XIV Gen3 - A look into FCP and iSCSI performance
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Characterized by its performance and reliability, the Fiber Channel Protocol (FCP) has emerged as the technology of choice for block-based storage access.
While iSCSI over Ethernet has been an option for lower-cost storage networking, the performance limitations and packet loss that are associated with Ethernet have limited the usefulness of iSCSI in demanding storage environments.
With the advent of 10 Gbps Ethernet, and the development of lossless Ethernet technology, internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) is now a viable alternative to Fibre Channel for the deployment of networked storage.
Many customers have already implemented iSCSI for host attachment to storage. At the IBM Edge 2013 XIV Focus Group, 43% of customers indicated that they were using 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) iSCSI for host attachment in their production environments. This was compared to a 15% adoption rate in 2012. The success of existing deployments and the availability of 10GbE has led many customers to examine the use of iSCSI attachment for all of their workloads, including the most demanding high IOPS transactional applications.
Elaine Wood and Thomas Peralto from the IBM XIV Storage team have published the results from head-to-head performance testing of 10 Gb iSCSI and 8 Gb Fibre Channel, accessing a Gen3 XIV and running various workloads.
Tests they performed at the IBM XIV lab in Littleton, MA, showed that 10 Gb iSCSI is capable of delivering very high levels of performance, and is comparable to Fibre Channel across all types of workloads. For large block workloads, iSCSI outperforms Fibre Channel.
You can read the details of their experimentation in the IBM RedPaper publ