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Storage Networks

The Storage Network Matters for VM Performance

by Scott Shimomura on ‎05-21-2012 05:44 AM (5,721 Views)

Benchmarks are used to assess the relative performance of competing systems for a given application. VMWare’s VMmark ( is a benchmark that tests the performance of complete infrastructure stacks (compute, networking, storage) for VMWare environments.


Here are some interesting factoids from the top 20 VMmark 2.X benchmarks published on

  • 100% of the top 20 benchmark stacks using networked storage use Fibre Channel (16 of the Top 20 use networked storage, while 4 of the Top 20 use direct-attached SAS)
  • 0% use NAS
  • 0% use iSCSI
  • 100% of all Cisco UCS benchmarks use Fibre Channel for networked storage in the tested benchmark stack (2 out of 2)


Benchmarking is often a science project with every component of the infrastructure optimized and tweaked in order to maximize the score. Over the years, Fibre Channel SANs have been the foundation of the majority of VMWare deployments. Even as NAS and iSCSI have made inroads due to cost and ease-of-use considerations, it is clear from the test results that Fibre Channel is still the clear choice for networked storage performance.