SCI’s latest Microsoft ESRP performance report as of July 2018

In Dell, ESRP, ESRP v3/Exchange 2010, ESRP v4/Exchange 2013, PowerVault MD1200, PowerVault MD3820f by AdministratorLeave a Comment

This Storage Intelligence (StorInt™) briefing covers Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013/2016 Solution Review Program (ESRP) results[1]. Unfortunately, there have been no new ESRP submissions since our last report. So instead of new submissions, below we provide some performance comparisons we seldom, if ever, have done before.

ESRP V3.0 & 4.0 (E2010&E2013/2016) performance

First, we show an SCI computed ESRP metric, the top ten database transfers per second per drive for over 5000, from 1001-5000 and 1000 and under mailbox submissions in Figures 1, 2 & 3, respectively.

Figure 1 ESRP top database transfers per second per drive for over 5000 mailboxes





Figure 2 ESRP top database transfers per second per drive for 1001 to 5000 mailboxes





Figure 3 ESRP top database transfers per second per drive for 1000 and under mailboxes

In Figures 1, 2 &3 we chart the same top ten metric for three different categories of submissions. The high-end solutions are able to achieve slightly over 205 DB transfers/second per spindle, the midrange systems, almost 110 DB transfers/second per spindle and the low-end systems, slightly over 150 DB transfers/second per spindle.

The first thing that strikes me is that the #1 in the 1K and under category is doing more database transfers/second/spindle than the #1 in the 1K to 5K category, ~150 vs. ~110. Seem counterintuitive at best. One would think that the midrange would perform better than the low-end systems.

In addition, the Dell PowerVault ranks 3 out of the top 4 and 6 out of the top ten, in the low-end category but doesn’t even show until #8 in the midrange category, and that’s an older version of the Dell PowerVault MD1200 vs MD3820f.

Although the f in Dell PowerVault MD3820f stands for flash, we couldn’t find anything in the ESRP report (no longer accessible, so using archived copy) indicating they had SSD in their systems. But if there were some flash in the configuration that may explain some of the better low-end performance.

Unclear why in the top category the Dell PowerVault MD1200 did so well ~205 vs. it’s midrange solution brethren which only managed ~66 database transfers/second/drive. We should mention that both these older, PowerVault MD1200 submissions were on Exchange 2010, but still is current according to the Microsoft ESRP website. Unclear why the same system performed so differently with 7.3K vs. 5K mailbox submissions. It could have something to do with the 15Krpm vs 10Krpm drives but it still doesn’t seem right.

Next, we show a similar series of charts for another SCI computed metric, the total database backup throughput for the 5000 and over, 1001 to 5000 and the 1000 and under mailbox categories in Figures 4, 5 & 6, respectively.

Figure 4 Top ten ESRP total database backup MB/secfor over 5K mailboxes





Figure 5 Top ten ESRP total database backup MB/sec for 1K to 5K mailboxes






Figure 6 Top ten ESRP total database backup MB/sec for 1K and under mailboxes

Recall that the total database backup is computed as the average database backup X number of databases in a configuration. Figures 4, 5 & 6 provides a more consistent comparison than our previous series, as the #1 in the high-end category provides ~13,240 MB/sec, the #1 in the midrange category provides ~5,250 MB/sec and the #1 in the low-end category provides ~1,120 MB/sec of total database backup. For database backup, there’s a clear advantage to having larger, more sophisticated systems.

A factor of 10X better throughput between high-end and low-end could just be an artifact of the number of drives. But that’s not the case, as the drive count varies from 110 for the high-end #1, 21+SSDs for the midrange #1  and 78 for the low-end #1.

We believe it’s more likely better sequential caching (and maybe destaging) showing up in the total database throughput metric. We can’t be sure, of course, without more information (beyond the ESRP report).


Exchange may be becoming less of a concern for storage vendors. We will need to see a few more quarters of no new submissions to be sure.

However, having no submissions provides the opportunity to show some comparisons or charts we can’t show when focused on one ESRP category. Hopefully, you found this report worthwhile, even without any new submissions.

If you are interested in even more information on block storage performance please examine our SAN Storage Buying Guide available for purchase on our website, which includes ChampionCharts™ for OLTP, Throughput and Email workloads across enterprise, mid-range and SMB storage systems and now includes an all flash array (AFA) ChampionsChart for OLTP. Use the QR code below left for more information on the SAN Storage Buying Guide. We also provide some additional ESRP results analysis in our recently updated, SAN-NAS Buying Guide, also available on our website.

Constructive comments on how to improve our analyses for Microsoft ESRP (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.  

[This performance dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in July 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.]  

[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 protocol performance results please see our recently updated (May 2019) SAN-NAS Storage Buying Guide, both of which are available for purchase on our website.]

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 of 29Jul2018

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