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Everything you want and need to know about Oracle SPARC systems performance

Virtualized Storage: SPARC T7-1 Performance

Brian Whitney
Principal Software Engineer

Oracle's SPARC T7-1 server using SR-IOV enabled HBAs can achieve near native throughput. The SPARC T7-1 server, with its dramatically improved compute engine, can also achieve near native throughput with Virtual Disk (VDISK).

  • The SPARC T7-1 server is able to produce 604,219 8K read IO/Second (IOPS) with native Oracle Solaris 11.3 using 8 Gb FC HBAs.  The SPARC T7-1 server using Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 with 4 LDOM VDISK produced near native performance of 603,766 8K read IOPS.  With SR-IOV enabled using 2 LDOMs, the SPARC T7-1 server produced 604,966 8K read IOPS.

  • The SPARC T7-1 server running Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 ran 2.8 times faster virtualized IO throughput than a Sun Server X3-2L system (two Intel Xeon E5-2690, running a popular virtualization product).  The virtualized x86 system produced 209,166 8K virtualized reads.  The native performance of the x86 system was 338,458 8K read IOPS.

  • The SPARC T7-1 server is able to produce 891,025 4K Read IOPS with native Oracle Solaris 11.3 using 8 Gb FC HBAs.  The SPARC T7-1 server using Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 with 4 LDOM VDISK produced near native performance of 849,493 4K read IOPS. With SR-IOV enabled using 2 LDOMs, the SPARC T7-1 server produced 891,338 4K read IOPS.

  • The SPARC T7-1 server running Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 ran 3.8 times faster virtualized IO throughput than a Sun Server X3-2L system (Intel Xeon E5-2690, running a popular virtualization product).  The virtualized x86 system produced 219,830 4K virtualized reads.  The native performance of the x86 system was 346,868 4K read IOPS.

  • The SPARC T7-1 server running Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 ran 1.3 times faster with 16 Gb HBA compared to 8 Gb HBAs.  This is quite impressive considering it was still attached to 8 Gb switches and storage.

Performance Landscape

Results presented below are for read performance for 8K size and then for 4K size.  All of the following results were run as part of this benchmark effort.

Read Performance — 8K

System 8K Read IOPS Performance
Native Virtual Disk SR-IOV
SPARC T7-1 (16 Gb FC) 796,849 N/A 797,221
SPARC T7-1 (8 Gb FC) 604,219 603,766 604,966
Sun Server X3-2 (8 Gb FC) 338,458 209,166 N/A

Read Performance — 4K

System 4K Read IOPS Performance
Native Virtual Disk SR-IOV
SPARC T7-1 (16 Gb FC) 1,185,392 N/A 1,231,808
SPARC T7-1 (8 Gb FC) 891,025 849,493 891,338
Sun Server X3-2 (8 Gb FC) 346,868 219,830 N/A

Configuration Summary

SPARC T7-1 server
1 x SPARC M7 processor (4.13 GHz)
256 GB memory (16 x 16 GB)
Oracle Solaris 11.3
Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1
4 x Sun Storage 16 Gb Fibre Channel PCIe Universal FC HBA, Qlogic
4 x StorageTek 8 Gb Fibre Channel PCIe HBA
 
Sun Server X3-2 system
2 x Intel Xeon Processor E5-2690 (2.90 GHz)
128 GB memory
Oracle Solaris 11.2
Popular Virtualization Software
4 x StorageTek 8 Gb Fibre Channel PCIe HBA
 
Storage SAN
Brocade 5300 Switch
2 x Sun Storage 6780 array with 64 disk drives / 16 GB Cache
2 x Sun Storage 2540-M2 arrays with 36 disk drives / 1.5 GB Cache

Benchmark Description

The benchmark tests operating system IO efficiency of native and virtual machine environments.  The test accesses storage devices raw and with no operating system buffering. The storage space accessed fit within the cache controller on the storage arrays for low latency and highest throughput. All accesses were random 4K or 8K reads.

Tests were executed with Oracle's Vdbench Version 5.04.03 tool against 32 LUNs. Each LUN was run with a queue depth of 32.

See Also

Disclosure Statement

Copyright 2015, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved. Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.  Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.  Results as of 10/25/2015.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 2 )
  • Frederico Monday, October 26, 2015

    These are great results!

    VDISK performance close to native, and SR-IOV even better, showing very interesting option for virtualized IO on SPARC platform.

    Will you deliver write operation performance numbers?

    What is your explanation for a 16gbps HBA having 30% more performance for the same 8 gbps infrastructure vs 8 gbps HBA?

    Congratulations and thanks a lot!


  • Brian Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    Thank you for your comments.

    Write performance showed similar trends.

    Concerning the 16 Gb HBAs, we are continuing to study what is going on there and hope to use that information for a follow-on report.


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