One Million IOPS from a Single VM

by on August 27, 2012

VMworld Day One: VMware and Violin set single VM performance record with over one million IOPS on vSphere.

I hope you all made it to VMware CTO Steve Herrod’s keynote earlier today.  As usual Steve was great.  VMware keeps innovating with a newer and bigger vSphere 5.1 now released.  One innovation that I want to talk about is the news that vSphere achieved what no other hypervisor has achieved so far—more than one million IOPs for a single Virtual Machine (VM). It is a great progression from last year when vSphere achieved 1M IOPS with multiple VMs. Guess what storage was behind this new world class record?  Violin Memory 6000 all-flash storage array.  Checkout VMware’s blog for more information and details their outstanding achievement utilizing our industry leading tier 1 storage solution.

Why does this matter?

As compute is becoming faster and fatter, vSphere has kept up in terms of performance and scalability. With vSphere 5.1, a single VM can be as large as 64 vCPUs and 2TB of memory and host large databases or any business critical application. To put disk performance in perspective,  the previous benchmark published last August was utilizing a vast array of spinning disk, while this new record is based on Violin Memory’s single 3U form factor 6616 all-flash Memory Array.

The 0ne million IOPS published last year required a HDD system with 8 engines and 980 top-of- line 15K FC disks. You can do the math on number of racks and the physical/power/cooling requirement of such a configuration While it works for benchmarking, it's not practical for enterprise deployment.

Compare this to today’s vSphere 5.1, the 1Million IOPS performance on a single VM was achieved with just two 3U Violin Memory 6616s with no tuning required (with a little tweaking we probably get this to run on a single array). This is a huge saving on rack space, power and cooling along with reduced manageability. Given there are fewer disks and physical components, the overall system availability and reliability also goes up.  Violin changes the economics when it comes to higher performance application environments.

This amazing achievement by VMware through the use of Violin flash Memory Arrays, showcases that customers can now virtualize their business critical applications like big databases on vSphere and truly get the benefit of virtualization.

Violin continues to be the storage system of choice by various server vendors who are trying to prove the performance value of their solution. In addition to the above participation, we were part of recent Cisco benchmark setting a VMware VMark 2.1 record.  The performance of Violin storage arrays for virtualized environments is further validated by a recent study done by ESG which you can find here.

To conclude, Violin is changing the primary storage market and enterprises can now see the next phase of their virtualization come to fruition with Violin is delivering on the promise of flash as a paradigm shifting technology.

Comments

  1. Todd Richert says:

    FYI , vsphere 5.1 allows for 64 vcpus, not 32.

    1. Vinay Gaonkar says:

      Thanks for correcting.

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