IBM's SAN Volume Controller has done the benchmark business, again, and passed the half million SPC-1 IOPS mark using Storwize V7000 storage.
The Storage Performance Council-1 benchmark measures the ability of a storage configuration to respond to I/O requests, counting SPC-1 I/Os per second (IOPS). The scenario is said to be characteristic of typical business applications.
The configuration (PDF) used the SVC v 6.2 release and Storwize V7000 disk drive arrays with a total capacity of 281.9TB and system cost of $3,598,956. It scored 520,043.99 SPC-1 IOPS at a cost of $6.92/IOPS, marginally more than the previous record-holder (and now number two) 3PAR P10000 system, which scored 450,212.68 IOPS at a cost of $6.59/IOPS and total system cost of $2,965,892.
The total ASU capacity was 97.6TB, this being "the total storage capacity read and written in the course of executing the SPC-1 benchmark". There were eight CG8 SVC Storage Engine models used, a 24-port Brocade Fibre Channel switch, and 16 x 2-node V7000 arrays: 1,920 2.5-inch, 146GB, 15,000rpm disk drives in total.
The SVC could have used some solid state storage but did not necessarily need it. IBM Blogger Barry Whyte provides background here. He shows graphs indicating that the IBM configuration degraded more gracefully as the full load was reached compared to the 3PAR system.
He also has a table showing both IBM and 3PAR both used 1,920 15K rpm disk drives. It is a tad surprising that no supplier has yet tried an all-flash SPC-1 benchmark. Possibly the total system cost would be so high as to put people off. ®