Oracle Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card Accelerates Web Caching Performance

Using Oracle's Sun FlashFire technology, the Sun Accelerator F20 PCIe Card is shown to be a high performance and cost effective caching device for web servers. Many current web and application servers are designed with an active cache that is used for holding things like session objects, files and web pages. The Sun F20 card is shown to be an excellent candidate to improve performance over using HDD solutions.

  • The Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card provides 2x better Quality of Service (QoS) at the same load as compared to 15K RPM high performance disk drives.

  • The Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card enables scaling to 3x more users than 15K RPM high performance disk drives.

  • The Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card provides 25% higher Quality of Service (QoS) than 15K RPM high performance disk drives at maximum rate.

  • The Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card allows for easy expansion of the webcache. Each card provides an additional 96 GB of storage.

  • The Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card used as a caching device offers Bitrate and Quality of Service (QoS) comparable to that provided by memory. While memory also provides excellent caching performance in comparison to disk, memory capacity is limited in servers.

Performance Landscape

Experiment results using three Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Cards.

Load Factor No Cache F20 Webcache Memcache
Max Load @Disk Load Max Load @F20 Load
Max Connections 7,000 7,000 27,000 27,000
Average Bitrate 445 Kbps 870 Kbps 602 Kbps 678 Kbps
Cache Hit Rate 0% 98% 99% 56%

QoS Bitrates %Connect %Connect %Connect %Connect
900 Kbps - 1 Mbps 0% 97% 0% 0%
800 Kbps 0% 3% 0% 6%
700 Kbps 0% 0% 64% 70%
600 Kbps 18% 0% 24% 15%
420 Kbps - 500 Kbps 88% 0% 12% 9%

Experiment results using two Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Cards.

Load Factor No Cache F20 Webcache Memcache
Max Load @Disk Load Max Load @F20 Load
Max Connections 7,000 7,000 22,000 27,000
Average Bitrate 445 Kbps 870 Kbps 622 Kbps 678 Kbps
Cache Hit Rate 0% 98% 80% 56%

QoS Bitrates %Connect %Connect %Connect %Connect
900 Kbps - 1 Mbps 0% 97% 0% 0%
800 Kbps 0% 3% 1% 6%
700 Kbps 0% 0% 68% 70%
600 Kbps 18% 0% 26% 15%
420 Kbps - 500 Kbps 88% 0% 5% 9%

Results and Configuration Summary

Hardware Configuration:

Sun Fire X4270, 72 GB memory
3 X Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card
Sun Storage J4400 (12 15K RPM disks)

Software Configuration:

Sun Java System Web Server 7
OpenSolaris
Flickr Photo Download Workload
Oracle Solaris Zettabyte File System (ZFS)

Three configurations are compared:

  1. No cache, 12 x high-speed 15K RPM Disks
  2. 3 x Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Cards as cache device
  3. 64 GB server memory as cache device

Benchmark Description

This benchmark is based upon the description of the flickr website presented at http://highscalability.com/flickr-architecture. It measures performance of an HTTP-based file photo Slide Show workload. The workload randomly selects and downloads from 80 photos stored in 4 bins:

  • 20 large photos, 1800x1800p, 1 MB, 1% probability
  • 20 medium photos, 1000x1000p, 500 KB, 4% probability
  • 20 small photos, 540x540p, 100K, 35% probability
  • 20 thumbnail photos, 100x100p, 5k, 60% probability

Benchmark metrics are:

  • Scalability – Number of persistent connections achieved
  • Quality of Service (QoS) – bitrate achieved by each user
    • max speed: 1 Mbps, min speed SLA: 420 Kbps
    • divides bitrates between max and min in 5 bands, corresponding to dial-in, T1, etc.
    • example: 900 Kbps, 800 Kbps, 700 Kbps, 600 Kbps, 500 Kbps
    • reports %users in each bitrate band

Three cases were tested:

  • Disk as OverFlow Cache – Contents are served from 12 high-performance 15K RPM disks configured in a ZFS zpool.
  • Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card as Cache Device – Contents are served from 2 F20 Cards, with 8 component DOMs configured in a ZFS spool
  • Memory as Cache – Contents are served from tmpfs

Key Points and Best Practices

See Also

Disclosure Statement

Results as of 4/1/2010.

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BestPerf is the source of Oracle performance expertise. In this blog, Oracle's Strategic Applications Engineering group explores Oracle's performance results and shares best practices learned from working on Enterprise-wide Applications.

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