IBM SAN Volume Controller 8A4 Hardware: Performance and Scalability with the IBM System Storage DS3400

An IBM Redpaper publication

Published 08 January 2010

Authors: Ed Moffatt, Jon Tate


In this IBM® Redpaper™ publication, we discuss the performance and scalability of a storage area network (SAN) environment that is based around IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) 8A4 hardware and IBM System Storage™ DS3400 storage controllers.

We discuss performance, in terms of I/O per second (IOPS) and MB per second (MBPS), that can be achieved from a single I/O group of SVC 8A4 nodes. By focusing on cache hit I/Os, we demonstrate that the entry level hardware can achieve significant performance benefits in a SAN, thereby offering a suitable alternative to the 8G4 for mid-sized businesses.

In addition, we discuss the performance of IBM DS3400 storage controllers virtualized by an 8A4 cluster. We consider the best RAID configuration for logical unit numbers (LUNs) on the back end and look at the performance that can be achieved on disk reads and writes (cache misses). We examine the relative performance of a SAN with one, two, and three DS3400 controllers managed by the SVC, and thereby demonstrate the effectiveness of the SVC 8A4 and DS3400 as a scalable solution.

Table of contents

Hardware and test details
RAID5 scalability comparisons
RAID10 scalability comparisons
Tables of the results

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