NetApp gets file storage benchmark boost

NetApp has a world-record SPEC Electronic Design Automation (EDA) score of 6300, easily exceeding the previous best result: 3,600 from a WEKA system.

Update. SPEC comment added. 6 May 2023.

This SPECstorage Solution 2020 benchmark test is a Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) validated test of file storage performance in five workload scenarios: AI image processing, electronic design automation (EDA), genomics, software builds, and video data acquisition. The workload stats include jobs or builds, ORT (Overall Response Time), and MBps. Supplier test configurations are detailed with the test runs in an SPEC website.

Octavian Tanase, SVP of Engineering for NetApp’s Hybrid Cloud Group, has written about the result, saying: “This achievement showcases our ability to provide predictable, high-performance storage environments that can manage more concurrent job sets than any other vendor – 75 percent more than the nearest competitor.”

NetApp tops the table
Nettrix is a Chinese vendor

That competitor was WEKA running on a system using 90 x Samsung PM9A3 NVMe PCIe gen 4 SSDs with 3.84TB capacity. They were spread across 6 Dell R7515 storage servers with 8 Dell client systems.

NetApp used 4 x A900 all-flash arrays (dual-controller high-availability pairs), each fitted with a 24-drive shelf containing 1.92TB NVMe SSDs. Each storage controller was connected to its own and partner’s NVMe drives in a multi-path HA configuration. There were 8 x Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 v2 clients running the benchmark app workload and connecting to the A900s using RoCE.

NetApp system

Charts from the WEKA and NetApp SPEC filing show the two results. WEKA: 

WEKA SPC filing

And NetApp:

NetApp SPC filing

Tanese says the NetApp result shows “predictable, consistent high performance, which results in more concurrent job sets than any other vendor [and] better scaling, with continued low latency as demands increase from more EDA workloads.”

We think it credible that WEKA could surpass a 6,300 EDA jobs run score by adding more nodes to its test setup; that’s a feature of scale-out systems. Overall it’s a welcome thing to see a major vendor like NetApp using industry-standard benchmarks and better enabling cross-vendor comparisons. More please.


A SPEC spokesperson said: “A majority of the major storage system vendors are members of SPEC and collaborate on the SPECstorage Solution 2020 benchmark and more.  You can find a listing of SPEC members at:”