Thursday, August 10, 2006

Filesystem Benchmarks

If you have been reading the zfs-discuss on recently, you would have read that Robert Milkowski has been doing some benchmarks using Sun's StorageTek 3510 FC diskarrays. He has been getting some interesting results that suggest that using ZFS and the 3510 without the hardware RAID controllers is faster than using it with. This is very interesting because the cost of hardware raid controllers can be expensive. If it suits your needs, you can save some cash by using Solaris 10 and ZFS, as both are free!

Since I don't have have a 3510 sitting around to test on, I decided to do a quick benchmark on a spare partition of my laptop to compare ZFS and UFS. We have all been told that ZFS is faster than UFS, but by how much and when is a interesting question.

Using filebench as Robert did, I have started with the varmail workload using the average of three runs to produce the graph below. For each run I created the pool (ZFS) and filesystem, did the three benchmark runs for 60 seconds each, and then destroyed the partition for the next benchmark test.

For ZFS this was

root> zpool create -fm /none benchpool /dev/dsk/c0d0s4
root> zfs create benchpool/mnt
root> zfs set mountpoint=/mnt benchpool/mnt
root> # Set options zfs options e.g. zfs set atime=off benchpool/mnt
root> /opt/filebench/bin/filebench
filebench> load varmail
filebench> set $dir=/mnt/zfstest
filebench> run 60
root> zfs destroy benchpool/mnt
root> zpool destroy benchpool

For UFS -

root> newfs /dev/dsk/c0d0s4
root> mount -o noatime -F ufs /dev/dsk/c0d0s4 /mnt
root> # -o noatime is the option for this test
root> /opt/filebench/bin/filebench
filebench> load varmail
filebench> set $dir=/mnt/zfstest
filebench> run 60
root> umount /mnt

As you can see ZFS is indeed faster for this benchmark than UFS. To be fair, and to compare apples to apples, I should have combined UFS with the Solaris Volume Manager (SVM). This most likely seen a greater gap between ZFS and UFS. One thing it shows, is that a Acer Ferrari 4005 maybe a nice laptop, but it makes a horrible mailserver :(

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