Tuesday Sep 10, 2013

ZFS Storage Appliance Benchmarks Destroy Netapp, EMC, Hitachi, HP etc..

Today Oracle released two new storage products and also posted two World Record Benchmarks!

First, Oracle posted a new SPC-2 throughput benchmark that is faster than anything else posted on the planet! The benchmark came in at 17,244 MBPS.  What is probably even more amazing then this result is the cost of the system to accomplish this benchmark.  Oracle by far has the lowest cost per MBPS compared to our major competitors coming in at $22.53.  IBM by contrast comes in at $131.21.   I should also note that Oracle accomplished this with less hardware then IBM.  The ZS3-4 entry uses 384 drives while the IBM DS8700 uses 480 drives.  When it comes to throughput applications the Oracle ZS3-4 beats every competitor in every category of the SPC-2 Benchmark.  You can read the details here yourself. http://www.storageperformance.org/benchmark_results_files/SPC-2/Oracle_SPC-2/B00067_Oracle_ZFS-ZS3-4/b00067_Oracle_ZFS_Storage_ZS3-4_SPC-2_executive-summary.pdf

The second benchmark posted was the SPECsfs2008 benchmark.  Full Disclosure: SPECsfs2008 is the latest version of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation benchmark suite measuring file server throughput and response time. Oracle did break the World Record response time measurement coming in at .70ms.  Oracle did not break the record for most operations per second, but in many ways those benchmarks are sort of silly because you would be comparing such apples and oranges.  The Oracle benchmark is based on a standard 2-node cluster with some disk and flash behind it.  The vendors with higher OPS/sec numbers have mostly enormous configs or all flash configs which are mostly irrelevant for all but a few niche workloads.  For the average NAS user the ZS3-4 config used for this benchmark is perfectly inline with what most customer purchase to run things like Oracle Databases, VMware, MS SQL etc...

The closest 2 node cluster comparable is the recent Hitachi HNAS 4100 which came in at 293,128 OPS/sec with a latency of 1.67ms.  Compare that to the 2 node ZS3-4 entry with 450,702 OPS/sec and .70ms latency.  That latency is more then twice as fast as the Hitachi's and it still blows it away in OPS/sec.  They both have very close to the same number of drives as well which is interesting.  You can read the actual results here. http://www.spec.org/sfs2008/results/res2013q3/sfs2008-20130819-00228.html.  With the new ZFS Storage Appliance hardware/software combo Oracle can clearly see the competition in the rearview mirror when it comes to performance.  Many analyst's have also recently commented on the Oracle ZFS Storage Line-up.

http://www.dcig.com/2013/09/the-era-of-application-storage-convergence-arrives.html
http://tanejagroup.com/news/blog/blog-systems-and-technology/bending-benchmarks-oracle-zooms-zfs-with-zs3-storage-appliance#.Ui-tVMbBN8G
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/storage/nas/esg-brief-analyst-paper-2008430.pdf
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/storage/nas/snapshop-report-analyst-paper-2008431.pdf
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/storage/nas/taneja-group-zs3-analyst-paper-2008432.pdf
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/storage/nas/ett-zs3-analyst-paper-2008433.pdf

Tuesday Jul 10, 2012

Oracle ZFSSA Hybrid Storage Pool Demo

The ZFS Hybrid Storage Pool (HSP) has been around since the ZFSSA first launched.  It is one of the main contributors to the high performance we see on the Oracle ZFSSA both in benchmarks as well as many production environments.  Below is a short video I made to show at a high level just how impactful this HSP pool is on storage performance.  We squeeze a ton of performance out of our drives with our unique use of cache, write optimized ssd and read optimized ssd.  Many have written and blogged about this technology, here it is in action.

Demo of the Oracle ZFSSA Hybrid Storage Pool and how it speeds up workloads.

Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

7420 SPEC SFS Torches EMC/Isilon, Netapp, HDS Comparables

Price/Performance 

Another SPECsfs submission, and another confirmation that ZFSSA is a force to be reckoned with in the NFS world. The Oracle ZFSSA continues to astound with its performance benchmark numbers. Today Oracle posted the anticipated SPECsfs benchmark numbers for the 7420 that simply leave you wondering HOW?  How is Oracle technology so much faster, cost effective and efficient than the competition? I say efficient because Oracle continues to post impressive performance benchmarks surpassing competitor’s multi-million dollar configurations with 2-5X lower price points.

Comparisons

For this comparison, I grabbed the top 2-node 6240 Netapp cluster, a recent Hitachi/Bluearc submission as well as a 28 node SSD Isilon cluster (not really realistic). The Netapp is fairly close in terms of number of drives and number of controllers which makes it a good comparison. However, the ZFSSA provides 40% more performance than the 6240 at a $700,000 lower price point!!  This doesn't even factor in maintenance costs, extra software licensing and its lack of DTrace Analytics.  I will demo these in an upcoming post. 

Another interesting point if you dig into the details, during NetApp’s max 190k IOPS their latency is 3.6ms , on the other hand the ZFSSA has only 1.7ms latency for 202k IOPS.  That means with the same 190k IOPS workload Oracle would respond over 2x faster!  I threw Isilon in the mix because they refuse to post to SPC2 even though they are usually purchased for high bandwidth applications. They are over $2 Million dollars more than the ZFSSA for still posting lower performance. Hitachi is included due to market perception they have a competitive NFS system for performance.

All the links below on the respective system name will take you to the SPEC.org detailed summary.  Including hardware setup and raid type etc..  The 7420 in this case was mirrored.

