News Bytes

Posted on September 01, 2003

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Benchmark mania

Most end users take vendors' benchmark results with a grain of salt—or a salt lick—but that doesn't stop vendors from doing them.

In an attempt to dispel criticism regarding the performance of its storage area network (SAN) appliance running its SANsymphony software, DataCore Software last month released test results based on the Storage Performance Council's SPC-1 benchmark. The company achieved more than 50,000 I/Os per second—the highest SPC results to date—using off-the-shelf Wintel servers and plenty of cache. The cost of the 3-node test system was $310,000, or $6 per transaction based on SPC metrics. You can wade through configuration details and additional test results at www.storageperformance.org.

Of course, no benchmarks are complete without some hype: "It's a lot like being the front-runner in the Monaco Grand Prix with a 100-miles-per-gallon family sedan," says Ziya Aral, DataCore's chairman and CTO.

Also on the benchmark front, Snap Appliance commissioned independent test firm VeriTest to benchmark its Snap Server 4500 NAS appliances against competing network-attached storage (NAS) platforms, including Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks NAS 1000s and Dell's PowerVault 725N. The tests were based on Ziff-Davis Media's NetBench 7.02 benchmark code (specifically, the Enterprise Disk Mix suite) and RAID-5 configurations.

The Snap Server 4500 posted an average peak throughput of 267.831M bits per second and an average response time of 5.080 milliseconds with 60 clients. That compares to 103.44M bits per second and 12.612 milliseconds for HP's StorageWorks NAS 1000s. For details, visit www.veritest.com.

SGI claims a number of backup-and-restore records based on tests conducted in with Brocade, LSI Logic, and StorageTek, including a sustained rate of 10.1TB per hour for a disk-to-tape file backup and an image restore rate of 7.9TB per hour.

Other speeds and feeds included a file-level restore rate of 4.5TB per hour and an image-level backup rate of 7.2TB per hour. The (not-inexpensive) configuration was able to back up 1TB in just over seven minutes and restore a TB in 15.29 minutes. The tests were based on SGI's XFS file system and Legato's NetWorker software.

NetApp, Veritas expand partnership

Expanding a partnership formed in 1997, Network Appliance and Veritas announced last month that they would collaborate on joint sales and marketing and continue to integrate products for NAS, SAN, and NAS-SAN systems. The companies will make specific product announcements next month and expect to continue developing technologies targeting data protection, high availability, and storage resource management.

STORServer, Microsoft ink OEM deal

STORServer will integrate Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003 into its next-generation backup appliance as part of an OEM deal signed this summer. The new appliance will be available in the next month or two and will include a Web-based interface for remote management. STORServer's current product is based on Windows 2000.


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