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To use 16Gbps Fibre Channel or not - that is the question

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpgBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vExpert 2011, 2012, 2013.png

Yesterday my colleague Rohan Viegas told you about the new 16Gb Fibre Channel SAN Switch for the BladeSystem.  Today I have what I think is a great follow-up to his blog post. 

 

The question of when do I upgrade my storage network or more fundamentally should I move to the latest generation is often asked.  I was fortunate to get some time with Dennis Martin.  Dennis is the founder and President of Demartek.  Dennis spends a few seconds introducing you to his company but here's a short description from his website: Demartek conducts research and lab testing resulting in white papers and product comparison reports. Demartek focuses on industry analysis and lab validation testing of server, network, storage and security technologies.

 

Demartek looked into the question of 16Gbps Fibre Channel compared to 8Gbps.  In the podcast with Dennis, he shares the results of the testing he did -and its real-world testing using an SQL database, not just running IOmeter or some synthetic workload. 

 

Again from Demartek's website, here's a description of the testing they did:  Demartek deployed an HP ProLiant DL380 Gen8 Server with the HP StoreFabric SN1000E 16GFC HBA and connected this server to an HP StoreServ Storage 7450 all-flash array with four 8GFC host ports. We ran a read-intensive data warehouse workload based on the TPC Benchmark™ standard to determine whether this type of workload could take advantage of the increased bandwidth and performance that Gen 5 Fibre Channel provides. We repeated the database workload test with a previous-generation HP StoreFabric 82E 8Gb Fibre Channel HBA and compared the results.

 

Here's the podcast I did with Dennis talking about the results:

 

 

If you want to read the details of the testing Demartek did, you can access the paper "Demartek Evaluation of HP StoreFabric SN1000E 16GFC HBA."  I also have attached a PDF that Dennis and I were talking about during the podcast that summarizes the testing and results. 

A big thank you to Janice at Emulex for calling my attention to this - thanks!

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