 Storage System
SPEC SFS Result ops/sec (Higher is Better)
Peak Response Time (Lower is Better)  Overall Response time (Lower is Better)  # of Disks Exported TB  Estimated List Price  $/IOPS
Oracle 7420 267928  3.1  1.31  280  36.32 $430,332 $ 1.61
Netapp 6240 - 4n 260388 4.8 1.53 288 48 $1,606,048 $ 6.17
Isilon S200 - 28n 230782 7.8 3.20 672 172.3 $2,453,708 $ 10.63
Netapp 6240 190675 3.6 1.17 288 85.8 $1,178,868 $ 6.18
Hitachi 3090-G2 189994 9.5 2.08 368 36.95 ? ?
Netapp 3270 101183 4.3 1.66 360 110.08 $1,089,785 $10.77

Fast Databases, Servers, Sailboats and NFS Storage Systems

So not only do we have some of the fastest sailboats in the world, we also have some of the fastest NFS Storage Systems as well.  You could say we have a Storage benchmark Trifecta.  We have some of the top benchmarks in SPECsfs, SPC1 and SPC2.  Take a ZFSSA for a test ride today, improve performance and lower your storage costs.

Tuesday Apr 17, 2012

ZFSSA Storage Stomps IBM DS8800 and XIV

Another benchmark completed by the ZFSSA engineering team with astounding results.  This is becoming expected and usual around Oracle these days.  This is the 3rd major benchmark for the ZFSSA in the last 7 months.  Oracle released the SPC2 benchmark which scored 10,704 MBPS and earned a 2nd place in performance and 1st in terms of $/MBPS by a long margin, especially against the IBM systems also on the top 10.  The HP P9500 currently holds the number 1 position in terms of performance but is more than 2x the cost of the Oracle solution. In addition I don’t believe the HP solution has any compression capabilities, which is another significant advantage of the ZFSSA.

 MBPS  System Cost
Oracle 7420  10704  $ 377,225.38
IBM DS8800  9706  $ 2,624,257.00
IBM XIV  7468  $ 1,137,641.30

EMC and Netapp both choose not to participate in this benchmark.  I can only guess this is likely because they would have to share their $/MBPS and might not make them look so shiny anymore.  I think they may say that the configs posted are ridiculous and would never be purchased by the common customer.  There is certainly some truth to that even with their previous SPEC SFS submissions. However, this is not an issue with the oracle submission, our tested system is both within reason and practicality of what a typical customer would purchase.  Benchmarks provide a valuable resource for customers to see how the same workload works on each vendor's box without doing an in-house disruptive POC bake off.  It is unfortunate, not all vendors submit results for this and other benchmarks.

The massive performance and aggressive price points reflected in this benchmark adds to the increasing number of reasons to consider the ZFS Storage Appliance for any of your upcoming SAN or NAS storage projects.

Thursday Feb 23, 2012

Oracle Posts SPEC SFS Benchmark and Crushes Netapp Comparables

Oracle posted another shot across the bow of Netapp.  In Oct 2011 Oracle posted impressive SPC-1 benchmarks that were 2x faster and half the cost of netapp.  Now those customers looking for proof of ZFSSA's superior performance and cost have another benchmark to compare.

Why are we posting now?
For a long time the old Sun Engineering regime refused to post spec.org SFS results stating the problems with the benchmark which are true.  However some customers refused to even look at the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance because of the lack of benchmark postings.  Our competitors like netapp and emc would use it as some sort of proof that we must perform poorly.  

But Netapp and EMC have other much larger configs that are much faster?
I should point out netapp and emc both have much larger benchmark posts to SPEC SFS, but they are ridiculous configurations that almost no customers would run and further more would be willing to pay for.  Most customers that purchase NAS to run NFS purchase many smaller 2 node HA clusters versus a 20 million dollar 24 node nas cluster.  I tried to compare and include EMC in this comparison but soon realized it was worthless in that their closest post used a celerra gateway in front of a 4 engine vmax.  The list price for that would be off the charts so I considered it not valuable for this comparison.  My goal was to get a good view of comparable systems that customers might consider for a performance oriented NAS box using NFS.  

Price Matters!
One of the major downsides of the SPEC SFS results is that they don't force vendors to post prices for customers to easily consider competitors like SPC does.  Obviously every customer wants great performance but price is always a major factor as well.  Therefore I have included the list prices as best I could figure them.  For the Netapp prices I used the following price sheet I easily found on google.  When comparing performance oriented storage customers should be comparing $/ops versus $/GB. 

Lets look at the results at a high level

 Storage System
SPEC SFS Result ops/sec (Higher is Better)
Peak Response Time (Lower is Better)  Overall Response time (Lower is Better)  # of Disks Exported TB  Estimated List Price  $/OPS
Oracle 7320 134140  2.5  1.51  136  36.96 $184,840  $1.38 
Netapp 3270 101183 4.3 1.66 360 110.08 $1,089,785 $10.77
Netapp 3160 60507 3.5 1.58 56 10.34 $258,043 $4.26

Umm, Why is the ZFSSA so much more efficient?
In a nutshell its superior engineering and the use of technologies such as the Hybrid Storage Pool (HSP) in the ZFS Storage Appliance.  The HSP extends flash technology not only to read cache but also write cache.  

The 3160 result includes the use of Netapp PAM Read flash cards.  I am not sure why a year later they didn't include them in the 3270 test if they improve performance so much?  Maybe they will post another netapp result with them now?

What now?
Now Oracle ZFSSA Engineering has posted results that again blow's away Netapp and prove our engineering is outstanding.  It makes sense that we would have an edge, when you consider that the NFS protocol itself was invented at SUN. Netapp has yet to respond with a new SPC-1 benchmark that is comparable.  I know some netapp bloggers were looking for us to post spec sfs results and thought we never would and therefore said our performance must be poor.  Now we have posted impressive results and there will be more to come, stay tuned.  As one famous blogger has said the proof is in the pudding.

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