Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

SDN Journal: Blog Feed Post

Server Storage I/O Network Benchmark Winter Olympic Games

Some of these activities including real Olympic game events are heavier on sports appeal

It is time for the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi Russia where competitors including some athletes come together in what has become a mix of sporting and entertainment engaging activities.

Olympic rings image

Games of inches and seconds, performance and skill
Some of these activities including real Olympic game events are heavier on sports appeal, some with artistic and others pure entertainment with a mix of beauty, brawn and maybe even a beast or two. Then there are those events that have been around since the last ice age, while others being post global warming era.

Hence some have been around longer than others showing a mix of old, new in terms of the sports, athletes not to mention technology and their outfits.

Red Bull Crashed Ice

I mean how about some of the new snow boarding and things on skis being done, can you image if they brought in as a new "X" sport roller derby on the short speed skating track sponsored by Red Bull or Bud light? Wait, that sounds like the Red Bull Crashed Ice event (check this out if not familiar with) think motto cross, hockey, down hill on ice. How about getting some of the south African long distance sprinters to learn how to speed skate, talk about moving some gold metal as in medals back to the african continent! On the other hand, the current powers to be would lodge protest, change the benchmark or rules to stay in power, hmm, sound familiar with IT?

Ok, enough of the fun stuff (for now), let's get back on track here (catch that pun?).

Sochi olympic medals

Metrics that matter, winners and losers
Since these are the Olympics, lets also remember that there still awards for personal and team winners (along with second and third place), after all, if all Olympians were winners, there would be no losers and if no losers, how could there be a winner?

Who or what decides the winners vs. losers involves metrics that matter, something that also applies to servers, storage I/O networking hardware, software and services.

In the case of the Olympics, some of the sports or events are based on speed or how fast (e.g. time) something is done, or how much is accumulated or done in that amount of time while in other events the metrics that matter may be more of a mystery based on judging that maybe subjective.

The technologies to record times, scores, movements and other things that go into scoring have certainly improved, as have the ability for fans to engage and vote their choice, or opposition via social media venues from twitter to face book among others.

What about server storage I/O networking benchmarks
There could easily be an Information Technology (IT) or data infrastructure benchmarking Olympics with events such as faster server (physical, virtual or cloud, personal or consortium team), storage, I/O and networking across hardware, software or services. Of course there would be different approaches favored by the various teams with disputes, protests and other things sometimes seen during Olympic games. One of the challenges however is what would be the metrics that matter particularly to the various marketing groups of each organization or their joint consortium?

Just like with sports, which of the various industry trade groups or consortiums would be the ruling party or voice for a particular event specifying the competition criteria, scoring and other things. What happens when there is a break away group that launches their own competing approach yet when it comes time for the IT benchmarking Olympics, which of the various bodies does the Olympic committee defer to? In case you are not familiar with in sports there are various groups and sub-groups who can decide the participants for various supports perhaps independent of an overall group, sound like IT?

Storage I/O trends

Let the games begin
So then the fun starts, however which of the events are relevant to your needs or interest, sure some are fun or entertaining while others are not practical. Some you can do yourself, while others are just fun to watch, both the thrill of victory and agony of defeat.

This is similar to IT industry benchmarking and specmanship competitions, some of which is more relevant than others, then there are those that are entertaining.

Likewise some benchmarks or workload claims can be reproduced to confirm the results or claims, while others remain more like the results of figure skating judges.

Hence some of the benchmark games are more entertaining, however for those who are not aware or informed, they may turn out to be more misinformation or lead to poor decision-making.

Sochi winter olympic app

Consequently benchmarks and metrics that matter are those that most closely aging with what your environment is or will be doing.

If your environment is going to be running a particularly simulation or script, than so be it, otoh, look for comparisons that are reflective.

On the other hand, if you can't find something that is applicable, then look at tools and results that have meaning along with relevance, not to mention that provide clarity and repeatable. Being repeatable means that you can get access to the tools, scripts or scenario (preferably free) to run in your own environment.

There is a long list of benchmarks and workload simulation tools, as well as traces available, some for free, some for fee that apply to components, subsystems or complete application systems from server, storage I/O networking applications and hardware. These include those for Email such as Microsoft Exchange related, SQL databases, , LoginVSI for VDI, VMmark for VMware, Hadoop and HDFS related for big data among many others (see more here).

Apple PieOrange Jello shots

Apples to Apples vs. Apple pie vs. Orange Jello
Something else that matters are apples to apples vs. apples to oranges or worse, apple pie to orange Jello.

This means knowing or gaining insight into the pieces as we as how they behave under different conditions as well as the entire system for a baseline (e.g., normal) vs. abnormal.

Hence its winter server storage I/O networking benchmark games with the first event having been earlier this week with team Brocade taking on Cisco. Here is a link to a post by Tony Bourke (@tbourke) that provides some interesting perspectives and interactions, along with a link here to the Brocade sponsored report done by Evaluator Group.

In this match-up, Team Brocade (with HP servers, Brocade switches and an unnamed 16GFC SSD storage system) take on Team Cisco and their UCS (also an un-named 16GFC SSD system that I wonder if Cisco even knows whose's it was?). Ironic that it was almost six years to the date that there was a similar winter benchmark wonder event when NetApp submitted an SPC result for EMC (read more about that cold day here).

The Brocade FC (using HP servers and somebody's SSD storage) vs. Cisco FCoE using UCS (and somebody else's storage) comparison is actually quite entertaining, granted it can also be educational on what to do or not do, focus on or include among others things. The report also raises many questions that seem more wondering why somebody won in an ice figuring skating event vs. the winner of a men's or women's hockey game.

Closing thoughts (for now)

So here’s my last point and perspective, let's have a side of context with them IOPs, TPS, bandwidth and other metrics that matter.

Take metrics and benchmarks with a grain of salt however look for transparency in both how they are produced, information provided and most important, does it matter or is it relevant to your environment or simply entertaining.

Lets see what the next event in the ongoing server storage I/O networking benchmark 2014 winter Olympic games will be.

Some more reading:
SPC and Storage Benchmarking Games
Moving Beyond the Benchmark Brouhaha
More storage and IO metrics that matter
Its US Census time, What about IT Data Centers?
March Metrics and Measuring Social Media (keep in mind that March Madness is just around the corner)
PUE, Are you Managing Power, Energy or Productivity?
How many IOPS can a HDD, HHDD or SSD do?
Part II: How many IOPS can a HDD, HHDD or SSD do with VMware?

You can also take part in the on-going or re-emerging FC vs. FCoE hype and fud events by casting your vote here and see results below.

[polldaddy poll="6968102"]

Disclosure: I used to work Evaluator Group after working for a company called Inrange that competed with, then got absorbed (via CNT and McData) into Brocade who has been a client as has Cisco. I also do performance and functionality testing, audits, validation and proof of concepts services in my own as well as in client labs using various industry standard available tools and techniques. Otoh, not sure that I even need to disclose anything however its easy enough to do so why not ;).

Ok, nuff said (for now)

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Ok, nuff said (for now)

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2014 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...