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Huawei's TOP MUTANT smashes aside puny SPC-1 contenders

Crushes the competition for hybrid arrays

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Huawei has crushed the SPC-1 benchmark lists for hybrid SDD-HDD arrays with its OceanStor 18800 delivering over a million IOPS.

SPC-1 benchmarks are used to test the random I/O performance of a storage array, and Kaminario claims the top two spots with all flash and all-DRAM K2 arrays.

Huawei’s hot box delivered 1.005,893.43 SPC-1 IOPS with an average response time of 5.17 millisecs at 100 per cent load. It delivered more IOPS than an all-flash HDS VSP array, which limped behind, relatively speaking, at 602,019.47 IOPS, though it was faster with an average response time of 0.72 milliseconds.

The chart shows the top SPC-1 scores.

SPC-1 numbers

Top-14 SPC-1 IOPS scores.

Ignore the price/performance; it’s based on list pricing and few people buy systems performing at this level at list price.

The OceanStor hardware used 16 controllers, 1,344 x 3.5-inch SAS disk drives, and 192 x 2.5-inch SSDs, all managed by the VXE OS. There was 35.9TB of flash, 4.25 per cent of the overall capacity, compared to 343.1TB of storage pool disk and another 343.1TB of mirrored data protection capacity. Get more configuration details here.

Huawei says the 18800 has a SmartTier feature which automatically analyses data access frequency and migrates data to the right storage tier, choosing between SSD, SAS and NL-SAS disk drives. The flash is used for fast access data, SAS disks for middlingly active data and the nearline-SAS disks for the least active data.

Admin staff can:

  • Specify the statistical period - hour or day
  • Choose the migration data size - from 256 KB to 64 MB
  • Select automatic or manual migration mode
  • Decide on the migration period and speed

There had been a school of thought that said a hybrid flash-disk array wouldn't be able to crack the million-plus IOPS level on the SPC-1 benchmark. And with an all-flash top-end HDS VSP array only reaching 602,019.47 IOPS that thought seemed solid. Not any more.

The VSP had 42.221TB of configured storage capacity, so we can't say the OceanStor 18800 bested it by overloading on flash, as it had a smaller amount, 35.9TB.

If your workload is SPC-1-like, and you need stacks of disk capacity as well as performance then this Huawei machine is a hot, hot box. ®

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