This topic is very near and dear to me, and is one of the big reasons I came over to Nimble Storage.
I’ve always believed that storage systems should behave gracefully and predictably under pressure. Automatically. Even under complex and difficult situations.
It sounds like a simple request and it makes a whole lot of sense, but very few storage systems out there actually behave this way. This creates business challenges and increases risk and OpEx.
Continue reading “The Well-Behaved Storage System: Automatic Noisy Neighbor Avoidance”
NetApp published a Top Ten Price/Performance SPC-2 result for the E5660 platform (the all-SSD EF560 variant of the platform also comfortably placed in the Top Ten Price/Performance for the SPC-1 test). In this post I will explain why the E-Series platform is an ideal choice for workloads requiring high performance density while being cost effective.
Continue reading “NetApp E-Series posts top ten price performance SPC-2 result”
Recently, many vendors announced the availability of large SSDs. It’s not extremely exciting – it’s just a larger storage medium. Sure, it’s really advanced 3D NAND, it’s fast and ultra-reliable, and will allow some nicely dense configurations at a reduced $/GB. Another day in Enterprise Storage Land.
But, ultimately, that’s how drives roll – they get bigger. And in the case of SSD, the roadmaps seem extremely aggressive regarding capacities, with 100TB per device coming.
Then I realized that several vendors don’t have large SSD capacities available.
But why? Why ignore such a seemingly easy and hugely cost-effective way to increase density?
In this post I will attempt to explain why certain architectural decisions may lead to inflexible design constructs that can have long-term flexibility and scalability ramifications.
Continue reading “Architecture has long term scalability implications for All Flash Appliances”
The idea for this article came from seeing various people attempt product testing. Though I thought about storage when writing this, the ideas apply to most industries.
Three different kinds of testing
There are really three different kinds of testing.
The first is the incomplete, improper, useless in almost any situation testing. Typically done by people that have little training on the subject. Almost always ends in misleading results and is arguably dangerous, especially if used to make purchasing decisions.
The second is what’s affectionately and romantically called “Real World Testing”. Typically done by people that will try to simulate some kind of workload they believe they encounter in their environment, or use part of their environment to do the testing. Much more accurate than the first kind, if done right. Usually the workload is decided arbitrarily 🙂
The third and last kind is what I term “Proper Testing”. This is done by professionals (that usually do this type of testing for a living) that understand how complex testing for a broad range of conditions needs to be done. It’s really hard to do, but pays amazing dividends if done thoroughly.
Let’s go over the three kinds in more details, with some examples.
Continue reading “Proper Testing vs Real World Testing”
It’s been a while since our last SPC-1 benchmark submission with high-end systems in 2012. Since then we launched all new systems, and went from ONTAP 8.1 to ONTAP 8.3, big jumps in both hardware and software.
In 2012 we posted an SPC-1 result with a 6-node FAS6240 cluster – not our biggest system at the time but we felt it was more representative of a realistic solution and used a hybrid configuration (spinning disks boosted by flash caching technology). It still got the best overall balance of low latency (Average Response Time or ART in SPC-1 parlance, to be used from now on), high SPC-1 IOPS, price, scalability, data resiliency and functionality compared to all other spinning disk systems at the time.
Today (April 22, 2015) we published SPC-1 results with an 8-node all-flash high-end FAS8080 cluster to illustrate the performance of the largest current NetApp FAS systems in this industry-standard benchmark.
Continue reading “NetApp posts SPC-1 Top Ten Performance results for its high end systems – Tier 1 meets high functionality and high performance”