Thursday Jul 23, 2009

Open, Robust and Performant Preservation/Archival - First Steps

As part of the Sun Open Archive for Digital Repositories effort, Sun has been working closely with Fedora Commons to develop and characterize performance of Fedora on Sun (OpenSolaris, ZFS, Sun Storage 7000 appliances, Sun Storage JBOD storage).

The first phase of performance testing and configuration validation was completed recently, with encouraging performance observed from Fedora, running on OpenSolaris 2008.11 and using RAID0 ZFS Pools. Much, much more testing is needed (and is underway at this writing), but much of what we've seen so far bests any Fedora performance testing done to date.

There's quite a compelling case to be made with the combination of Sun hardware and open source OS and application stack, so we're pretty excited about this work.

Check out the attached documents:

  • Poster presented by Sun and Fedora Commons at Open Repositories '09
  • FInal version of this first performance testing document released this month - ingest and access performance of Fedora on OpenSolaris, ZFS and JBODs

Wednesday Mar 11, 2009

Drupal In A Flash


Flash at Sun

No, really, this isn't a Marketing or Sales FluffPiece! I promise!

Today, Sun announces SSD drives for our servers. One of the proof points we used in support of this was the Drupal CMS. While Drupal 6 doesn't always stress the I/O subsystems themselves (or maybe because of it!), we went ahead to test some pseudo-real-world workloads against Drupal/PHP/Apache/MySQL/Solaris/ZFS. The results are posted today here in the Drupal-on-Sun Wiki site.

What did we find?

  1. As predicted, more performance benefits were observed with Read-only or Read-Write loads than Write-only (we populated a Drupal MySQL database from script)
  2. Up to 50% performance improvement was seen in complex Drupal workloads when using SSDs compared to traditional hard disks
  3. A most cost-effective ZFS Hybrid Storage Pool (utilizing both technologies) provides more modest performance gains for less money

Hybrid Storage PoolExpected, yes, but still good when it proves out!

Intelligent site and database architectures will be able to take advantage of this technology in ways we've not yet envisioned, especially in a tiered approach that localized most-accessed data in the faster tiers (main memory, Flash/SSD, hard disk).

Friday Nov 30, 2007

Responsible Testing: comparing performance on Sun

Letter, we get letters...

Numerous parties inside and outside of Sun ask use 'how does Drupal perform on Solaris vs Linux?' Reasonable question, to be sure, but upon further examination, we find a minefield fraught with potential peril...

  • What constitutes a 'typical' Drupal database? Well, it doesn't hurt to start with something along the lines of what Dries Buytaert himself described earlier this year
  • What constitutes a 'typical' Drupal workload? Again, Dries and others have some good starting ideas, some of which we've already tried, some of which will take time to implement properly in our framework
  • How to conduct a good 'apples-to-apples' performance comparison?
  • Most importantly, how to present and defend results in an open and transparent fashion, given we're comparing Sun against 'non-Sun' platforms?

And to answer your question, YES, I'd be interested in your comments on the subject! We are still learning as we go here...

In any event, we needed to start somewhere, so today I'm publishing some very preliminary results showing Drupal 5 performance (scaling, really) on Solaris vs Linux. The intent here is to show how Drupal performs as the number of concurrent users increases, using as close to 'stock' SAMP and LAMP configurations as possible (on identical hardware).

What did we find? Well, it appears that Drupal-on-SAMP performs and scales significantly better than Drupal-on-LAMP. Please note the operative word here -- APPEARS. We are in no way 'declaring a winner' at this point, for several reasons, not the least of which being the need for high certainty on our part and high believability on the reader's part.

Take a look for yourself.. comment.. complain... suggest. We very much want feedback on what we're doing at this point. You'll note that the results published on the Wiki are purely objective observations, with NO interpretation. It's too early for that, because we still need to be SURE of what we're seeing, we need to understand WHY we're seeing it, and we need to what it all really MEANS (as the intent is NOT to sell Sun here - that's the job of others at Sun).

Look for more refined results, as well as other Drupal-on-Sun performance testing, in the weeks to come.


Main Sequence: 1) an astronomy term denoting the lifecycle of a majority of known stars. 2) err @ Sun/Oracle: long-time (since 1988) Sun/Oracle veteran, still shining in an ever-changing high-tech universe


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