CIFS Performance Testing
We used an entirely new test procedure on the QSAN XN8008T NAS. The results are from an outdated version that we've already replaced a number of times over while sorting the bugs out. Due to the limited lifespan of this exact set, there are only two systems in the charts with three results.
The first result is the QSAN XN8008T with eight-12TB Seagate IronWolf Pro HDDs (our standard HDD for testing NAS) running RAID 6 (our standard test for systems over six drives). The second set of results adds a 480GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD to fill the flash-based cache role in the system. The third result is for our Thecus N8880U-10G loaded with the same 12TB Seagate IronWolf Pro HDDs in RAID 6.
The QSAN GUI allows us to set the cache SSD to read or write only. The software doesn't allow us to cache both. You don't have a choice on what type of data to cache, either. Some systems allow users to cut the cache off at a block size. For instance, caching only small block size data normally associated with random reads and writes. The system appears to block the sequential data from the SSD cache tier automatically.
We're using a modified QCT server with dual Intel E5 2670 8-core CPUs and an Intel 10-gigabit NIC to stress the systems under load. Both systems connect to a Supermicro SSE-X3348TR enterprise switch that we reviewed in 2014.
Sequential Read Performance
The two systems reach the peak bandwidth of just over 1,200 MB/s. The QSAN system reaches the goal by queue depth (QD) 4. Our Thecus system used as a bassline is still 200 MB/s shy at QD4 and even falls short at QD8.
Sequential Write Performance
The QSAN system manages to outperform the baseline Thecus system in sequential data writes using the 128KB block size. The Thecus was never able to reach the full bandwidth of the interface before latency began to reduce throughput performance.
Each dot on the chart represents a recorded IO. The QSAN system keeps the performance in a much tighter grouping. There are simply less latency spikes.
Sequential Mixed Workloads
This chart shows us just how powerful the XN8008T NAS really is. The network connect is bidirectional 10-gigabit so we sequential workloads with data going on each direction we see combined throughput that is higher than 1,200 MB/s. Many of the NAS we've tested actually lose performance in the mixed workloads and increased "scatter" of the results due to higher latency.
Random Read Performance
The random read test shows us the SSD coming into play when enabled in the software. The drive helps to increase consistency and increase random read performance.
The second chart in this group shows random read distribution, IOPS on the bottom and latency on the vertical axis. The SSD allows the QSAN system to perform with increased efficiency before the higher workload send the system into the curve from increased latency.
Random Write Performance
The Thecus N8880U-10G uses some of the system memory to cache user data, and that shows on the 4KB steady-state chart. There are several IOs with very high peaks, but there are just as many measurements without a single IO taking place in the 1-second recording interval.
The second chart shows the QSAN with the SSD installed keeping a much tighter grip on the performance consistency even in the random write test. In the settings, we configured the drive for read caching but it appears to use some of the drive for small block size random writes as well.
Random Mixed Workloads
The random mixed workload test shows how the cache helps to keep the performance consistent especially with 100% random writes (on the far right of the chart).
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