SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 Result

Panasas, Inc. : Panasas ActiveStor Series 9
SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 = 77137 Ops/Sec (Overall Response Time = 2.29 msec)


7894 0.8
15814 1.2
23752 1.5
31663 1.9
39610 1.3
47541 1.7
55538 3.0
63752 4.0
71771 5.0
77137 7.3
Performance Graph

Product and Test Information

Tested By Panasas, Inc.
Product Name Panasas ActiveStor Series 9
Hardware Available October, 2009
Software Available October, 2009
Date Tested December, 2009
SFS License Number 3866
Licensee Locations Fremont, California, USA

The Panasas Series 9 NAS features a parallel clustered file system that turns files into smart data objects, and dynamically distributes and load balances data transfer operations across a networked blade architecture. The Panasas ActiveScale distributed file system creates a storage cluster with a single file system and single global namespace. Each self-contained shelf chassis houses up to eleven DirectorBlade and StorageBlade modules, two redundant network switch modules, two redundant power supplies, and a battery backup module. All components are hot-swappable.

As configured, each shelf includes 8 TB HDD storage, 256 GB SSD storage, 44 GB RAM, and dual 10 GbE network connectivity with the network failover option. Systems can be configured with any number of shelves to scale capacity and performance, in a single global namespace, with a single point of management.

Configuration Bill of Materials

Item No Qty Type Vendor Model/Name Description
1 10 Panasas Storage Shelf Panasas, Inc. 900027-004 PAS 9, 3+8, 8TB + 256GB SSD, 32GB Cache, 10GE SFP+

Server Software

OS Name and Version ActiveScale 3.5.0.c
Other Software None
Filesystem Software ActiveScale 3.5.0.c

Server Tuning

Name Value Description
None None None

Server Tuning Notes


Disks and Filesystems

Description Number of Disks Usable Size
Each DirectorBlade has one 80 GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD that holds the ActiveScale OS, but not filesystem metadata or user data. 30 2.3 TB
Each StorageBlade has one 1000 GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD that contains the ActiveScale OS, filesystem metadata, and user data. 80 78.1 TB
Each StorageBlade has one 32 GB SSD that contains filesystem metadata and user data. 80 2.5 TB
Total 190 83.0 TB
Number of Filesystems 1
Total Exported Capacity 74840 GB
Filesystem Type PanFS
Filesystem Creation Options Default
Filesystem Config The 10 shelves (80 StorageBlades) in the SUT were configured in a single bladeset, which is a fault-tolerant shared pool of disks. All 30 volumes in the file system share space in this bladeset. Each volume stripes data uniformly across all disks in the pool using Object RAID 1/5, which dynamically selects RAID-1 (mirroring) or RAID-5 (XOR parity) on a per-file basis.

The bladeset was configured with vertical parity enabled. Vertical parity corrects media errors at the StorageBlade level, before they are exposed to Object RAID, and provides protection equivalent to RAID-6 against a sector error during a RAID rebuild.

Fileset Size 9256.5 GB

Network Configuration

Item No Network Type Number of Ports Used Notes
1 Jumbo 10 Gigabit Ethernet 10 None

Network Configuration Notes

Each Panasas shelf used a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface configured with MTU=9000 (jumbo frames). These links were connected to the Cisco Nexus 5020.

Benchmark Network

Four "Duo Node" ASUS servers (comprising eight nodes) and seven Penguin nodes, for a total of 15 client nodes, were used as load generators and connected via 10 GbE NICs to the Cisco Nexus 5020 switch. The 10 PAS9 shelves were also connected to the same Nexus 5020. There were no additional settings on the clients or the shelves, and the 25 ports were configured in a single VLAN on the Nexus 5020.

Processing Elements

Item No Qty Type Description Processing Function
1 30 CPU Pentium-M 1.8 GHz NFS Gateway, Metadata Server, Cluster Management, iSCSI, TCP/IP
2 80 CPU Celeron-M 1.5 GHz Object Storage File System, iSCSI, TCP/IP

Processing Element Notes

The SUT includes 30 DirectorBlades, each with a single Pentium-M 1.8 GHz CPU, and 80 StorageBlades, each with a single Celeron-M 1.5 GHz CPU. The DirectorBlades manage filesystem metadata and provide NFS gateway services. The StorageBlades store user data and metadata, and provide access to it through the OSD (Object Storage Device) protocol over iSCSI and TCP/IP. One DirectorBlade in the SUT was also running the Panasas realm manager and management user interface.


Description Size in GB Number of Instances Total GB Nonvolatile
Blade main memory 4 110 440 NV
Grand Total Memory Gigabytes     440  

Memory Notes

Each DirectorBlade and each StorageBlade has 4 GB ECC RAM.

Stable Storage

Each shelf has two (redundant) power supplies as well as a battery, which powers the entire shelf for about five minutes in the event of AC power loss. In the event of a power failure, each blade saves cached writes from main memory to its local HDD before shutting down. The data saved in this way is maintained indefinitely while the system is powered down, and is automatically recovered when power is restored.

