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ONStor, 3PAR Claim Storage Performance Record

SAN filer start-up ONStor and utility storage company 3PAR have partnered to set a new storage performance benchmark record.

The companies' products working together on a dual node installation, the configuration most commonly found in corporate data centers, delivered the highest throughput ever recorded on an industry-standard file services benchmark.

"It's the configuration that probably matters the most to companies," says Craig Nunes, 3PAR's senior director of product marketing. "It's a great demo in the practical sense."

The ONStor SF4440 SAN Filer and the 3PAR InServ Storage Server with Thin Provisioning was measured with the SPEC SFS97 3.0 test suite, the latest version of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation's benchmark that measures NFS file server throughput and response time for cross-vendor performance comparisons. The combined solution demonstrated performance of 71,334 SPEC SFS operations per second (with an overall response time of 1.69 milliseconds), the fastest to date for file servers measured in the common two-node configuration.

The two companies also posted a benchmark of 35,624 SPEC SFS operations (overall response time of 1.72 milliseconds) for a single SF4440 SAN filer, which the companies say proves the solution's unique ability to scale performance linearly.

"Impressive – and not just the numbers," says Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group (ESG). "With the two of them, I can build true utility storage infrastructure for blocks AND files. How can you argue with that?"

It's also the first benchmark to be published with 3PAR's Thin Provisioning technology, which the company claims can save corporations millions by allowing administrators to over-commit logical capacity to file systems and applications while provisioning physical capacity on an as-needed basis, eliminating over-provisioning. The SPEC benchmark application was provisioned with about 2 TB of logical capacity, but only consumed 680 gigabytes of physical disk capacity, a savings of two-thirds.

Nunes says the open solution can consolidate multiple filers into a single pool, "a terrific financial win for customers," and ONStor marketing VP Peter Tarrant calls the approach "just-in-time, very efficient use of storage."

The ONStor SAN Filer starts at $85,000, which Tarrant says is half the cost of competing offerings from the likes of NetApp. 3PAR's Storage Server starts at about $100,000, with a typical configuration costing $250,000-$300,000.

The two companies also announced a technology and marketing relationship, a cooperative support agreement, and their first joint customer win with an unnamed Global 1000 consumer electronics manufacturer.

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