HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage

High file count and CIFS performance on 3PAR

Occasional Contributor

High file count and CIFS performance on 3PAR

I am looking at using a 3PAR StoreServ all flash appliance to host CIFS (Windows File Server) data.   I have been trying to find information about how well this works.  I believe CIFS is supported through the 3PAR File Persona software, but have found limited details about CIFS/SMB.  We would be supporting over 15 Billion files and expect over 250,000 IOPS. 90% of that is reads.  


Access to the files is from hundreds of Windows servers, but from just a few different users.  When we have used CIFS solutions based on Samba we had problems because Samba serialized requests from the same users.  This might not be an issue here, but I am still trying to find more information about CIFS performance and limitations on 3PAR. Where can I go to get this information?


These are some of the things I am looking for:  

Are there file count limits?  I saw a document that listed Maximum raw capacity and Maximum file capacity.  The 3PAR 7200c had a 500TiB raw limit and 128TiB file capacity.  We fall well under that limit if that does refer to file counts.        


Can all the files be in one share?  We have a layout where there are many millions of hierarchical directories and the leaf directories have less than 2000 files.  This works well with Windows, but does it map directly to 3PAR?              


If we go with a 4 controller 3PAR solution can all 4 controllers serve the same data?  This is a feature that obviously works with block storage, but I wonder if there is a limitation when using 3PAR as a file server.         

Dennis Handly
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: High file count and SMB performance on 3PAR

Have you seen these documents:




Product doc:


Technical overview:


User Guide:



>Can all the files be in one share?


I doubt it.  Depends on the size for your share.  The hierarchy is FPG, VFS, File Store, File Share.

16 FPGs per node pair.  You would have to clone your users/groups from one VFS to another, unless using AD or LDAP.

16 File Stores per VFS.  Then the File Shares under the File Stores.


>If we go with a 4 node 3PAR solution can all 4 nodes serve the same data?


I don't think so.  Only the node pair can share.   

Occasional Contributor

Re: High file count and SMB performance on 3PAR

Thanks for thiose links.  I guess I need to be searching for SMB, not CIFS.  I saw a few of those documents before and will look at them in more detail.     


You mentioned that only the node pair can share.  That is what I am used to.  In reading some literature it sounded like 4 nodes can all share the same data so I could ask any node for any file and it would work.  This may happen using redirection, but in reality nodes "own" certain files (via virtual volumes,  FPGs, VFS oe something) and asking that node for the file directly the quickest way to get the file.  In the event of a node failover the VFS fails to the other node.  



This is what it looks like in the File Persona technical overview document.