In our benchmarks between OpenSolaris b134, NexentaStor Enterprise, and a Promise VTrack M610i box, we found that OpenSolaris consistently outperformed NexentaStor. We were never really quite sure why, since NexentaStor is based on Nexenta Core Platform and Nexenta Core Platform was based on OpenSolaris b134. We expected NexentaStor to match the performance of OpenSolaris, but it simply did not.
One theory we had for the performance difference was that the web GUI in NexentaStor used enough system memory that NexentaStor had significantly less ARC cache available and was therefore at a performance disadvantage to OpenSolaris. This got us curious about how Nexenta Core Platform would perform relative to OpenSolaris and NexentaStor.
We decided to benchmark Nexenta Core Platform using the same hardware and benchmarks that we have used for all of the previous benchmark runs. The results exceeded our expectations.
4k Benchmark Results:
8k Benchmark Results:
16k Benchmark Results:
32k Benchmark Results:
Keep in mind that Nexenta Core Platform is based on OpenSolaris b134, and NexentaStor is based on Nexenta Core Platform. We are now left wondering why there is such a big performance gap between Nexenta Core Platform and NexentaStor. Nexenta Core Platform is very fast. We would have assumed that NexentaStor Enterprise would be just as fast, since it is Nexenta’s flagship product and it is based on Nexenta Core Platform.
There are some reasons to still choose NexentaStor over Nexenta Core Platform. The web GUI is useful for people who don’t want to use the command line. I personally really like the command line for ZFS, but I can understand why some people would prefer the web GUI.
The other advantage of NexentaStor is considerably more important. With OpenSolaris and Nexenta Core Platform, there is no built-in solution for handling notifications (such as drive failures) or for identifying a failed hard drive with a LED light on the front of the chassis. The only way to add these functions to OpenSolaris and Nexenta Core Platform is through custom scripting. With NexentaStor, these two functions are built-in. That means NexentaStor is ready to use as a SAN or NAS solution the moment you install it. So even though NexentaStor did not win in these performance benchmarks, it is still a very serious contender given its management features.
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