Kubernetes storage: SmartX’s IOMesh beats Portworx, Longhorn and OpenEBS

China-based SmartX has released a preview of its Kubernetes storage software IOMesh, and it outperforms Pure’s Portworx, Longhorn and OpenEBS on MySQL transactions and latency.

The claims are backed up by test data in a blog which reads: “IOMesh, with peer products from Portworx, Longhorn and OpenEBS, were tested with TPC-C MySQL under the same hardware conditions and test parameters, in which IOMesh demonstrated industry-leading IO performance.”

IOMesh software is a cloud-native product — designed and developed for Kubernetes with containerised deployment, automatic operation, and declarative APIs. IOMesh can start from a three-node cluster and scale up or out, adding disks or nodes online, without interfering with running applications. Performance grows linearly with the number of nodes.

We are told by a company spokesperson that “even at its preview stage, IOMesh already demonstrates outstanding performance. In TPC-C MySQL test under the same hardware conditions and test parameters, IOMesh achieved TPS 2.81 times that of Portworx, and surpassed Longhorn and OpenEBS as well.”

A table summarises the test results: 

Charts in the blog illustrate component test results for the four suppliers:

The bottom chart shows IOMesh and Longhorn having similarly low and consistent latency, with Portworx next but more varied, and OpenEBS having the longest and most varied latency scores.

It looks like the SmartX coders have built better Kubernetes storage provisioning software. Our spokesperson told us: “With its fast iteration roadmap, we’re expecting IOMesh to be a fairly competitive player in early 2022, with even higher performance, more comprehensive functions and scenarios.”

SmartX background

SmartX is headquartered in Beijing and has offices in Seoul and Palo Alto. It was started up in 2013 by CEO Wenhao Xu, CTO Kai (Kyle) Zhang and COO Hongyi Wang. Xu is an ex-software engineer at Nimbula, which was acquired by Oracle in June 2012. 

SmartX founders from left to right: Wenhao Xu, Kai Zhang and Hongyi Wang.

Zhang was formerly an R&D Engineer at Baidu. Both attended Tsinghua University, doing a Master’s course in Computer Science and overlapping their presence there in 2009. Wang was at Tsinghua University from 2005 to 2008 and also did a Masters in Computer Science.

SmartX has developed a software-defined HCI product with a distributed block store software called ZBS. This is included in its IOMesh development.

SmartX is listed by Crunchbase as having raised $47.1 million in three funding rounds, predominantly from Chinese investing entities. LinkedIn records 70 employees, with 63 in China.