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June 27, 2011


TM storage

Hi Chuck, well done. Take a look at http://spec.org/sfs97r1/results/res2006q2/sfs97-r1-20060522-00263.HTML
NetApp did million+ IOPS in 2006 with just 2000 FC drives. Why does EMC isilon need 3000+ drives with some SSD to achieve similar results.

Did not expect this from the mighty EMC. May be 5 million IOPS is fair but this is just getting some bragging rights to me.

Chuck Hollis

As you should well know, the sfs97 tests and the sfs2008 test are *completely* different and not comparable in the least.

The SPEC website is pretty clear on this point: http://www.spec.org/sfs2008/

Did you not know that? Or is this some sort of lame FUD?

-- Chuck


still no SPC-1. IOPS is one thing, but how much will those numbers cost?


They'll cost 144 times the cost a node, I'd imagine. As with any storage, work out how much you need and at what performance level, calculate the cost of supporting it, then choose the best for your environment.

Isilon have proved almost linear scalability which is compelling for growing datasets.

Chuck Hollis

For those of you who are predictably skeptical of standard benchmarks, I'd encourage you to head over to the SPEC site and peruse the documentation in detail. In particular, I was impressed that the test profiles are based on actual workloads seen on thousands of production file servers, often from member organizations.

Say what you will, but I think that approach offers a reasonable approximation for the desired purpose.

Kees Henniphof

LOVE your EMC Isilon banner campaign in support of this report, Chuck - brilliant marketing, as usual. (Is that a Joint Strike Fighter? Or an F16? Because that's not very 2011 either): http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ntap&ql=1 - Cheers, Kees

Chuck Hollis

Hadn't seen it ... thanks!


It would be interesting to see how that compared to Netapp's scale out offering on their new hardware platforms. They havent benched that for 4 or so years.

Chuck Hollis

You're right, it *would* be interesting to see a modern SPEC benchmark from NetApp.

Frankly, I think they're at a serious disadvantage these days, product and architecture-wise, so I don't expect them to do so anytime soon.

-- Chuck

Robert Pell

Revisting this blog post, Chuck. Looks like NetApp re-ran benchmarks & posted new results (for SPEC2008). They have all kinds of news and technical reports published on it too. Funny enough, their math is wrong on the % IOPS comparison in all publications. For all other metrics they did the math right... 1-(resultsA / resultsB)x100 = % improvement over vendor A. Except with IOPS. See this publication: http://media.netapp.com/documents/TR-3990-1111.pdf, and this news release: http://www.netapp.com/us/company/news/news-rel-20111102-42509.html
In all cases, their marketeers tried the above formula and came up with 35 or 36% when comparing the two. Funny enough, I get 26%, no matter how many times I try it. Can we trust anything they publish???

Chuck Hollis

I think the problem is that NetApp (like many smaller vendors) can get all caught up in their enthusiasm around themselves, their products, being a good place to work, etc. -- and sort of lose sight of the world around them: customers, partners, etc.

I hope they never, ever change :)

-- Chuck

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Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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