Feeds

Isilon makes grab at NAS performance crown

SPEC claims drowned out by bickering

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO
If the web giants need it to work, hey, maybe it'll work
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.