Storage Soup

Jan 13 2009   4:34PM GMT

Pillar claims SPC-1 supremacy

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Pillar Data Systems has published its first system test benchmarks for the Axiom 600 disk array via the Storage Performance Council (SPC). It tested a system with 42 total TB, including 10 TB used and mirrored to allocate a total of about 20 TB. The results were 64,992 total IOPS.

These numbers come in ahead of competitive systems from IBM, NetApp and EMC. The EMC CX 3-40 was tested last January by archrival NetApp, making its SPC benchmarks controversial, but as listed a 22 TB system with 8.5 TB used and mirrored produced 24,997 SPC-1 IOPS. A NetApp 3170 with 32 TB and 19.6 used and mirrored resulted in 60,515 June 10. A 37.5 TB IBM 5300 with 13.7 TB used and mirrored produced 58,158 SPC-1 IOPS Sept. 25.

I found it interesting that with one 2,000-IOPS deviation between the IBM 5300 and NetApp 3170, the systems generally performed better according to which had been most recently tested. Note also how much of an outlier EMC is, both in terms of capacity used and total capacity. It was also an outlier in its free space, with just under 1 TB unused. IBM and NetApp both left approximately 5 TB of free space in their configurations, and Pillar had 16 TB of free space.

I do have to wonder how much weight users give to these industry benchmarks when selecting a product.  NetApp’s submitting EMC systems to SPC, a flap last summer over server virtualization benchmark testing, and  continued inconsistency among vendors as to who submits systems for benchmarking leaves a lot of potential reasons to take benchmarks with a grain of salt.

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