Feeds

Isilon makes grab at NAS performance crown

SPEC claims drowned out by bickering

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Isilon's claimed SPEC benchmark score has shown just how good Exanet systems are - says Isilon.

Isilon, which provides scale-out NAS clusters, has published the results of a Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) sfs2008 NFS benchmark for its IQ 5400S product. A 10-node 5400S cluster delivered 46,635 IOPS, with a corresponding overall response time of 1.91msec. The company says it is the first scale-out NAS supplier to publish a SPEC sfs2008 benchmark and has set a performance bar.

But both claims are being hotly disputed by a rival.

Exanet also provides clustered NAS systems, scaling to 1PB by adding nodes, and has published SPEC sfs2008 NFS benchmark results. In August 2008 its ExaStore 2008 Clustered NAS achieved 119,550 operations per second with an overall response time of 2.07 milliseconds, a world record. The Isilon system has not exceeded that.

Exanet benchmarked an 8-node ExaStore Clustered NAS System, based on ExaStore 2008 software, EX1500 NAS Servers, and DX12 storage arrays. It had 224GB of memory, and 592 disk drives with 64.5TB of capacity. The EX1500 servers, like the Isilon 5400S, use dual quad-core Xeon processors.

Isilon's 10-node cluster had 165GB of memory and 120 disk drives with a 48TB capacity. What this comes down to is that the 10-node Isilon cluster, with five times fewer drives and a third less capacity, delivered 39 per cent of the performance of an 8-node Exanet cluster with many more disks but greater capacity. It looks like spindles count, much more so than compute horsepower.

Sam Grocott, Isilon's senior director of product management, said: “(Isilon is) the first and only scale-out NAS system to publish the SPEC sfs2008 benchmark."

With Exanet having published its sfs2008 results last year and comfortably exceeding Isilon's sfs2008 performance this claim, and the performance bar one, both seem to be incorrect.

A person familiar with the situation said: "Absolutely not. Isilon is definitely not the first."

Nir Peleg, one of Exanet's founders, checked the Exanet and Isilon SPEC sfs2008 benchmark reports and confirmed the numbers above: "It seems to be all correct."

Asked if Isilon was wrong to claim to be the first scale-out NAS vendor to publish sfs2008 benchmark numbers and also wrong to claim to set a performance bar, Peleg said: "Right." He added: "We didn't tune our systems and we think we could achieve the same numbers with fewer disk drives."

Isilon is standing by its claims.

Sam Grocott said that Isilon doesn't consider Exanet has a true scale-out NAS architecture. As defined by Gartner and others it means scaling out performance and capacity in a single file system and a single volume. He said Exanet's architecture involves multiple volumes with eight or twelve clustered server heads and hundreds or thousands of disk drives stacked behind them. There are multiple volumes and it's a traditional clustered NAS architecture, not a true scale-out NAS concept.

He said an Isilon cluster could scale out to 144 nodes and about 650,000 IOPS, more than five times higher than the Exanet number. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.