Microsoft Cloud Platform System: Storage Performance Overview Now Available

Guest post by Dan Lovinger, Principal Software Engineer

Hi everyone, I’m Dan Lovinger, a software and performance engineer on the Windows Server team. With the availability of the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), we’re excited to now share an overview of storage-focused performance of a single rack CPS stamp, with real workloads, at real scale.

The paper we’re releasing here covers the following three scenarios, scaled across a deployment of tenant virtual machines (VMs):

  • Scenario 1. Boot storm: cold start of VMs.
  • Scenario 2. VM microbenchmarks: synthetic storage loads that are generated within VMs.
  • Scenario 3. VM database OLTP: simulated database online transaction processing (OLTP) using Microsoft SQL Server, run within the VMs.

The following is a summary of the results.

  • Boot storm: ~1800 Azure A1-sized VMs* cold started within 150 seconds at a median start time of 20 seconds/VM
  • VM microbenchmarks across 112 Azure A1-sized VMs:
    • 1.01 million 4KiB random read IOPS at an average latency of 0.90 milliseconds (ms), with 44% of SSU (storage scale unit) connectivity utilized
    • 321,000 mixed 4KiB (70:30) read/write IOPS at average latencies of 2.49ms read and 4.47ms write
  • VM SQL Server database OLTP across 84 Azure A4-sized VMs
    • sustained ~35,000 transactions/second (s)
    • 222,000 total IOPS (182,000 read and 40,000 write) at an average 1.5ms read and 9.0ms write latency

* For details on Azure VM size specifications, see the Azure Virtual Machine Pricing guide.

You can download our paper, "Microsoft Cloud Platform System Storage Performance," from the Microsoft Download Center.

The following chart is a preview of performance optimized in the solid-state disk (SSD) tier. We hope you find it as exciting as we do!

Dan