System Under Test Configuration Notes

The SUT is comprised of 10 Panasas PAS9 shelves, with each shelf connected via 10 GbE SFP+ to a Cisco Nexus 5020 10 GbE switch. Each of the 15 load generators were connected to the Cisco Nexus 5020 with 10 GbE SFP+.

Other System Notes

Test Environment Bill of Materials

Item No Qty Vendor Model/Name Description
1 4 ASUS RS700D-E6/PS8 ASUS "Duo Node" Linux server
2 7 Penguin Computing Altus 1650SA Penguin Linux server
3 1 Cisco Nexus 5020 Cisco 40-port 10 GbE Switch

Load Generators

LG Type Name ASUS
BOM Item # 1
Processor Name Intel Xeon E5530
Processor Speed 2.4 GHz
Number of Processors (chips) 2
Number of Cores/Chip 4
Memory Size 1 GB
Operating System CentOS 5.3 (2.6.18-128.el5)
Network Type 1 Intel 82598EB 10 Gigabit NIC
LG Type Name Penguin
BOM Item # 2
Processor Name AMD Opteron 2356
Processor Speed 2.3 GHz
Number of Processors (chips) 2
Number of Cores/Chip 4
Memory Size 1 GB
Operating System CentOS 5.3 (2.6.18-128.el5)
Network Type 1 Intel 82598EB 10 Gigabit NIC

Load Generator (LG) Configuration

Benchmark Parameters

Network Attached Storage Type NFS V3
Number of Load Generators 15
Number of Processes per LG 30
Biod Max Read Setting 2
Biod Max Write Setting 2
Block Size AUTO

Testbed Configuration

LG No LG Type Network Target Filesystems Notes
1..1 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V16, GW2:/V16, ..., GW15:/V16; GW16:/V01, GW17:/V01, ..., GW30:/V01)  
2..2 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V17, GW2:/V17, ..., GW15:/V17; GW16:/V02, GW17:/V02, ..., GW30:/V02)  
3..3 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V18, GW2:/V18, ..., GW15:/V18; GW16:/V03, GW17:/V03, ..., GW30:/V03)  
4..4 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V19, GW2:/V19, ..., GW15:/V19; GW16:/V04, GW17:/V04, ..., GW30:/V04)  
5..5 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V20, GW2:/V20, ..., GW15:/V20; GW16:/V05, GW17:/V05, ..., GW30:/V05)  
6..6 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V21, GW2:/V21, ..., GW15:/V21; GW16:/V06, GW17:/V06, ..., GW30:/V06)  
7..7 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V22, GW2:/V22, ..., GW15:/V22; GW16:/V07, GW17:/V07, ..., GW30:/V07)  
8..8 ASUS N1 F1 (GW1:/V23, GW2:/V23, ..., GW15:/V23; GW16:/V08, GW17:/V08, ..., GW30:/V08)  
9..9 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V24, GW2:/V24, ..., GW15:/V24; GW16:/V09, GW17:/V09, ..., GW30:/V09)  
10..10 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V25, GW2:/V25, ..., GW15:/V25; GW16:/V10, GW17:/V10, ..., GW30:/V10)  
11..11 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V26, GW2:/V26, ..., GW15:/V26; GW16:/V11, GW17:/V11, ..., GW30:/V11)  
12..12 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V27, GW2:/V27, ..., GW15:/V27; GW16:/V12, GW17:/V12, ..., GW30:/V12)  
13..13 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V28, GW2:/V28, ..., GW15:/V28; GW16:/V13, GW17:/V13, ..., GW30:/V13)  
14..14 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V29, GW2:/V29, ..., GW15:/V29; GW16:/V14, GW17:/V14, ..., GW30:/V14)  
15..15 Penguin N1 F1 (GW1:/V30, GW2:/V30, ..., GW15:/V30; GW16:/V15, GW17:/V15, ..., GW30:/V15)  

Load Generator Configuration Notes

Each of the 15 clients accessed all (30) gateways to 2 volumes (30 total) in the file system. In this way, all 30 volumes were accessed through all 30 gateways from these 15 clients. In all cases, each gateway accessed was serving a volume other than its primary volume, preventing any gateway/volume affinity in the file system.

Uniform Access Rule Compliance

Each Panasas DirectorBlade provides both NFS gateway services for the entire filesystem, and metadata management services for a portion of the filesystem (one or more virtual volumes). The system as tested contained 30 DirectorBlades and was configured with 30 volumes, one managed by each DirectorBlade.

To comply with the Uniform Access Rule (UAR) for a single namespace, each of the 15 clients accessed two volumes, and each volume was accessed through 15 NFS gateways. In all cases, the 15 NFS gateways used for a given volume were selected such that they did not contain the DirectorBlade providing metadata services for that volume. In this way, each client accessed all 30 gateways, all 30 volumes were accessed equally by the 15 clients, and no client was afforded any advantage by colocating the NFS gateway and metadata server for the volume being accessed.

The 80 Panasas StorageBlades were configured as a single bladeset (storage pool), so data from all 30 volumes was distributed uniformly across all StorageBlades. This results in uniform access from the clients to the storage, and assures that each server in the cluster serves the same amount of data traffic from each disk uniformly.

Other Notes

Config Diagrams

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Copyright © 1997-2008 Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

First published at SPEC.org on 05-Mar-2010