Intel Squeezes 1 Million IOPS Over A Single Gigabit Ethernet Link

Jan 20, 2010 by John Messina report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Intel and Microsoft, last week, discussed their iSCSI performance results in achieving 1 million IOPS on a two-socket desktop tower. According to Rick Coulson of Intel Corp, the secret behind this is having SSDs tightly coupled to a host in a highly tuned setup.

Since SSDs are about 100 times faster in terms of than hard drives, there are some performance bottlenecks that need to be overcome. The physical interface along with the protocols, software driver, and the chipset interface all need to be optimized for performance.

Microsoft and Intel passed a million IOPS with small blocks. Larger size blocks still delivered solid performance.

According to Coulson, by optimizing some parameters like, interrupts, driver software and the physical interface between the SSDs and the system we can expect to see gains in power and performance.

The test setup consisted of a quad-core 3.2 GHz Xeon 5580 server running Windows Server 2008 R2. It was connected with an X520-2 10 gigabyte Ethernet Server Adapter using the 82599EB controller. A Cisco switch fanned this out to 10 running iSCSI target software.

A second configuration running Microsoft’s Hyper-V server hypervisor was also benchmarked. Intel’s VMDq and Microsoft’s VMQ allowed guest operating systems to achieve these performance levels. Ten iSCSI targets were routed to ten guest instances over virtual network links.

Hyper-V performance matched the native number at higher block sizes.

A Xeon server fanned out through a Cisco Nexus switch to 10 iSCSI targets in the lab.

According to Rick Coulson, 1 million IOPS achieved in this test is equivalent to about 4 gigabytes per second of storage bandwidth. To put this in perspective, this is about 5,000 disk drives worth of random performance. Coulson admits that this setup, in Intel’s lab, had everything tweaked for performance but 1 million IOPS is a lot of desktop I/O.

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User comments : 12

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RayCherry
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2010
10Gbps Ethernet hardware? We are just completing the 1Gbps Ethernet cycle. Not a good time to advertise lab results to an industry hungry for ROI on existing investments.
SongDog
5 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2010
IOPS? Might as well cite BogoMIPS too.
Phelankell
1.5 / 5 (2) Jan 20, 2010
10Gbps Ethernet hardware? We are just completing the 1Gbps Ethernet cycle. Not a good time to advertise lab results to an industry hungry for ROI on existing investments.

10GBe isn't that uncommon at the enterprise level.
fuzz54
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2010
5 GByte/s ethernet will be commercially available within 5-10 years. It's already close to being available for high end users with server farms that need fast and cheap communication.
Phelankell
not rated yet Jan 20, 2010
5 GByte/s ethernet will be commercially available within 5-10 years.
10GB ethernet is predicted to be commercially available within 6 months. Where are you getting 5 to 10 years from?
fuzz54
not rated yet Jan 20, 2010
IOPS? Might as well cite BogoMIPS too.
IOPs are the best measure of a processors data processing potential, so this is a great way to indicate how much of a bottleneck the ethernet cable is to a processor's output.
fuzz54
not rated yet Jan 20, 2010
5 GByte/s ethernet will be commercially available within 5-10 years.
10GB ethernet is predicted to be commercially available within 6 months. Where are you getting 5 to 10 years from?
I think you're quoting 10 Gbit Ethernet. I was talking about 5 Gbyte Ethernet or 40 Gbits.
Fazer
not rated yet Jan 20, 2010
Just for info purposes, I installed Cat6 Augmented, 10Gbit twisted pair, throughout a data center nearly two years ago.
RayCherry
not rated yet Jan 21, 2010
Goes to show, the waves of technology churn are getting bigger and moving slower. Hope the old tech (less than five year old) can be reused or recycled somewhere.

I'm talking CAT-5 cables, cards and switches/hubs. Must be billions of units of tech that have many years of service remaining, and millions of dollars of materials and manufacturing.
T2Nav
not rated yet Jan 21, 2010
Since the author never defined what an IOP is, this is a meaningless article.
Phelankell
not rated yet Jan 21, 2010
I think you're quoting 10 Gbit Ethernet. I was talking about 5 Gbyte Ethernet or 40 Gbits.

Quite correct, I recant. However, one would assume fiber would be a better alternative considering the inherent heat and longevity issues with copper.
I'm talking CAT-5 cables, cards and switches/hubs. Must be billions of units of tech that have many years of service remaining, and millions of dollars of materials and manufacturing.

Yep. KVMs, phones, and low volt data applications like home security, video feeds, etc tend to take up the repurposing aspect. Plus you have to recognize that the development of VoIP didn't make everyone throw their phone away the next day. It takes time, and most people replace infrastructure when it's broken and not before.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Jan 24, 2010
Since the author never defined what an IOP is, this is a meaningless article.


It does get ridiculous the way computer acronyms are never defined in articles, so unless you are an engineer on the actual team that made it up, you have no clue what the damn thing means or does...

About the only thing I get out of this is "faster data transfer"....yay...now the porn industry can spread faster than ever to corrupt our young people, and tax offices will be 10-20 years behind in computer tech instead of 5-10.

It's a shame robotics and other electronic technologies are so far behind the computation and communication technologies.