Virtualized mixed workload performance on VMware and Storwize V7000

I did some lab work late last year with some guys from the Enterprise Strategy Group.  These guys were pros, and it was a fun learning experience to get to work with them on the project.

The focus of the lab work boiled down to these main goals:

  • Benchmark the IBM Storwize V7000 performance using real-world virtualized workloads.
  • Measure the application performance in this mixed workload environment.
  • Observe the impact of Easy Tier on the virtualized application workloads.

The testing methodology that we used was very similar to the server centric VMmark workload that VMware provides for benchmarking servers, except geared towards storage.   A group of unique workloads are combined into a group called a tile.  The number of tiles is increased to generate more load on the system.  Our tile consisted of 4 workloads:

  • Email – Microsoft JetStress 2010
  • Database – Oracle Orion
  • Web Server – Iometer
  • Large Block Sequential Reader/Backup – Iometer

Those 4 workloads formed a workload tile.  Testing was performed 4 times, each time increasing the number of tiles.

What I found cool and surprising was how good the performance was for the overall V7000 system, and each application.  The chosen workloads have varying block sizes with very different access patterns.  Yet each application was able to achieve a very good performance number with minimal impact to the other applications.

The report can be found at and it includes all of the setup details and configurations used.  I wanted to include a summary of the results:

  • A single Storwize V7000 attached to a pair of x3850 X5 servers running a mix of real-world application workloads in 16 virtual machines supports up to:
    • 54,208 mailboxes using Microsoft Exchange 2010 Jetstress utility
    • and 6,246 database IOs per second for small OLTP IOs with the Oracle Orion utility
    • and 849 MB/sec of throughput for large OLAP Orion operations
    • and 5,015 simulated web server IOPs
    • And 644 MB/sec of throughput for simulated backup jobs
  • Easy Tier with 24 SSDs more than tripled the mixed IO capacity of the V7000 as it noticeably improved application-level performance:
    • 33% faster Exchange database response times
    • 43% faster Oracle OLTP IO response times


This entry was posted in Performance, Storwize V7000 performance, VMware Performance. Bookmark the permalink.

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