That… Could Be A Problem…

21Feb/130

Fusion-IO Caching Tests…

After some issues with the setup and configuration of the Fusion-IO ioCache cards we picked up, I finally got to dig in and do some basic testing with IOMeter.

To setup the test, I configured a new 20GB VMDK on it's own paravirtualized SCSI Controller. The drive was formatted NTFS in a full/non-quick method as the F: drive. The IOMeter test was run on a single worker against the entire F: drive. The All-in-one test was selected and run for 20 minutes.

First up, I tested the drive all by itself with no caching enabled:

IOps: 1348.69 Read IOps: 670.1738 Write IOps: 678.5159

Next, I tested Volume based caching. I started off by making the following modifications to the Fusion-IO tab within vCenter as follows to add only the F: drive to the Volume Caching Filter:
Volume Based Caching

Then I reset the F: drive by formatting it again as NTFS in a full/non-quick method. Once the format was complete, I reran the IOMeter test and received these results:

IOps: 1486.163 Read IOps: 737.5608 Write IOps: 748.6018

Lastly, I tested the Drive based caching. I went back to the Fusion-IO tab within vCenter and removed the Volume Caching Filter on the F: drive and then set the Drive Caching Filter to Drive1 (Drive0 was the drive the OS was installed on, Drive2 was the drive which is attached by FusionIO automatically):
Drive Based Caching

Then I reset the F: drive by formatting it again as NTFS in a full/non-quick method. Once the format was complete, I reran the IOMeter test and received these results:

IOps: 1509.644 Read IOps: 748.7889 Write IOps: 760.8555

I also managed to grab a shot of the Performance graphs for the disk during the tests via vSphere client: (pardon the lapse between 2PM and 3PM on the graph)
Performance Graph on Disk

So to review and put the results all on the same table:

No Caching Enabled IOps: 1348.69 Read IOps: 670.1738 Write IOps: 678.5159
Volume Caching Enabled IOps: 1486.163 Read IOps: 737.5608 Write IOps: 748.6018
Drive Caching Enabled IOps: 1509.644 Read IOps: 748.7889 Write IOps: 760.8555

Remember, these are just initial results with nothing but having the card installed, drivers installed, firmware upgraded, ioTurbine installed, and the guest package installed. While some of the results weren't exactly what I was expecting, I'm pretty excited to dig in deeper to see what kind of performance we can gain out of these cards.

Small update...

While this particular blog post is about caching, since that's how these cards will be used in this environment, I couldn't help but go back, mount the Fusion-IO card as VMFS storage, SvMotion the F: drive over to the Fusion-IO VMFS datastore and run the test again. So once again, the F: drive was formatted as NTFS in a full/non-quick method. Once the format was complete, I reran the IOMeter test and received these results:

IOps: 5443.904 Read IOps: 2700.201 Write IOps: 2743.703
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