Due to the many methodologies and approaches, benchmarking is a hotly disputed topic in the IT business. This blog won’t describe all these ways but will explain how we benchmark our Hosted Private Cloud storage.
We should first understand why we benchmark. Before producing anything, we must examine the influence on our clients. This could be a new storage platform, disk type, kernel patch, or firmware update.
We update our benchmarking methods and tools as we upgrade our storage infrastructures and introduce new technologies. We need exponentially more benchmarks with thousands of hardware references and configurations. Industrializing the process is crucial.
To promote transparency, we benchmarked from the end perspective. User’s This implies any of our Hosted Private Cloud clients can do the orchestration described in this blog article.
FIO, vdbench, I/O Meter, and (dd!) are proven storage benchmarking tools. They show raw storage performance. How about benchmarking an entire infrastructure? 1, 10, 100, 1000 VMs or more with different disk/raid settings, disk sizes, and block sizes. All have varied general workloads of reads/writes, sequential or random, and many threads. It would be excellent if workloads at the production level could also be employed. It’s limitless.
In our first iteration, we automated our benchmarks with HCIbench.
HCibench (https://flings.vmware.com/hcibench) automates benchmarks. It’s a “Hyper-converged Infrastructure Benchmark.” It’s a wrapper around the popular open-source benchmark tools Vdbench and Fio, making HCI testing easy. HCIBench simplifies and accelerates POC testing in a controlled manner. The application automates installing test VMs, coordinating workload runs, aggregating test results, performance analysis, and gathering troubleshooting data.
HCIbench can be installed as an OVA in VMware.
Once HCIbench is installed, visit https://IP:8483. You can begin benchmarking.
After entering your vCenter credentials and other details (datacenter, cluster, network, datastore, etc. ), you can set guest VM settings:
- Deployable VMs
- VM drives
- Disk Benchmark (FIO or vdbench)
- I/O file param (see details below)
HCIbench will conduct your benchmark after handling VM deployment/recycling. Results are supplied as Grafana interfaces, Excel files, or flat text files for external parsing.
Modeling workloads and I/Os
All benchmarks use workload parameter files (vdbench). They explain an endpoint’s I/O model. Options include read/write percentage, random/sequential, block size, and threads.
Our storage platforms were evaluated using generic, application, and production workloads.
“Generic” workloads include “ONLY RANDOM READS” and, “ONLY SEQUENTIAL WRITES.” They test a storage type’s linear and “extreme” behavior.
By “application” workloads, we mean database, VDI, backup, etc. We may replicate a typical workload with benchmarks and determine a storage type’s strengths.
We’re also working on the ability to “record” a production workload and “replay” it on another storage endpoint to evaluate how it performs with your production workload without running your actual production on it. Use blktrace, btrecord, and btreplay to trace low-level I/O calls and replay them on another storage platform.
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