Around the Storage Block
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

SQL Testing on 3PAR All-Flash: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again!



New Demartek report: HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 All-Flash Array with end-to-end 16Gb Fibre Channel drives improved SQL Server outcomes and simplifies SAN deployment with HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR technology.

It’s déjà vu all over again!” Baseball always evokes memories Baseball 3PAR All-Flash Blog.jpgof this famous Yogi-ism” from Yogi Berra. It’s certainly an appropriate context here, in light of this repeat evaluation engagement with Demartek for SQL Server testing on the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 All-Flash Array (AFA).

For this year’s Demartek evaluation, similar to the Demartek evaluation released in 2015, storage area network (SAN) infrastructure that includes legacy 8bGbFC and Gen 5 16Gb FC HPE SN1100E StoreFabric Fibre Channel adapters from Emulex (Broadcom) and the HPE StoreFabric SN6000B Fibre Channel Switch was separately and independently connected to an HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 AFA. An HPE ProLiant DL 380 Gen9 Server running SQL Server completed the configuration. HPE StoreFabric Fibre Channel adapters from QLogic were also part of the test matrix. 

Why what Yogi said applies here

In “The Yogi Book”, Berra explained that this quote resulted from witnessing Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris repeatedly hitting back-to-back home runs playing for the Yankees. The results from this year’s application-level testing of the HPE StoreServ 8450 AFA and networking infrastructure would have definitely given Yogi a sense of déjà vu. According to the new Demartek report, the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 delivers another home run, like the HPE StoreServ 7450 in the 2015 evaluation. 

Key findings and results of the HPE 3PAR SQL Server Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) testing

The Demartek testing focused on measuring transactional aspects of storage performance for a SQL Server OLTP workload. End-to-end IO performance helps you achieve better business outcomes for your SQL Server deployments, such as more orders or product page views per minute at flash speeds. Latency was the critical metric for this report.

Demartek reported the following results from its independent testing, comparing 16GFC performance against legacy 8GFC performance:

  • 69% reduction in server-side latency (with 16GFC connectivity).
  • 2x increase in SQL server transactions/second to drive better business outcomes. 

Note: “No application or hardware tuning was done to optimize application performance over Gen 5 16GFC. With additional application loading or tuning, performance would likely have been driven even higher." 


  Note: The 8GFC infrastructure was initially “force” operated at a rate that avoided IO queueing (resulting in lower latencies) and subsequently at full line rate (resulting in higher latencies).    

 Not just fast, but SAN smart too

Fibre Channel networks, rightly or wrongly, have a reputation for complexity. It’s worth asking: when was the last time you tried to manage VLANs, ACLs and DCB configurations for a lossless and secure IP-based Ethernet storage network? 

In any case, we have developed exclusive HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR software technology that makes Fibre Channel SAN deployments a breeze by collecting FC intelligence from the SAN to significantly automate tedious SAN zoning.

An end-to-end solution orchestrated and automated via the HPE 3PAR CLI, Smart SAN technology is supported (embedded in the firmware) by all the solution elements (array, hosts, switches) in this report. The major benefit for storage administrators is a reduction of SAN zones plus the simplification of SAN zoning from hours to minutes.

Not only is the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 AFA lighting fast with E2E 16Gb FC, but with Smart SAN for 3PAR software you could say, We have deep depth.” (Yes, quoting another Yogi-ism!)

Key benefits of Smart SAN technology include:

  • Centralized and automated target driven peer zoning (TDPZ) simplifies the zoning process
  • 3PAR array gathers intelligence from all elements in the SAN (hosts, switches and array) for an orchestrated solution across the SAN
  • Easy troubleshooting from a single point in the fabric
  • A diagnostic-ready fabric

Key solution highlights from the Demartek study

Here’s a brief review of key solution highlights:

  • 3PAR StoreServ 8450, a member of the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8000 Storage family with the lowest all-flash starting price, delivers the performance advantages of a purpose-built, flash-optimized architecture without compromising resiliency, data services, or data mobility. Options support true convergence of block and file protocols, all-flash array performance for $1.20 USD per gigabyte usable, and the use of SSDs with spinning media to further optimize costs.
  • HPE SN1100E Gen 5 16Gb Fibre Channel adapter from Emulex delivers up to 1.2 million IOPS on a single port, with a demonstrated 5x improvement in latency at host when deployed in a 16Gb FC SAN with the HPE 3PAR StoreServ 7450 AFA. The SN1100E also supports the Virtual Fibre Channel (VFC) feature in Microsoft Windows Server for virtualized SQL Server deployments.
  • HPE SN6000B Fibre Channel switch, designed to enable greater flexibility and investment protection, scales from 24-to-48 ports and supports 4, 8, 10 or 16 Gb/s speeds in an efficiently designed 1U package. It offers low-cost access to SAN technology while providing "pay-as-you-grow" scalability to meet the needs of an evolving storage environment.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” 

Another quote attributed to Yogi Berra that applies here as well. The growth of all-flash storage continues unabated. IDC’s December 2015 forecast 38% AFA and 8% Hybrid flash array year-over-year growth while a 13% hard disk drive arrays decline. Flash growth created a fork in the storage networking “road.” The migration to 16Gb Fibre Channel is the fork – and one that is recommended to prevent networking bottlenecks, accelerate workload performance and deliver the best business outcomes to HPE customers running business-critical workloads on all-flash or hybrid flash storage. 

Dig deeper

Explore this topic some more with this additional information:

Demartek HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8450 evaluation report

HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8000 Storage – Overview

HPE StoreFabric SN1100E 16Gb Dual Port Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter

Smart SAN for 3PAR Simplifies SAN Zoning

Gil Chacon.jpg





Meet Around the Storage Block blogger Gil Chacon, HP StoreFabric, Storage Networking team lead, HPE Storage.

0 Kudos
About the Author


Our team of Hewlett Packard Enterprise storage experts helps you to dive deep into relevant infrastructure topics.

Online Expert Days - 2020
Visit this forum and get the schedules for online Expert Days where you can talk to HPE product experts, R&D and support team members and get answers...
Read more
HPE at 2020 Technology Events
Learn about the technology events where Hewlett Packard Enterprise will have a presence in 2020
Read more
View all