SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 Result

IBM Corporation : IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage, Version 1.2
SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 = 403326 Ops/Sec (Overall Response Time = 3.23 msec)


42508 1.5
85093 2.0
127276 2.4
170410 2.7
213185 3.1
254902 3.5
298717 4.1
340996 4.5
384590 5.8
403326 11.3
Performance Graph

Product and Test Information

Tested By IBM Corporation
Product Name IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage, Version 1.2
Hardware Available May 2011
Software Available May 2011
Date Tested February 2011
SFS License Number 11
Licensee Locations Tucson, AZ USA

The IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) system is IBM's storage system for customers requiring large scale NAS systems with extremely high levels of performance, scalability and availability. IBM designed the SONAS system for cloud storage and the petabtye age to help customers manage the extreme storage demands of today's digital environment. It supports multi-petabyte file systems with billions of files in each file system. In addition, it provides independent performance and capacity scaling allowing performance or capacity to be quickly added to the system. To help manage information over its entire lifecycle, it includes policy-driven Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) capabilities, including file placement, storage tiering and hierarchical storage management.

Configuration Bill of Materials

Item No Qty Type Vendor Model/Name Description
1 10 Interface Node IBM 2851-SI2 SONAS interface node with 144GB of memory
2 16 Storage Node IBM 2851-SS1 SONAS storage node
3 1 Management Node IBM 2851-SM1 SONAS management node
4 16 Storage Controller IBM 2851-DR1 SONAS storage controller
5 16 Storage Expansion Enclosure IBM 2851-DE1 SONAS disk expansion enclosure
6 168 10-packs of disks IBM 2851 FC#1311 10-pack of 15K RPM 600 GB SAS HDD
7 24 10-packs of disks IBM 2851 FC#1310 10-pack of 15K RPM 450 GB SAS HDD. These drives are contained within a single storage pod.
8 1 Base rack IBM 2851-RXA FC#9004 Base rack for interface nodes and management nodes. The rack also comes preconfigured with a KVM/KVM switch, two 96 port Infiniband switches, and two 50 port GbE switches.
9 4 Storage expansion rack IBM 2851-RXB The storage expansion racks contain storage nodes, storage controllers, and disk expansion shelves, and can contain up to 480 drives. The rack is also preconfigured with two 50 port GbE switches.
10 10 Network Adapter IBM 2581 FC#1101 Dual-port 10Gb Converged Network Adapter (CNA). Each interface node was configured with a single CNA.

Server Software

OS Name and Version IBM SONAS v1.2
Other Software none
Filesystem Software IBM SONAS v1.2

Server Tuning

Name Value Description
atime suppress Filesystem option to disable to updating of file access times.

Server Tuning Notes


Disks and Filesystems

Description Number of Disks Usable Size
600 GB 15K RPM SAS Disk Drives 1680 843.7 TB
450 GB 15K RPM SAS Disk Drives 240 87.0 TB
Each node had 2 mirrored 300GB drives for operating system use and logging. Additionally the management node has 1 non-mirrored 300GB drive for log files and trace data. None of the SONAS filesystem data or metadata was stored on these disks. 55 8.2 TB
Total 1975 939.0 TB
Number of Filesystems 1
Total Exported Capacity 903.8 TB
Filesystem Type IBM SONAS Filesystem
Filesystem Creation Options -b 256K, -j cluster, -R none, --log-striping=yes
Filesystem Config A single file system was striped in 256 KiB blocks across 208 RAID-5 LUN's presented to the file system.
Fileset Size 49805.3 GB

The storage configuration consisted of 8 storage building blocks. Each storage building block comprised a pair of storage nodes directly attached to 2 storage controllers via 2 8 Gbps FC host bus adapters. Each storage node had a path to each storage controller and used multipathing software for failover. Each storage controller plus expansion contained 120 3.5 inch disk drives. In each storage controller plus storage expansion enclosure, the drives were configured in 13 8+P RAID-5 arrays with 3 global spares. The arrays were seen as LUN's on the storage nodes, which then were presented to the file system. The file system data and metadata were striped across all of the arrays from all of the storage controllers.

Network Configuration

Item No Network Type Number of Ports Used Notes
1 10 Gigabit Ethernet 10 Each interface node has a dual port 10 Gb converged network adapter (CNA). The two ports are bonded in active/passive mode and connect directly to a 10 GbE switch.

