Emulex Blogs

Gen 5 Fibre Channel Tech Evaluation – HP StoreFabric SN1000E 16Gb FC provided by Emulex with HP 3PAR and Brocade

Posted August 26th, 2013 by Janice Crucian

Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) carry the bulk of storage traffic in enterprise data centers and are beginning to feel the stress of the increased demands for storage performance, and bandwidth.   These increased demands are caused by requirements for virtual machine (VM) density, application performance, and continued data growth.  Based on the latest Gen 5 (16Gb) Fibre Channel technology, the HP StoreFabric SN1000E 16Gb Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (HBA) addresses these increasing demands by providing double the bandwidth of previous generation Fibre Channel (FC) HBAs.

To test this increase in performance and bandwidth, Demartek conducted an evaluation featuring an HP ProLiant DL380 Gen8 server with the HP SN1000E 16GFC HBA and  connected this server to the new all-flash storage array (HP 3PAR 7450) with four 8GFC host ports.  The server and storage device were connected by the HP SN6000B 16b FC switch provided by Brocade.  Demartek ran a read-intensive data workhouse workload to determine if this type of workload could take advantage of the increased bandwidth and performance that Gen 5 FC delivers.   The workload was repeated with previous generation HP 8Gb FC technology (HP StoreFabric 82E 8Gb Fibre Channel HBA) and compared the results.

Key Findings

Demartek found that for this database workload, the Gen 5 FC HBA exceeded the performance of the 8Gb FC HBA and provided the additional bandwidth needed by the database workload allowing the job to be completed in less time.

The Gen 5 (16Gb) FC HBA

  • Completed the real database workload up to 26% faster than the 8Gb FC HBA, reducing the time to complete the 6-user workload by approximately one hour.
  • Provided 2x peak throughput compared to the 8Gb FC HBA.
  • Reduced latency by more than 50%.
  • Provides a simple, plug-n-play performance upgrade with the replacement of older 4Gb and 8Gb HBAs.

Overall, the evaluation showcased the Gen 5 (16Gb) FC technology delivered by HP, Emulex and Brocade delivers rock-solid performance and horsepower for today’s environments with growing performance requirements – such as virtualization servers, database applications, SSDs, flash caching, etc.

To read the full test evaluation, please download it here!

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  1. Bill Wilson says:

    Starting to look good. Will the new VC modules in the c-class chassis soon take advantage of this? It would also help if the BL LOM’s were boosted to give us the throughput all the way through to the 3PAR. Nice to have faster switches and PCI cards but we see more Blade systems than DL and ML based servers.


    1. jowens says:

      Thanks for your feedback. Emulex is working with HP on Gen 5 capability for BL servers. Stay tuned!