VNXe 3100 performance


Earlier this year I installed a VNXe 3100 and have now done some testing with it. I have already covered the VNXe 3300 performance in a couple of my previous posts: Hands-on with VNXe 3300 Part 6: Performance and VNXe 3300 performance follow up (EFDs and RR settings). The 3100 has fewer disks than the 3300, also less memory and only two I/O ports. So I wanted to see how the 3100 would perform compared to the 3300. I ran the same Iometer tests that I ran on the 3300. In this post I will compare those results to the ones that I introduced in the previous posts. The environment is a bit different so I will quickly describe that before presenting the results.

Test environment

  • EMC VNXe 3100 (21 600GB SAS Drives)
  • Dell PE 2900 server
  • HP ProCurve 2510G
  • Two 1Gb iSCSI NICs
  • ESXi 4.1U1 / ESXi 5.0
  • Virtual Win 2008 R2 (1vCPU and 4GB memory)

Test results

I ran the tests on both ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0 but the iSCSI results were very similar so I used the average of both. NFS results had some differences so I will present the results for both 4 and 5 separately. I also did the tests with and without LAG and also when changing the default RR settings. VNXe was configured with one 20 disk pool with 100GB datastore provisioned to ESXi servers. The tests were run on 20GB virtual disk on the 100GB datastore.

[update] My main focus in these tests has been on iSCSI because that is what we are planning to use. I only ran quick tests with the generic NFS and not with the one that is configured under Storage – VMware. After Paul’s comment I ran a couple of test on the “VMware NFS” and I then added “ESXi 4 VMware NFS” to the test results:

Conclusions

With default settings the performance of the 3300 and the 3100 is fairly similar. The 3300 gives better throughput when the default IO operation limit is set from the default 1000 to 1. The differences on the physical configurations might also have an effect on this. With random workload the performance is similar even when the default settings are changed. Of course the real difference would be seen when both would be under heavy load. During the tests there was only the test server running on the VNXes.

On the NFS I didn’t have comparable results from the 3300. I ran different tests on the 3300 and those results weren’t good either. The odd thing is that ESXi 4 and ESXi 5 gave quite different results when running the tests on NFS.

Looking these and the previous results I would still be sticking with iSCSI on VNXe. What comes to the performance of the 3100 it is surprisingly close to its bigger sibling 3300.

[update] Looking at the new test results NFS is performing as well as iSCSI. With the modified RR settings iSCSI gets better max throughput but then again with random workloads NFS seems to perform better. So the type of NFS storage provisioned to the ESX hosts makes a difference. Now comes the question NFS or iSCSI? Performance vice either one is a good choice. But which one suits your environment better?

Disclaimer

These results reflect the performance of the environment that the tests were ran in. Results may vary depending on the hardware and how the environment is configured.

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5 responses to “VNXe 3100 performance

  • Paul

    I have a question about your NFS setup. When you created the NFS Datastore, do you have the Caching enabled or not in the Advanced Attribute field?

    Best Regards.

  • henriwithani

    I used the generic NFS share which doesn’t have the caching option.

    -Henri

  • Paul

    Thanks,

    I must say the results that you show are quite a bit different from what I have seen in my own testing of NFS versus iSCSI. I only have 10 drives in my array, but when I compared iSCSI to NFS on the same VM, my results came out about the same as you can see in my original post on the EMC web site. With caching enabled, the performance of NFS was terrible, with it disabled, the performance was fine.

    Best Regards.

  • Paul

    Henri,

    Great. I’m glad I wasn’t missing something. I often see posts on EMC or VMWare with the “iSCSI or NFS” debate and most people come down on the iSCSI side. Given that your results show a marked improvement in the NFS performance, I think a case can be made for using either NFS or iSCSI in a pure VMWare environment on a VNXe3100.

    Thanks again for your postings. They are very helpful.

    Best Regards

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