Data ONTAP Unified (NAS and SAN) Cluster Benchmark Performance

This blog is part of a series on Data ONTAP 8 clustering, and provides an overview of NetApp unified scale out performance.  NetApp has published both SAN and NAS performance numbers based on industry-standard benchmarks.


Data ONTAP 8.1 blog series:

1.       Why Scale-Out & What’s New.

2.       Unified Scale-Out – What’s Supported & Why It’s Unique

3.       Nondisruptive Operations – What Does it Mean?

4.       Enterprise Ready Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode

5.       What’s Included In A Cluster Configuration

6.       Data ONTAP 8 Clustering – Multitenancy Designed In

7.       ESG Lab Validation of Data ONTAP 8.1 Unified Clustering

8.     Storage Monitoring Made Easy:  A Video Demonstration of Data ONTAP 8 Operating in Cluster-Mode


NetApp has recently benchmarked Data ONTAP Cluster-Mode performance for both SAN and NAS storage clusters.  The FAS6240 storage system was used to show how enterprise storage could perform in Cluster-Mode for more challenging data centers.  The FAS6280, which is targeted at the most demanding data centers, is expected to demonstrate even better file and block performance.




NetApp NAS (file) Clustering Performance


NetApp evaluated Cluster-Mode file services performance using the SPECsfs benchmark. A cluster of FAS6240 nodes demonstrated linear scaling as nodes are added with a maximum performance of over 1.5 million SPECsfs2008_nfs.v3 ops/sec using 24 nodes.  Specific details are available from the SPECsfs2008 results website

This performance shows that Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode has the scalability and performance to accommodate any workload. More details of  these results have been described in a previous blog.


NetApp SAN (block) Clustering Performance


NetApp recently submitted a 6-node FAS6240 storage cluster for Storage Performance Council SPC-1 block performance testing running Data ONTAP 8.1.1.  Specific details are available from the SPC-1 results website


The results for NetApp’s Cluster-Mode SPC-1 benchmark were 250,039 SPC-1 IOPS™ (I/O operations per second), $6.69 $/IOPS™ ($ per I/O operations per second) and a LRT™ (least response time) of 0.99 milliseconds.  The modular scale-out model of NetApp provides the foundation for continued growth as both controller performance and node count increases over time.  In terms of relative performance, the 6-Node FAS6240 is in the top 10% of submitted configurations as measured by LRT and the IOPs measures represent a 267% increase in performance and 12% reduction in cost relative to the FAS3270 SPC-1 publication. Further, NetApp uses list pricing in their SPC-1 submissions while almost all other vendors use discounted pricing, resulting in a $/IOPS that is both more conservative and verifiable than the competition



NetApp’s Unified (NAS and SAN) Scale-Out Storage


As discussed above, NetApp storage clusters have been validated with both industry standard file and block storage benchmarks and as such, are unquestionably enterprise ready.  As further proof, NetApp unified scale-out storage supports the following partial list of applications, virtualization systems and operating systems:


  • Software applications – Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange and SAP
  • Server virtualization systems – Microsoft, VMware and Citrix,
  • Operating systems - HP-UX, AIX, Red Hat, SLES, Solaris and Windows.


Given this wide array of compatibility, NetApp storage clusters can readily support virtually any file or block services environment existing today.  NetApp is the only storage vendor that supports both file and block storage clusters with a single operating system and suite of software.



The next blog in this series will focus on the new release of Data ONTAP – version 8.1.1



Mike McNamara


nice slower and cheaper as HPs StoreServ 7400.


SORRY means expensive!