nfs performance SunOS 4.1.3_U1 vs Solaris 2.4

nfs performance SunOS 4.1.3_U1 vs Solaris 2.4

Post by Jon Piesi » Sat, 12 Aug 1995 04:00:00

As a first step to moving from SunOS to Solaris, we have upgraded
4 machines (3xSS5s and an LX) and given them to (tolerant) normal
users to see what happens. (I was feeling brave at the time!).

One complaint I have received concerns NFS performance so I thought
I would try some tests. After a lot of searching I found the
test suite from the Sun sponsored Connectathon conference. What
I have done is run this on various combinations of clients and
servers overnight to see what I get. As well as Suns I used an
SGI Challenge XL and an Indy just to give some extra flavour.

The main results seem to be that Solaris is a faster nfs server than
SunOS but the client side is rather mixed with a couple of
worrying discrepancies. The SGIs are good servers but bad clients.

Here is the results of the basic set of tests running on 4 different
clients against an SS5-70 running Solaris 2.4 as the server :-

                file &              lookups setattr write   read    read-   link    symlink stat(v)fs
                directory       across  getattr                 dir     and
             create  remove     mount   lookup                          rename
Indy           14      7.41     7.64    17.6    61.5    0.336   8.9     13.6    15.1    4.01
SS5/SunOS      8       4.65     0.115   9.12    23.6    0.437   4.58    7.79    10.5    1.17
SS10/512/SunOS 7.77    4.73     0.113   8.68    26      0.316   4.53    7.77    10.4    1.1
SS5/Solaris    7.48    4.61     0.77    8.83    14.1    10.8    5.88    9.33    10.3    1.39

The Indy is the slowest client in 9 out of 10 tests. The only exception
being read data. The SS10/512 is the fastest client in 6 of the 10 tests
and the Sparc 5/Solaris in 4 of the 10.

What worries me most is the results for the read data. I don't believe
the Indy and the SunOS numbers. Does anybody have any idea what is
going on here ? Is there some caching effect which the test suite
doesn't deal with ?

I've done the same tests using an SS10/30 (SunOS), another SS5-70 but
running SunOS and an SGI Challenge XL (8x200MHz R4400). Although the
absolute times are different, the relationships between them are the
same and the problem with read data rate is there in all of them.

As far as server performance is concerned, for those who might be
interested, here is an example set of numbers. The Challenge is
always the fastest (not surprisingly). The two SunOS machines are some
way behind. The Solaris machine varies from just behind the Challenge
to about the same as the SunOS machines. These are using an SS5-70
running Solaris as the client. The results are basically the same
using the other clients in the table above.

                   file &   lookups setattr write   read    read-   link    symlink stat(v)fs
                   directory    across  getattr                 dir     and
                create  remove  mount   lookup                          rename
SS5-70/SunOS    11.4    5.85    0.784   8.72    35.4    11.2    6.93    8.29    10.5    1.68
SS10/30/SunOS   9.34    5.89    0.706   9.53    41.7    11.7    7.86    10.3    12.1    1.89
SS5-70/Sol2.4   7.48    4.61    0.77    8.83    14.1    10.8    5.88    9.33    10.3    1.39
Challenge/5.3   1.98    2.01    0.9     2.39    12.7    10.7    4.13    3.39    3.21    1.32

I'm using the version of the Connectathon benchmarks downloaded
this week from All the Suns have
the recommended patches installed.

Can anybody help explain the read numbers ?


Jon Piesing
Philips Research Labs, Redhill, UK


1. Performance: Solaris 2.x vs. SunOS 4.1.3_U1?

I'm installing a remanufactured Sparc 2 (model 4/75) for a client.
This machine could potentially be heavily loaded before it's replaced,
so I'm wondering ...

The machine comes preloaded with 4.1.3_U1. Surely someone has benchmark
results on Solaris 2.3 vs 4.1.3_U1? How about the alleged performance
improvements in 2.4?

I'd really rather use 2.x if 2.4 and above perform within, oh, 15% of
4.1.3_U1 performance (for a network-intensive suite of apps).

Thanks in advance for any insights whatever; I have to make a decision
about this over the next couple of days.
Mark McWiggins      Hermes & Associates               +1 206 632 1905 (24 hrs.)

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