In January of 2005, Emulex expanded upon previous comparative performance testing efforts that it conducted earlier, in June 2004, which had revealed significant performance advantages over QLogic’s current HBA product offering.
To recap, in those tests Emulex midrange HBA products consistently outperformed QLogic’s enterprise HBA product offering by 25-50 percent in a variety of easily verifiable and reproducible tests that were designed to accurately emulate end user environments. In addition, ‘mixed workload’ testing (I/O profiles of differing block sizes and destinations processed on the same HBA port) was conducted that revealed even more pronounced Emulex performance advantages — as is the case when a single HBA port is used concurrently for disk operations while also performing streaming backup.
These tests utilised one leading storage provider’s server product and accompanying recommended server and HBA settings (test report available at www.emulex.com).
Introduction In January of 2005, Emulex expanded upon previous comparative performance testing efforts that it conducted earlier, in June 2004, which had revealed significant performance advantages over QLogic s current HBA product offering. To recap, in those tests Emulex midrange HBA products consistently outperformed QLogic s enterprise HBA product offering by 25-50% in a variety of easily verifiable and reproducible tests that were designed to accurately emulate end user environments. In addition, mixed workload testing (I/O profiles of differing block sizes and destinations are processed on the same HBA port) was conducted that reveled even more pronounced Emulex performance advantages as is the case when a single HBA port is used concurrently for disk operations while also performing streaming backup. These first tests utilized one leading storage provider s server product and accompanying recommended server and HBA settings (test report available at www.emulex.com).In this latest test series, both Emulex enterprise and midrange HBAs were pitted against QLogic s current enterprise offering. The expectation was that the performance advantages for the Emulex enterprise LP10000 HBA would increase even further and it most certainly did (up to 90% faster in read operations and up 160% faster in write operations).To further underscore the consistency with which Emulex HBAs outperform QLogic s, another leading storage provider s server product (The New Dell 2800) and recommended settings were employed. This latest brief summarizes the new test data, provides an explanation of the test environment and points out the underlying reasons behind the inherent performance advantages in Emulex HBAs.Why Performance Matters Increased HBA performance (higher IOPS and bandwidth) delivers tangible benefits for SAN environments that benefit both solution providers and end users:" transactional processing speed increases, which for solutions Dell" PowerEdge" 2800 comparative performance data and test results for Emulex and QLogic HBAswww.emulex.comTechnology BriefUntitled Documentwww.emulex.comproviders can result in the potential for higher TPC testing scores for their systems" the ability for the HBA to remain transparent to increasing system performance requirements over time is extended, affording investment protection to users as they integrate new generations of speed into their SAN environment" allows the full potential of the system to be achieved with potentially fewer HBAs or other system hardwareTest Environment The tests were conducted using the most current products and firmware available from both companies, and employed broadly accepted industry testing standards designed to isolate HBA performance results. These tests are easily replicated for results verification.Two Emulex enterprise HBA products were individually tested against the most currently available QLogic enterprise HBA offering in a common configuration with care taken to use a current Dell recommended server and HBA configuration settings.The three HBAs tested were the Emulex LP10000, Emulex LP982, and QLogic QLA2340. Supporting test equipment and configuration included: Dell 2800, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Texas Memory Systems RAMSAN 300, 7 2Gb/s ports connected to Brocade 3200 switch and 12 1GB LUNs. Iometer 2003.12.16 was used.Test Results Both the Emulex LP982 and the LP10000 HBAs significantly outperformed the QLogic QLA2340 across all sequential reads/writes IOPS and throughput tests, consistently logging in performance advantages of between 27% and 160%. The most severely pronounced performance difference amongst these results was seen in sequential writes testing, in which a linear advantage of approximately 160% was maintained by the Emulex LP10000 in block sizes ranging from 512B to 2K. Actual performance data captured in these tests can be seen in Figures 1 and 2 in this report.70,00060,00050,00040,00030,00020,000512B 1K 2K 4K 8KBLOCK SIZELP10000LP982QLA234090% FasterFigure 1: Read sequential IOPsFigure 2: Write sequential IOPs60,00050,00040,00030,00020,00010,000512B 1K 2K 4K 8KBLOCK SIZELP10000LP982QLA2340160% FasterUntitled DocumentSummary and Conclusions Central to the consistently superior levels of performance achieved by the Emulex HBAs in this performance testing was a new release of firmware (1.90a4 available for LP98X and LP10XXX series HBAs) that was first announced by Emulex Corporation in February of 2004 while still in its OEM qualification stage. The firmware leverages the unique Emulex firmware based architecture to deliver enhanced performance levels in all operating environments, including Windows, Linux and Solaris, and for multiple generations of Emulex HBAs dating back to 1995. It should be noted