Part 6 – Which HDD for Content Applications – General I/O Performance

April 25, 2016 – 2:46 pm
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Part 6 – Which HDD for Content Applications – General I/O Performance

server storage I/O trends

Which enterprise HDD to use with a content server platform
Insight for effective server storage I/O decision making
Server StorageIO Lab Review

Which enterprise HDD to use for content servers

This is the sixth in a multi-part series (read part five here) based on a white paper hands-on lab report I did compliments of Servers Direct and Seagate that you can read in PDF form here. The focus is looking at the Servers Direct (www.serversdirect.com) converged Content Solution platforms with Seagate Enterprise Hard Disk Drive (HDD’s). In this post the focus is around general I/O performance including 8KB and 128KB IOP sizes.

General I/O Performance

In addition to running database and file (large and small) processing workloads, Vdbench was also used to collect basic small (8KB) and large (128KB) sized I/O operations. This consisted of random and sequential reads as well as writes with the results shown below. In addition to using vdbench, other tools that could be used include Microsoft Diskspd, fio, iorate and iometer among many others.

These workloads used Vdbench configured (13) to do direct I/O to a Windows file system mounted device using as much of the available disk space as possible. All workloads used 16 threads and were run concurrently similar to database and file processing tests.

(Note 13) Sample vdbench configuration for general I/O, note different settings were used for various tests

Table-7 shows workload results for 8KB random IOPs 75% reads and 75% writes including IOPs, bandwidth and response time.

 

ENT 15K RAID1

ENT 10K RAID1

ENT CAP RAID1

ENT 10K R10
(4 Drives)

ECAP SW RAID (5 Drives)

 

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

I/O Rate (IOPs)

597.11

559.26

514

475

285

293

979

984

491

644

MB/sec

4.7

4.4

4.0

3.7

2.2

2.3

7.7

7.7

3.8

5.0

Resp. Time (Sec.)

25.9

27.6

30.2

32.7

55.5

53.7

16.3

16.3

32.6

24.8

Table-7 8KB sized random IOPs workload results

Figure-6 shows small (8KB) random I/O (75% read and 25% read) across different HDD configurations. Performance including activity rates (e.g. IOPs), bandwidth and response time for mixed reads / writes are shown. Note how response time increases with the Enterprise Capacity configurations vs. other performance optimized drives.

general 8K random IO
Figure-6 8KB random reads and write showing IOP activity, bandwidth and response time

Table-8 below shows workload results for 8GB sized I/Os 100% sequential with 75% reads and 75% writes including IOPs, MB/sec and response time in seconds.

ENT 15K RAID1

ENT 10K RAID1

ENT CAP RAID1

ENT 10K R10
(4 Drives)

ECAP SW RAID (5 Drives)

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

75% Read

25% Read

I/O Rate (IOPs)

3,778

3,414

3,761

3,986

3,379

1,274

11,840

8,368

2,891

1,146

MB/sec

29.5

26.7

29.4

31.1

26.4

10.0

92.5

65.4

22.6

9.0

Resp. Time (Sec.)

2.2

3.1

2.3

2.4

2.7

10.9

1.3

1.9

5.5

14.0

Table-8 8KB sized sequential workload results

Figure-7 shows small 8KB sequential mixed reads and writes (75% read and 75% write), while the Enterprise Capacity 2TB HDD has a large amount of space capacity, its performance in a RAID 1 vs. other similar configured drives is slower.

8KB Sequential
Figure-7 8KB sequential 75% reads and 75% write showing bandwidth activity

Table-9 shows workload results for 100% sequential, 100% read and 100% write 128KB sized I/Os including IOPs, bandwidth and response time.

ENT 15K RAID1

ENT 10K RAID1

ENT CAP RAID1

ENT 10K R10
(4 Drives)

ECAP SW RAID (5 Drives)

Read

Write

Read

Write

Read

Write

Read

Write

Read

Write

I/O Rate (IOPs)

1,798

1,771

1,716

1,688

921

912

3,552

3,486

780

721

MB/sec

224.7

221.3

214.5

210.9

115.2

114.0

444.0

435.8

97.4

90.1

Resp. Time (Sec.)

8.9

9.0

9.3

9.5

17.4

17.5

4.5

4.6

19.3

20.2

Table-9 128KB sized sequential workload results

Figure-8 shows sequential or streaming operations of larger I/O (100% read and 100% write) requests sizes (128KB) that would be found with large content applications. Figure-8 highlights the relationship between lower response time and increased IOPs as well as bandwidth.

128K Sequential
Figure-8 128KB sequential reads and write showing IOP activity, bandwidth and response time

Where To Learn More

What This All Means

Some content applications are doing small random I/Os for database, key value stores or repositories as well as meta data processing while others are doing large sequential I/O. 128KB sized I/O may be large for your environment, on the other hand, with an increasing number of applications, file systems, software defined storage management tools among others, 1 to 10MB or even larger I/O sizes are becoming common. Key is selecting I/O sizes and read write as well as random sequential along with I/O or queue depths that align with your environment.

Continue reading part seven the final post in this multi-part series here where the focus is around how HDD’s continue to evolve including performance beyond traditional RPM based execrations along with wrap up.

Ok, nuff said, for now

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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