Network Configuration Notes


Benchmark Network

The interface nodes and the load generators were connected to the same 10 GbE switch.

Processing Elements

Item No Qty Type Description Processing Function
1 20 CPU Intel Six-core 2.67GHz Xeon X5650 for each interface node Networking, NFS, CTDB, file system
2 32 CPU Intel Quad-core 2.40GHz Xeon E5530 for each storage node file system, storage drivers
3 2 CPU Intel Quad-core 2.40GHz Xeon E5530 for the management node Networking, CTDB, file system
4 32 CPU Intel Quad-core 2.33GHz Xeon E5410 for each storage contoller RAID

Processing Element Notes

Each interface node has 2 physical processors with 6 processing cores and hyperthreading enabled. Each storage node and the management node have 2 physical processors with 4 processing cores and hyperthreading enabled.


Description Size in GB Number of Instances Total GB Nonvolatile
Interface node system memory 144 10 1440 V
Storage node system memory 8 16 128 V
Management node system memory 32 1 32 V
Storage controller system memory, battery backed up 16 16 256 NV
Storage controller compact flash 32 16 512 NV
Grand Total Memory Gigabytes     2368  

Memory Notes

The storage controllers have main system memory that is used by the onboard operating system and for caching read and write requests associated with the attached RAID arrays. The storage controllers also have compact flash cards that are used to store the onboard operating system files and boot files, and are used to provide stable storage for modified data that has not been written to disk in the case of a power failure.

Stable Storage

The NFS export had the sync flag specified, so NFS writes and commits are not acknowledged as being complete until the data resides in the storage controller (2851-DR1, see diagram) cache. Each storage controller consists of two individual RAID controllers whose caches are mirrored and battery backed up. An incoming write is mirrored to the cache of its partner RAID controller before an acknowledgment is sent back to the storage node. In case of power failure to only one of the two RAID controller controllers, the partner RAID controller takes over until power is restored. In case of a power failure to the storage controller, the contents of the the main memory are kept active by the onboard battery for up to ten minutes, which is enough time to transfer modified data that has not been written to disk to the compact flash card. The compact flash card is partitioned such that there enough capacity to accommodate all of modified data in the RAID controller's cache. Once power is restored the modified data can be written to the disks, and the arrays associated with the RAID controller are placed in write through mode until the battery has regained enough charge to be able to transfer modified data to the compact flash card in the event of another power failure. When a write to an array in write through mode is received by the storage controller, an acknowledgment is not sent back to the storage node until the data has been written to disk.

System Under Test Configuration Notes

The system under test consisted of a single SONAS system comprised of 10 interface nodes and 16 storage nodes. The interface nodes, storage nodes, and a management node are all connected via a high availability, 20 Gbps Infiniband network. The storage nodes are grouped into pairs that connect to storage controllers through 8 Gbps FC host bus adapters. The interface nodes each had a 10 GbE connection to a Force10 10 GbE switch, the same switch used by the load generators.

Other System Notes


Test Environment Bill of Materials

Item No Qty Vendor Model/Name Description
1 14 IBM System x3250 M3 IBM x3250 M3 with 16GB of RAM and RHEL 6
2 1 Force10 S2410 24 port 10 Gigabit ethernet switch

Load Generators

LG Type Name LG1
BOM Item # 1
Processor Name Intel Xeon X3450
Processor Speed 2.67 GHz
Number of Processors (chips) 1
Number of Cores/Chip 4
Memory Size 16 GB
Operating System Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
Network Type 1 QLogic Corp. 10GbE Converged Network Adapter

Load Generator (LG) Configuration

Benchmark Parameters

Network Attached Storage Type NFS V3
Number of Load Generators 14
Number of Processes per LG 300
Biod Max Read Setting 2
Biod Max Write Setting 2
Block Size AUTO

Testbed Configuration

LG No LG Type Network Target Filesystems Notes
1..14 LG1 1 /ibm/fs1 None

Load Generator Configuration Notes

A single filesystem was mounted on each load generator through every interface node.

Uniform Access Rule Compliance

Each load generator had 300 processes equally distributed across the 10 interface nodes. Each process accessed the same, single filesystem.

Other Notes


Config Diagrams

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First published at SPEC.org on 22-Feb-2011