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ZFS versus RAID: Eight Ironwolf disks, two filesystems, one winner

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Graphics/Benchmarks
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This has been a long while in the making—it's test results time. To truly understand the fundamentals of computer storage, it's important to explore the impact of various conventional RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) topologies on performance. It's also important to understand what ZFS is and how it works. But at some point, people (particularly computer enthusiasts on the Internet) want numbers.

First, a quick note: This testing, naturally, builds on those fundamentals. We're going to draw heavily on lessons learned as we explore ZFS topologies here. If you aren't yet entirely solid on the difference between pools and vdevs or what ashift and recordsize mean, we strongly recommend you revisit those explainers before diving into testing and results.

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PC Perspective

  • ZFS versus RAID, Comparing Linux Performance Benefits

    When you are setting up a storage repository on Linux you have a lot of choice in configurations, more so than on a Windows server. ZFS is a go to for many as it incorporates a logical volume manager, a RAID system, and a filesystem all at once and physically setting up multiple disks takes more time than the build time once you boot. On the other hand RAID is familiar to a wider audience, especially for businesses.

    So the question Ars Technica has raised has to do with what you might be missing by making the choice to go with one solution or the other. In order to find an answer they installed eight 12TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs on a system using the LSI-9300-8i 8-port Host Bus Adapter. They tested the systems with both 4K and 1M blocksizes, and with a single process, an iodepth=1 and iodepth=8 to give you an idea what real world performance would be.

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  •                
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