Single vSphere Host, a Million I/O Operations per Second

One of the essential requirements for a platform supporting enterprise datacenters is the capability to support the extreme I/O demands of applications running in those datacenters. A previous study has shown that vSphere can easily handle demands for high I/O operations per second. Experiments discussed in a recently published paper strengthen this assertion further by demonstrating that a vSphere 5 virtual platform can easily satisfy an extremely high level of I/O demand that originates from the hosted applications.

Results obtained from performance testing done at EMC lab show that:

  • A single vSphere 5 host is capable of supporting a million+ I/O operations per second.
  • 300,000 I/O operations per second can be achieved from a single virtual machine.
  • I/O throughput (bandwidth consumption) scales almost linearly as the request size of an I/O operation increases.
  • I/O operations on vSphere 5 systems with Paravirtual SCSI (PVSCSI) controllers use less CPU cycles than those with LSI Logic SAS virtual SCSI controllers.

For more details, refer to the paper Achieving a Million I/O Operations per Second from a Single VMware vSphere 5 Host.


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