Symantec and Huawei snatch storage benchmark crown
Spinning rust pops whup-ass can on flashy stacks
Huawei Symantec has blown EMC and its nearly all-flash VNX off the SPECsfs2008 benchmark throne with a clustered NAS system without using SSDs. Spinning rust rules, OK?
H-S trounced this and, amazingly, did so with all-hard disk drive system, not using stacks of flash as EMC did. The N8500 was fitted with 15,000rpm, 450GB Fibre Channel drives, 1,728 of them. There were eight filesystems, one mounted by each node, and a total exported capacity of 196.608TB.
The eight engines used dual, 6-core Xeon 5680 processors and – EMC might care to take note – up to 16 of these engines can be clustered and, presumably, the N8500 could use SSDs too. There appears to be lots of headroom.
Turning to the CIFS version of the benchmark, H-S scored 712,664 ops/sec, with an overall response time of 1.81 millisecs, again trouncing EMC's previous record score of 661,951 with a flash-heavy VNX, which itself was a monumental advance on an EMC Celerra system's previous record of a measly-looking 142, 979 ops/sec. The H-S N8500 used 1,728 disk drives again, the same number of clustered engines, and had the same exported filesystem capacity.
Just what does EMC have to do? Is the spinning rust H-S hardware so good it can wipe the floor with a flash-accelerated VNX? Watch out, this N8500 appears to be a seriously high-performance and scalable filer. I wonder how it stacks up against Isilon? ®
Let's Keep it Real
What is truly impressive is how these folks can turn $ into IOPS. The true measure of the Spec tests is not the maximum IOPS achieved, but rather IOPS achieved with a realistic configuration.
If you do the math, the N8500 achieved 368 IOPS/spindle which is actually pretty good. I doubt that the VNX could come close with a similar configuration and I know there is no way that Isilon could touch it. Isilon is not known for IOPS but rather for streaming in read intensive work loads.
By comparison, the BlueArc Mercury 100 single node achieved 72,921 IOPS with a mere 144 spindles of 15K drives. That equates to 506 IOPS/spindle. This is actually an affordable system!
Who are they?
I once worked for the Pan European Huawei Symantec distributor, so I was always aware that the N8500 was no slouch. In essence it's a Xeon based head running Symantec's Storage Foundation coupled to cheap as chips Huawei 5000 Series controllers and trays..
All I can say is that it's certainly not bad for "Cheap Chinese Tat polished up with a Symantec badge" as one reseller termed it to me..
Perhaps the European market with take this product a little more seriously in the future.
Only 1728 disk drives?
Seems the marketing zeebs don't care too much about this benchmarketing result.
The TPC-C kiddies use far more.