that all Emulex HBAs shipped since 1995 are the beneficiaries of this unique firmware upgradeable architecture as are future HBA product generations. See the section titled The Unique Advantages of Emulex s HBA Architectural Design at the end of this report for more detailed explanation of Emulex s firmware based HBA architecture.The comparative testing that revealed distinct performance differences between current Emulex and QLogic HBA products is the beginning but certainly not the end of the architectural design advantages inherent in Emulex products. Emulex s performance advantages, management tools and implementations of systems upgrades (such as its full, from the ground up implementation of the Microsoft Storport driver) reflect the company s commitment to providing the most robust, yet flexible networking infrastructure for its customers and end users.Emulex would be pleased to discuss these test results in more depth, and address any questions regarding Emulex products. For more information, or additional copies of this test report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org,0007,0005,0003,0001,000LP10000Disk 4k Read IOpsTape 64k Write IOpsQLA2340LP982835065113130267826483213LP10000 is 160% faster!Figure 3: Disk and streaming backup performance on a single HBA. Disk and Streaming Backup workload simulation is an indicator of what can be expected when using a single HBA for simultaneous disk and tape operations. For Mixed Workload testing iometer is set up with two managers. One is used for 4k read operations only, the other for 64k writes only. Each manager has four workers. Each manager is connected to dedicated storage LUNs.Mixed Environment Testing Equally compelling were the mixed environment test results, where large and small block data was combined to emulate performance differences that could be expected when a single HBA is used for both transactional disk and streaming backup operations. Figure 3 (Disk and streaming backup performance on a single HBA) reveals the significant performance advantages associated with Emulex HBAs in this user application environment. It is important to note that all Emulex HBAs process data at the frame level the smallest level of data accessible in the Fibre Channel protocol. This exclusive design feature of Emulex s HBAs allows small block I/O (such as database transactions) to continue to be executed by interleaving I/O at the frame level, even if a large file is being sent to a tape library making Emulex HBAs particularly effective in this application environment.Untitled DocumentSince 1995, all Emulex HBAs have incorporated a unique firmware upgradeable Service Level Interface (SLI) based architecture that that offers users, OEMs and channel partners distinct advantages over competing HBA products.Benefits available only to Emulex users include:" Seamless non disruptive firmware upgrades for HBAs while online with no reboots and no requalification of drivers in any OS" Significant performance upgrades" Simplified upgradeability of features for previously installed HBAs" Future upgradeability to accommodate OS and standards changes" Investment protection and extended product life" Simplified SAN management " Lower operational and management costsAt the heart of these benefits is Emulex s Service Level Interface (SLI) based architecture.What is SLI? The Emulex SLI provides a consistent interface between the device driver software and the firmware and hardware associated with the HBA. By abstracting the software driver from the hardware/firmware components, the Emulex SLI allows either software or firmware/hardware to be upgraded independently of each other. Using the SLI, any generation of Emulex hardware can operate with any Emulex or third party driver. Multiple generations of Emulex hardware can be run in the same SAN or even server without the need to manage different versions of software drivers.How End Users, OEMs and Channel Partners Benefit from the Emulex SLI End users benefit greatly from reduced SAN management costs as a result of the Emulex SLI. Especially in large SANs, managing many separate HBA device drivers for multiple generations of HBAs can be a time consuming task. Using Emulex hardware based on the SLI, a single device driver binary can be deployed for all generations of HBAs within a given Operating System environment. As a result, end users can take advantage of new generations of hardware, supporting new features, without risking their current hardware investment. In many cases, new features will be available on existing hardware as well with a simple driver or firmware upgrade across the entire SAN. The use of the Emulex HBAnyware centralized HBA management suite makes this task simple as well.The numerous benefits from the use of the Emulex SLI extend to third party developers, OEMs and Channel partners as well. Once end users, third party developers, or OEMs have invested time and resources into developing, qualifying, and training staff on solutions, there is little value in repeating this task as newer hardware becomes available. Utilizing the Emulex SLI, investment in one generation of hardware can be leveraged to new generations of Emulex hardware at minimal cost. As a result, OEMs and end users can obtain the benefits of new features, denser formats, and lower costs while optimizing the use of their resources.The Unique Advantages of Emulex s HBA Architectural DesignThis report is the property of Emulex Corporation and may not be duplicated without permission from the Company. | April, 200505-263 4/05Corporate HQ 3333 Susan Street Costa Mesa CA 92626 714 662.5600 | Wokingham U.K. (44) 118 977 2929 | Paris France (33) 41 91 19 90 | Beijing China (86 10) 6849 9547www.emulex.com