EMC CX3-80 FC vs EMC CX4-120 EFD

This blog is a high level overview of some extensive testing conducted on the EMC (CLARiiON) CX3-80 with 15K RPM FC (fibre channel disk) and the EMC (CLARiiON) CX4-120 with EFD (Enterprise Flash Drives) formerly know as SSD (solid state disk).

Figure 1:  CX4-120 with EFD test configuration.


Figure 2:  CX3-80 with 15K RPM FC rest configuration.


Figure 3:  IOPs Comparison


Figure 4:  Response Time


Figure 5:  IOPs Per Drive


Notice that the CX3-80 15K FC drives are servicing ~ 250 IOPs per drive, this exceeds 180 IOPs per drive (the theoretical maximum for a 15K FC drive is 180 IOPs) this is due to write caching.  Note that cache is disabled for the CX4-120 EFD tests, this is important because high write I/O load can cause something known as a force cache flushes which can dramatically impact the overall performance of the array.  Because cache is disabled on EFD LUNs forced cache flushes are not a concern.

Table below provides a summary of the test configuration and findings:

Array CX3-80 CX4-120
Configuration (24) 15K FC Drives (7) EFD Drives
Cache Enabled Disabled
Footprint   ~42% drive footprint reduction
Sustained Random Read Performance   ~12x increase over 15K FC
Sustained Random Write Performance   ~5x increase over 15K FC

In summary, EFD is a game changing technology.  There is no doubt that for small block random read and write workloads (i.e. – Exchange, MS SQL, Oracle, etc…) EFD dramatically improves performance and reduces the risk of performance issues.

This post is intended to be an overview of the exhaustive testing that was performed.  I have results with a wide range of transfer sizes beyond the 2k and 4k results shown in this posts, I also have Jetstress results.  If you are interested in data that you don’t see in this post please Email me a rbocchinfuso@gmail.com.

2 thoughts on “EMC CX3-80 FC vs EMC CX4-120 EFD

  1. Pingback: Data Storage for VDI – Part 10 – Megacaches « Storage Without Borders

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