Test methodology

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Test plan

The GenerationIO tool (GenIO) is used by Epic to validate that storage is production ready. This test focuses on performance by pushing storage to its limits and determining the headroom on storage controllers by ramping up until requirements fail.

The tests performed here are focused on determining headroom as well as using Adaptive Quality of Service (AQOS) to protect critical Epic workloads. For AFF A300 testing, two servers are used with GenIO loaded on both to drive I/O on the storage controllers. Three servers are used with GenIO loaded on all three to drive I/O on the AFF A700 storage controllers. Three servers are used because of server performance limits, and three servers are required for an AFF A700.

Test environment

Hardware and software

For this study, we configured three Red Hat Linux virtual machines (VMs) on VMware ESXi 6.5 running on Cisco UCS B200-M5s. We connected the ESXi hosts to the AFF storage controller nodes with Cisco MDS-series switches by using 16Gb FC on the server side and 16Gb FC on the storage side. The AFF A700 nodes were connected to one DS2446 disk shelf with 3.8TB SSDs by following NetApp cabling best practices.

The three tables below list the hardware and software components that we used for the Epic performance test configuration.

The following table lists Epic Test hardware and software components.

Hardware and software components Details

Operating system for VM

RHEL 7.4 VMs

Operating system on server blades

VMware ESXi 6.5

Physical server

Cisco UCS B200 M5 x 3

Processors per server

Two 20-core Intel Xeon Gold 6148 2.4Ghz

Physical memory per server

768GB

FC network

16Gb FC with multipathing

FC HBA

FC vHBA on Cisco UCS VIC 1340

Dedicated public 1GbE ports for cluster management

Two Intel 1350GbE ports

16Gb FC switch

Cisco MDS 9148s

40GbE switch

Cisco Nexus 9332 switch

The following table lists NetApp AFF A700 and AFF A300 storage system hardware and software.

Hardware and software components AFF A700 details AFF A300 details

Storage system

AFF A700 controller configured as a high-availability (HA) active-active pair

AFF A300 controller configured as a high-availability (HA) active-active pair

ONTAP version

9.4

9.5

Total number of drives

36

24

Drive size

3.8TB

3.8TB

Drive type

SSD

SSD

FC target ports

Eight 16Gb ports (four per node)

Eight 16Gb ports (four per node)

Ethernet ports

Four 10Gb ports (two per node)

Four 10Gb ports (two per node)

Storage virtual machines (SVMs)

One SVM across both node aggregates

One SVM across both node aggregates

Ethernet logical interfaces (LIFs)

Four 1Gb management LIFs (two per node connected to separate private VLANs)

Four 1Gb management LIFs (two per node connected to separate private VLANs)

FC LIFs

Four 16Gb data LIFs

Four 16Gb data LIFs

The following table lists NetApp AFF A700 and AFF A300 storage system layout.

Storage layout AFF A700 details AFF A300 details

SVM

Single SVM for Epic application databases

Single SVM for Epic application databases

Aggregates

Two 20TB each

Two 30TB each

Volumes for production

Sixteen 342GB volumes per RHEL VM

Sixteen 512GB volumes per RHEL VM

LUNs for production

Sixteen 307GB LUNs, one per volume

Sixteen 460GB LUNs, one per volume

Volumes for journal

Two 95Gb volumes per RHEL VM

Two 240Gb volumes per RHEL VM

LUNs for journal

Two 75Gb LUNs, one per volume

Two 190Gb LUNs, one per volume