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.


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.


Various information about Oracle Storage.


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