DataCore Makes iSCSI Rock

DataCore Software has published the first Storage Performance Council
SPC-1 results recorded using the iSCSI standard for storage connectivity,
and the numbers are impressive.

DataCore called the challenging SPC-1 transaction and database-style
workloads “the only objective standard for storage performance comparisons.”
DataCore said the results, available at storageperformance.org/results/, show that DataCore’s SANmelody Disk Server using iSCSI trailed only
solid state storage systems and DataCore’s own Fibre Channel-based SANmelody in price/performance.

Compared to DataCore’s Fibre Channel mark, the iSCSI results represent about
half of the absolute performance (9,298.56 SPC-1 IOPS versus 19,949.73 SPC-1
IOPS), but the total cost for the iSCSI configuration is also reduced by
half, so the price/performance is similar ($4.06/SPC-1 IOPS for Fibre
Channel versus $4.86/SPC-1 IOPS for iSCSI).

DataCore said the absolute performance of the iSCSI configuration “is
comparable to that of many, much more expensive ‘name brand’ Fibre Channel
arrays at a fraction of the cost.” The configuration used standard Ethernet
adapters rather than more expensive TOEs (TCP offload engines) or
accelerators usually proposed for iSCSI storage network implementations.

“We know we could have run even faster using TOEs,” said DataCore CTO Ziya
Aral, “but we wanted to show what could be done with standard Ethernets that
people can buy at any computer store for less than $50 per connection. Not
only did we want to show that iSCSI has come of age for these types of
demanding benchmarks, but also that storage networks for the ‘rest of us’
are now practical. Take a standard server plus standard disks plus standard
Ethernet plus DataCore software and it yields anything but standard
performance.”

Aral added that “the real world efficiency of this configuration isn’t bad
either.” The iSCSI server benchmarked had a peak IOP rating of more than
80,000 IOPs (input/output operations per second), or about one-fifth that of
the Fibre Channel-equipped SANmelody server (400,000 IOPs). “But that
translated into one-half the real world workload, or about twice the
efficiency we might have expected,” Aral said.

Evaluator Group senior analyst Randy Kerns said the results are more about
DataCore than iSCSI. “DataCore focuses on performance, so it’s important to
them for their marketing message to present their performance data,” Kerns
said. “This information is really about DataCore and not iSCSI
implementation.”

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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