILD workload which was a 4 node, all flash, Huawei OceanStor 6800F V5 storage system. There were no new DATABASE, EDA, VDA or VDI submissions this past quarter. As we are just now reaching 10 submissions for SWBUILD, we continue herein to show all submissions.

SPEC SFS2014_swbuild (software build) results

SWBUILD workload simulates software release builds, essentially one build is a Unix “make” process against tens of thousands of source files and is a metadata intensive workload. Figure 1 shows the SWBUILD concurrent build counts.

Figure 1 SPEC SFS2014_swbuild number of concurrent software builds

In Figure 1, Huawei OceanStor 6800F V5 came in as the new #2, with 1000 concurrent SWBUILDs. The Huawei solution had a cluster of 4 active-active controller nodes using 60 900GB SAS SSDS used for data and 4 800GB NVMe SSDs used for system data and fast cache for write data. Each of the 4 controllers had 1TB of DRAM and were connected to the host clients using 32 10GbE connections, 4 per client server (8 clients in total).

You may recall that the E8 Storage with IBM Spectrum Scale and the WekaIO with SuperMicro BigTwin servers used all NVMe SSD storage, which may be why they did so well. The fact that the SAS-NVMe hybrid OceanStor did so well here is testament to engineering skill.

Next, we show the Minimum and Overall Response Time for SWBUILD submissions in Figure 2.

Figure 2 SPEC sfs2014_swbuild Minimum and Overall Response Times

In Figure 2, the new Huawei OceanStor 6800F V5 came in as our new #1 with an ORT of 0.59 msec. Recall that ORT is the average response time during the whole benchmark submission, across a range of 10% to the max concurrent SWBUILD ops of a storage system. The OceanStor’s minimum RT, came in at the new #4 with 0.2 msec.

As SWBUILD is metadata intensive, RT is an important metric to track. SWBUILD activity spends a lot of time statusing files to determine which to build. The RT for these status IO is a critical factor in achieving better build speed.

Finally, we show the SWBUILD Build Ops/Sec/Flash module-SSD as computed by SCI Figure 3.

Figure 3 SPEC sfs2014 SWBUILD Build Ops/Sec/SSD

In Figure 3, we can see how efficient a AFA storage system performs Build-Ops on a individual SAS or NVMe SSD basis. The top 3 in SWBUILD flash efficiency are the E8 Storage with IBM Spectrum Scale, WekaIO 3.1 with SuperMicro BigTwin servers and the Huawei OceanStor 6800F V5, with 12.5K, 9.4K and 7.8K Build Ops/Sec/SSD, respectively. All the systems in Figure 3 are all flash storage systems.

As mentioned earlier, all of the top 3 used NVMe SSD storage with the Huawei using a mix of SAS and NVMe SSDs. Further, the E8 Storage system used the NVMeoF interface to connect to IBM Spectrum Storage nodes.


We are pleased to see any new submissions, especially ones from new vendors. Huawei has a full line of storage systems and has been active for years. But this is the first submission we have seen for SPEC sfs2014 from them. There were no other new vendor submissions this quarter for any other SPEC sfs2014 workload.

Still trying to determine the best way to report SPEC sfs2014 results. At some point, when there’s enough submissions we plan to show top ten charts like we use for other performance reports. But in the meantime, we may experiment with a few variants of the above charts. Any ideas on other metrics of interest to report, please do let us know.

Furthermore, suggestions on how to improve any of our performance analyses are always 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 June of 2018.  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 SPEC SFS2014 information is available at as of 22Jun2018

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