Ampere® and LINBIT® collaborated on some exciting benchmarking of Ampere’s Altra® Max Platform using LINBIT SDS to manage and replicate some seriously fast Samsung PM1733a SSD drives and are ready to start sharing our results.
The exhaustive hardware and software configurations, as well as the testing methods used along with their results can be found in the LINBIT SDS Benchmarking on Ampere Altra Max Platform technical report. This blog is intended as a summary, sharing the highlights found in the full report.
Reference Architecture Highlights
Ampere Altra Max (128 cores) AArch64 processors are complete system-on-chip (SOC) solutions built for large-scale, and high-performance storage. In addition to incorporating many high-performance cores, Ampere’s innovative architecture delivers predictable high performance, linear scaling, and high energy efficiency. More importantly, the high I/O bandwidth provides direct connections to multiple PCle devices like NVMe and SSD drives, which are essential for I/O intensive applications, such as transactional databases, engineering simulations, or multi-media applications.
Samsung’s PCIe® Gen 4-enabled PM1733 SSD will have double the throughput capabilities of current Gen3 SSDs, giving it the highest performance of any SSD on the market today. The NVMe SSDs come in two form factors, 2.5-inch and HHHL, with capacities ranging from 0.8TB to 30.72TB to suit the diverse needs of OEMs worldwide. The drives also ensure endurance of one or three drive writes per day (DWPD) over a five-year period.
LINBIT SDS delivers ultra-fast resilient block storage for private and cloud infrastructure. Using LINBIT SDS with Ampere Altra processors enables you to use commodity hardware with open source software to create high-performance storage clusters. With native integration with Kubernetes, LINSTOR® and DRBD® – the key software components of LINBIT SDS – make building, running, and controlling highly available block storage much simpler when providing persistent storage for Kubernetes environments.
The reference architecture used Kubernetes with LINBIT SDS to orchestrate the benchmarking jobs as well as the storage, with Ubuntu Jammy (22.04) as the Linux operating system. For hardware, three 2U Mt. Collins servers each with a single Ampere Altra Max Platform processor were used. Each of the three Ampere systems were equipped with eight Samsung PM1733a SSD drives. The three systems were interconnected using two separate Mellanox ConnectX-6 100GbE networks – one network for management and Kubernetes cluster networking, and one for DRBD’s replication.
The results from the benchmarking were very impressive, especially considering only three nodes were used in the reference architecture. All tests were run with LINSTOR synchronously replicating to one other peer within the cluster using DRBD. Measured performance varied slightly between test runs, likely due to differences in the placement of Kubernetes pods and LINSTOR volume replicas. For this reason, we’re reporting the range among the tests run, along with the best results from among those tests.
|Unit of Measurement
|Best Measured Value
|Random 4KB Read
|19.91M – 25.50M
|Random 4KB Write
|2.74M – 3.16M
|Random 4KB RW (70/30)
|7.45M – 7.89M
|Sequential 128KB Read
|101.95 – 103.53
|Sequential 128KB Write
|16.53 – 17.61
The small footprint of this reference architecture, both in terms of physical cluster size as well as power consumption, when compared to the measured performance delivers a remarkably high performance to rack unit (U or RU) ratio. The Ampere server platform used was the 2U Mt. Collins platform, requiring only 6Us of rack space for the entire system. Reducing server count and power consumption while increasing performance reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) when considering the direct and indirect monetary and environmental costs of your next product or service.
LINBIT and Ampere are continuing to work together to fully analyze the results and implications of our testing and partnership. Expect updates to this blog, as well as the full documentation, and more as our partnership matures.