A key trend in modern data centers is implementation of software defined storage, like the open-source software distribution, Ceph. The open source software community was an early adopter in moving workloads to Arm Neoverse. All types of application users are experiencing performance benefits and cost savings by switching to Arm-based platforms, like Lenovo platforms that are based on Ampere Computing CPUs.
Delivering better-than-x86 performance at lower TCO is a value proposition that we set out to establish with Arm Neoverse. Our news today is no exception. Last November, a group within SUSE submitted the first Ceph-based result for a storage and metadata benchmark called the IO500 10 Node Challenge, achieving a score of 12.43 using a Xeon Gold 6142-based cluster. Through a six-way collaboration between Arm, Ampere, the same group at SUSE, Mellanox (Nvidia), Micron, and Broadcom, we thought we could do better. And today we're excited to announce that an Arm-based cluster, using Ampere eMAG CPUs, achieved a Ceph-based score of 15.61, consuming far less power and at considerably lower price, on the IO500 10 Node Challenge benchmark.
If you are new to Ceph, here’s some background. Ceph enables deployment of distributed storage systems that are designed for scalability, reliability, and performance. A Ceph cluster can be run on commodity servers over a common network like Ethernet. Ceph clusters scale up well to thousands of servers and into the petabyte range.
Although achieving this result was a group effort, Arm contributed with multiple years of incremental improvements on Ceph and other related open-source software projects. These contributions include: • 100+ upstreamed patches to improve Ceph storage ecosystem on Arm servers, covering multiple open source communities includes Ceph, Ceph-CSI, SPDK, DPDK, ISA-L, and OpenStack. • Boosted Ceph performance on Arm with optimizations in its common routines like string handling, dcache hashing, and CRC32. • Added 64KB kernel page support to Ceph. This support is a unique feature on Arm, which enhanced SPDK integration with considerable performance uplift achieved.
The IO500 benchmark was established in 2017 to compliment the TOP500 benchmark (recently topped by the Arm-based Fugaku supercomputer) but with a focus on storage sub-system performance. While the IO500 test aims for maximum performance from an unbounded number of clients and servers, the ten-node challenge limits clients to ten. This challenge focuses on achieving the best storage throughput and metadata performance from a smaller set of systems. This challenge also demonstrates that, if the performance of Ceph on Arm is good enough for HPC workloads, it should also be suitable for a large portion of the enterprise storage market.
Ceph may not be the first name you think of when it comes to high-performance computing storage filesystems. However, Ceph is seeing broader consideration and adoption in HPC but also in media, telecommunications, cloud computing, and elsewhere. Similarly, Ampere Computing may not be a household name (yet) but on the IO500 benchmark 10 Node Challenge, Ampere Computing’s eMAG CPU has shown that it can offer more performance on a Ceph-based cluster (see Figure 1) while offering significant CapEx savings (see Figure 2) over last November's Xeon-based alternative1.
The test cluster setup that we used for this benchmark includes:• Memory and NVMe-based SSDs from Micron• An NVMe storage controller from Broadcom• Dual 100GbE networking from Mellanox (Nvidia)
We chose NVMe-based storage for this test because that is what more and more customers are choosing. Although 100GbE networking might still be on the leading edge, there is broad acknowledgement that faster networking will be required to keep up with an ever increasing deluge of data.
So what did we learn? First, out-of-the-box Ceph runs well on the Ampere eMAG CPU, showing a 26% performance improvement over the Intel Xeon Gold 6142 comparison cluster. It also consumes far less power under test. The Arm-based cluster consumed, at most, 152 Watts per server. This is more than 50% lower than the 310 W that SUSE observed on the Xeon-based servers. This is important for storage environments, because reduced ambient temperatures can greatly improve the reliability of HDD and SSD-based storage devices. And have I mentioned the potential 40% CapEx savings?
We are grateful to all of the partners involved in achieving this result. We would like to send a special thanks to the team at SUSE who maintained the cluster and performed all of the testing. You can read more details about setting up, tuning and running the cluster in SUSE's CephFS blog.
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Cluster configuration details:
2. Cluster price is estimated “street pricing” for both clusters obtained from public sources such as CDW.com, Lenovo.com and Newegg.com during the month of July 2020.
Recent tests have shown that Arm-based servers can deliver excellent performance for Ceph storage at a significantly lower cost than x86-based servers. For example, Arm-based servers running the Marvell ThunderX2 processor have been shown to deliver up to 50% higher performance compared to x86-based servers for Ceph storage workloads, while using up to 33% less power.
This article discusses the benefits of using Arm-based platforms, such as Lenovo platforms that use Ampere Computing CPUs, for software-defined storage, specifically Ceph. Ceph is a distributed storage system that is designed for scalability, reliability, and performance. The article discusses the recent achievement of a Ceph-based score of 15.61 on the IO500 10 Node Challenge benchmark using an Arm-based cluster with Ampere eMAG CPUs, consuming far less power and at a considerably lower price than a Xeon Gold 6142-based cluster. The article also highlights the contributions of Arm to Ceph and other related open-source software projects, including upstreamed patches, performance optimizations, and added kernel page support. The article concludes by noting that reduced power consumption can improve the reliability of storage devices and that there is potential for significant CapEx savings with Arm-based platforms. Storage units in Kendall
Great news! Taking your storage beyond the traditional x86 platform will give your organization many benefits: lower cost, better performance, outstanding reliability, and reduced power consumption.
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The article also details the contributions made by Arm to Ceph and other related open-source software projects, including upstreamed patches to improve Ceph storage ecosystem on Arm servers, boosting Ceph performance on Arm, and adding 64KB kernel page support to Ceph. Finally, the article notes that Ceph is seeing broader consideration and adoption in high-performance computing, media, telecommunications, cloud computing, and elsewhere, and that Arm-based solutions like Ampere Computing's eMAG CPU can offer better performance and significant CapEx savings. Cincinnati SEO company
This is important for storage environments, because reduced ambient temperatures can greatly improve the reliability of HDD and SSD-based storage devices. Room Additions & Bump Out Additions