[Gluster-users] Expected performance for WORM scenario

Andreas Ericsson andreas.ericsson at findity.com
Mon Mar 12 12:46:52 UTC 2018

Heya fellas.

I've been struggling quite a lot to get glusterfs to perform even
halfdecently with a write-intensive workload. Testnumbers are from gluster

We store a bunch of small files in a doubly-tiered sha1 hash fanout
directory structure. The directories themselves aren't overly full. Most of
the data we write to gluster is "write once, read probably never", so 99%
of all operations are of the write variety.

The network between servers is sound. 10gb network cards run over a 10gb
(doh) switch. iperf reports 9.86Gbit/sec. ping reports a latency of 0.1 -
0.2 ms. There is no firewall, no packet inspection and no nothing between
the servers, and the 10gb switch is the only path between the two machines,
so traffic isn't going over some 2mbit wifi by accident.

Our main storage has always been really slow (write speed of roughly
1.5MiB/s), but I had long attributed that to the extremely slow disks we
use to back it, so now that we're expanding I set up a new gluster cluster
with state of the art NVMe SSD drives to boost performance. However,
performance only hopped up to around 2.1MiB/s. Perplexed, I tried it first
with a 3-node cluster using 2GB ramdrives, which got me up to 2.4MiB/s. My
last resort was to use a single node running on ramdisk, just to 100%
exclude any network shenanigans, but the write performance stayed at an
absolutely abysmal 3MiB/s.

Writing straight to (the same) ramdisk gives me "normal" ramdisk speed (I
don't actually remember the numbers, but my test that took 2 minutes with
gluster completed before I had time to blink). Writing straight to the
backing SSD drives gives me a throughput of 96MiB/sec.

The test itself writes 8494 files that I simply took randomly from our
production environment, comprising a total of 63.4MiB (so average file size
is just under 8k. Most are actually close to 4k though, with the occasional
2-or-so MB file in there.

I have googled and read a *lot* of performance-tuning guides, but the
3MiB/sec on single-node ramdisk seems to be far beyond the crippling one
can cause by misconfiguration of a single system.

With this in mind; What sort of write performance can one reasonably hope
to get with gluster? Assume a 3-node cluster running on top of (small)
ramdisks on a fast and stable network. Is it just a bad fit for our

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