NetApp Named “Champion of Champions” for Clustered SAN OLTP Performance for the First Quarter of 2013

By Philip Trautman, NetApp Technical Consultant



If you read this blog regularly, you know that NetApp recently claimed the “Champion” title for both the FAS2200 and the FAS3200. Now it’s the FAS6200’s turn!


In a recent comparison of performance on the SPC-1 benchmark, SCI chose the FAS6200 as the “Champion of Champions” for Enterprise OLTP for Q1-2013.


The SPC-1 benchmark is designed to, “demonstrate the performance of a storage subsystem while performing the typical functions of business critical applications.” SCI analyzed 25 published benchmark results for storage systems from leading vendors including Fujitsu, HDS, HP, IBM, and NetApp to determine the overall champion.



For OLTP and other business-critical applications, optimum performance is not just a matter of how many I/O operations a storage system can perform—the speed of each operation is critical. In the figure above, I/O performance (IOPS) increases as you go up, and the time needed to complete each I/O operation decreases as you move right. IOPS performance has been normalized to account for the significant configuration differences between the various storage systems including number of disk spindles used, etc.


The NetApp FAS6240 SAN cluster delivers high IOPS with an extremely low response time, putting it in the uppermost corner of the Champions quadrant and making it the clear winner. While this report is based on the FAS6240, the same or better performance should hold for the FAS6250 and FAS6290, which use the same architecture but include enhancements over the FAS6240 design.


The SCI report states that, “NetApp’s Champion showing indicates that its storage would perform on average better than other storage systems when configured with equivalent hardware,” a testimony to the ability of NetApp storage to drive more performance from available resources. The report goes on to note that the FAS6200 delivers the range of capabilities that today’s data centers need to succeed:


In short, some enterprise class storage still lacks the agility or flexibility necessary to meet current storage infrastructure requirements. In contrast, NetApp’s Clustered SAN systems specifically embrace and embody the scale-out and responsive storage capabilities required by today’s more demanding enterprise environments.



The FAS6200 was specifically recognized for:


  • Nondisruptive operations.  With NetApp clusters “upgrades, expansions, and technology refresh can be accomplished while customer data and system storage remain fully online.”
  • Seamless scaling. Additional “storage systems can be added online to a storage cluster to increase capacity (17PB) and/or performance while I/O processing automatically adjusts…”
  • Storage efficiency. With all NetApp FAS and V-Series storage “data can be compressed, deduplicated, thinly provisioned, Snapshotand cloned in a space efficient manner…”
  • Virtual storage tiering. This set of technologies “automatically leverages the highest performance media and flash for the most active data via intelligent, self-learning caching heuristics.”
  • Integrated data protection. NetApp “storage can provide simple and efficient backup, compliance, and disaster recovery functionality.”
  • Service automation. “Policy based storage management…and monitoring with minimal operator interaction.”
  • Secure multi-tenancy. Clustered Data ONTAP provides “secure, isolated partitions for multi-tenant customer environments.”
  • Embedded data security. NetApp offers “data-at-rest encryption with self-encrypting drives, key security from SafetyNet KeySecure…and role-based access control.”


Perhaps because of our NAS heritage and commitment to unified storage, IT decision makers don’t always think of NetApp for mission-critical SAN environments, but the conclusion of the SCI report is clear, “NetApp Clustered SAN systems supply a compelling solution to meet current mission critical storage needs as well as future enterprise storage requirements.”


To find out more, be sure and read the full SCI briefing report. To learn about the recently refreshed FAS6200 series, check out this GetSuccessful video, and don’t forget to watch the new technomercial on the FAS6200 web page that describes some of the many advantages that the FAS6200 delivers for demanding enterprise IT environments.


You can also join or start a conversation on the NetApp Storage System Community page.