Performance Testing the 7000 series, part 2 of 3

With the release of the Sun Storage 7000 series there has been much interest in the products performance, which I’ve been demonstrating. In my previous post I listed 10 suggestions for performance testing – the big stuff you need to get right. The 10 suggestions are applicable to all perf testing on the 7000 series. Here I’ll dive into the smaller details of max performance tuning, which may only be of interest if you’d like to see the system reach its limits.

The little stuff

The following is a tuning checklist for achieving maximum performance on the Sun Storage 7410, particularly for finding performance limits. Please excuse the brevity of some descriptions – this was originally written as an internal Sun document and has been released here in the interests of transparency. This kind of tuning is used during product development, to drive systems as fast as possible to identify and solve bottlenecks.

These can all be useful points to consider, but they do not apply to all workloads. I’ve seen a number of systems that were misconfigured with random tuning suggestions found on the Internet. Please understand what you are doing before making changes.

Sun Storage 7410 Hardware

Sun Storage 7410 Settings



Client Workload

The Sun Storage 7410 doesn’t need special tuning at all (no messing with /etc/system settings.) If it did, we’d consider that a bug we should fix. Indeed, this is part of what Fishworks is about – the expert tuning has already been done in our products. What there is left for the customer is simple and industry common: pick mirroring or double parity RAID, jumbo frames, no access time updates and tuning the filesystem record size. The clients require much, much more tuning and fussing when doing these performance tests.

In my next post, I’ll show the simple tools I use to apply test workloads.

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Posted on April 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm by Brendan Gregg · Permalink
In: Performance · Tagged with: , , , ,

5 Responses

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  1. Written by sanjay
    on April 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Great postings. I have been sending a number of people to your blogs. The heatmap blog convinced one person to take a second look at OpenSolaris and 74xx offerings.

  2. Written by Fredrik Lindgren
    on April 17, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Very good information to be found here, thanks a lot for taking the effort to post it. I wish it was always this easy to find concise recommendations with regards to performance testing, especially from the vendor itself!
    That said, we just received our 7410 eval unit. With great excitement we unpacked it and installed it in our datacenter. That was four days ago, and we still haven been able to do a single IOP on it.
    First one of the boxes was shipped with two GigE ports DOA. Because we’re going to run Active-Active with redundant Ethernet switches and the way failover is implemented we need all four ports. Actually, that’s not true – ideally we’d need five in order to get a management network without having to resort to doing magic with VLANs, but this is just for eval so we’ll have to make do.
    The motherboard in the faulty machine was swapped but a Sun service tech the day after, which was good. Note that the default BIOS settings tries to boot off the first Readzilla – you need to update that manually, and the boot-device list in the BIOS seems to have only one place for a disk. So if one "wrong" side of the root-mirror dies, the machine wont boot without changing the BIOS-settings.
    When setting up, the install process couldn’t be completed "by the book" because whenever we try to access the Routing tab in Configuration->Network we get a JavaScript exception and a empty list.
    The default route keeps dissapering at various times, like when rebooting/managing datalinks/moving interfaces around. Very annoying to have to go into SP-console and readd it via the shell (since the GUI won’t work).
    We tried to upgrade the software to 1.0.5 in the hope it would fix our route-problems (version 1.0.1 was on there when shipped). This didn’t work out too well, the fist machine rebooted but couldn’t join the cluster. We gave it two hours and then power-cycled it. This time it was able to join the cluster.
    The second machine was bricked by the update… It just sits there with a black screen when it’s supposed to load GRUB. We’re still waiting for info from Sun on what to do, it’s been three days so far.
    All this is making me feel a bit uneasy. The storage system is not a place where you want to be finding "weird" things happening. The 7410 can still make up for some of it by delivering stellar performance, if we can get it to run…
    Fredrik Lindgren

  3. Written by Brendan Gregg
    on April 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    G’Day Fredrik,
    Sorry to hear of the unusual troubles. I’ve never heard of a motherboard being swapped out, even for any of our test systems in the Fishworks lab; and switching it out leads to the BIOS needing to be updated and boot devices set properly – something that should only need to be done in the factory. Please email me ( as we’d like to follow up.

  4. Written by Mark Buffington
    on April 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    This looks to be a great series of articles. GT’s current NAS infrastructure is built on 5320′s. We’re hoping that the 7000 Series provides us with an evolutionary leap forward in performance and reliability.

  5. Written by Malware Removal Bot
    on August 24, 2009 at 2:41 am

    the 7000 Series is the best one so far…

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