Author: Julie Herd, Director Technical Marketing

This past week all of us at E8 Storage have been celebrating a big benchmark, in more ways than one!  After a lot of hard work on many fronts (including from our partners at IBM Spectrum Scale), E8 Storage has published its first ever public benchmark result!

There’s nothing like an established, peer reviewed benchmark like SPEC SFS®2014 to prove what you’ve been saying all along: E8 Storage delivers high performance and low latency at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions.  This means that data intensive applications can rely on E8 Storage to deliver results.

What is SPEC SFS®2014?
SPEC SFS® has long been the benchmark of choice for measuring file system storage performance and a strong resource for comparing competitive file storage offerings.  SPEC SFS®2014 is the 3rd generation of the benchmark and a major rewrite that moves the focus away from measuring the storage component itself to the end-to-end storage solution for specific workloads.

The benchmark can be run against any of 5 available workloads which are meant to simulate a wide range of applications needing storage performance.

  • Database – a typical database workload
  • Electronic Design Automation (EDA) – the newest workload, introduced in Dec 2017
  • Software Build – the workload we chose to test against
  • Video Data Acquisition (VDA) – a streaming media workload
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – VDI (of course!)

We chose to focus on the Software Build (SWBUILD) workload, primarily because the results could be applied to various HPC workloads.  The Software Build workload is a very meta-data intensive build workload, where thousands of files are touched in order to create a finished image.  Files are checked, read, compiled and then written back out to storage.  This workload is very similar to media/entertainment (rendering, CGI), life sciences (genomic sequencing), as well as financial markets (real-time analytics, statistics), all of which benefit from low latency storage in order to get results quickly.

The Results are In!

E8 Storage rocked the benchmark!  Not only did we get more builds than any previous results, we delivered more throughput and IOPS at a fraction of the latency of previous submissions.  We have the ONLY sub-millisecond response time results of any submission (as of this moment in the space/time continuum, that is).

E8 Storage achieved great performance on the SPEC SFS®2014_swbuilds benchmark:

  • More builds – over 2.5x more than the previous IBM Spectrum Scale test
  • More performance – Almost 300,000 IOPS
  • Lowest latency – a record breaking 0.69ms!

Now, one of the criticisms of standardized benchmarks is that vendors can try to game the system with special performance tuning that isn’t available to customers.  Not so with our results.  The E8 Controller had no performance tuning, just great performance out of the box.

Here’s what we tested:

  • E8 Storage Software version 2.1.1 – Our latest GA software release, with all of the scalability and reliability features that we announced at Flash Memory Summit 2017
  • IBM Spectrum Scale 5.0 – The most up to date software for IBM’s high performance distributed file system
  • 1 x E8-D24 NVMe Appliance – Our flagship appliance with 24 HGST SN200 NVMe drives and dual controllers for high availability
  • 16 x Spectrum Scale Nodes – The Spectrum Scale cluster nodes all connected directly to the shared read/write volume on the E8-D24
  • 1 x Mellanox SN2700 100GbE Switch – The plumbing that connects it all together.

A Great Start to the New Year!
E8 Storage is starting off the year with a bang, and this is just the beginning of our momentum in 2018.  Stay tuned, we’re just getting started.

Here’s what the press and partners have been saying about our performance: