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Qumulo Delivers Unparalleled Performance for On-Premise and Cloud-Native Workloads

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Qumulo is on a mission to redefine what it means to Scale Anywhere™ without sacrificing performance or cost. The options that are available today for running file workloads in the cloud can be seen as limited in scale and performance, minimal or nonexistent support for key enterprise features, or cost prohibitive. Qumulo’s solution solves for all of these challenges, giving our customers an identical experience and feature set in every deployment, whether they are scaling on-premise infrastructure or expanding workloads to the public cloud.  

In this blog, we’ll delve into the benefits of Qumulo Storage, exploring how our ability to service high-performance workloads has become a game-changer for various industry verticals and cloud-native use cases. We are excited to walk through how Qumulo offers the strongest value to run multi-protocol workloads anywhere.

Baseline Performance 

Qumulo’s unique architecture delivers consistent, sustained, impressive performance. Qumulo has optimized performance and cost trade-offs in its core hybrid architecture, where cold data resides on low-cost disk storage but served at the speed of SSD and memory. As a result, Qumulo’s highly tuned prefetch algorithm monitors read requests, anticipates which data blocks are likely to be requested next, and prefetches them into system memory for even faster access than the SSD layer can deliver. The net effect for Qumulo’s customers (and their workloads) is an amazing and highly predictable experience, with the vast majority of read operations being served with <1ms latency. 

We sampled performance metrics across our entire production fleet over a period of two months, and aggregated the results, which are nothing short of impressive. In the graph below, we accurately capture our customers’ experience today based on the 1000+ customers who have deployed Qumulo. 

To summarize our findings:

  1. More than 90% of all reads are served at <= 1ms latency. Within that 90%:
    a. 50% of all read operations are served from system memory – faster than SSDs
    b. 25% of all reads come in at <0.1ms!
    c. 48% of reads are at 0.25ms, whether from system memory or SSD
    d. 20% are between 0.5 and 1ms

  2. Only 10% of all reads were from disk, and more than half of those still come in at 2ms or less of latency – still quite impressive

Let’s take a closer look at some of the performance numbers we have achieved in on-prem and cloud environments.  

For cloud-native, burst capacity, burst compute, or DR-based workloads, customers can choose which of the most popular public clouds to use Qumulo as their default storage option. Qumulo recently announced its managed service, Azure Native Qumulo, as a generally available service with additional region launches coming soon. Not only does ANQ offer virtually limitless capacity in a single namespace, throughput speeds can reach up to 21 GBps. If the ANQ benchmark result wasn’t impressive enough, customers using Qumulo in AWS can drive throughput-intensive workloads to an astounding 60 GBps! You will find no other option on the market today that rivals Qumulo’s cloud-native performance for file scaleout storage.  

For demanding workloads that require high performance on-premises, we’ve recently benchmarked numbers that demonstrate the full potential of running Qumulo software on NVMe-only hardware.  

Benchmarked with 245 TB Capacity

NFS v3 Single Stream Reads – 4070.37 MB/sec
NFS v3 128 Stream Reads – 22420.74 MB/sec
NFS v3 Single Stream Write – 2439.86 MB/sec
NFS v3 128 Stream Writes – 18832.45 MB/sec

These numbers, while very impressive, are a snapshot in time. We’ll continue to drive better and better performance as new commodity hardware innovations become available on the market.  

Finally, one more valuable attribute that is frequently overlooked with Qumulo: it does not matter if the system is running at 1% or 99.9% full capacity – performance does NOT degrade, scaling linearly as new capacity is added. Qumulo customers get the full value of everything they pay for.

Performance Across Target Verticals 

Media and Entertainment 

The media and entertainment industry thrives on high throughput for every workflow: animating, rendering, editing, and streaming high definition content. For any of these use cases, parallelized sustained throughput, and burst performance can be equally challenging. This is why 9 of the world’s top 10 media and entertainment companies trust Qumulo. Our consistently high performance ensures that creativity flows effortlessly, pushing up to 60 GB/s for cloud-native and burst workloads where infrastructure can be quickly provisioned for a particular project and then torn down when it is finished. 

“Having enough storage and keeping throughput at its highest are big challenges for any VFX studio,” said James Morgan, System and Support Administrator at MARZ. “Scaling up is also a major challenge for us, or rather it was. We don’t have to worry about that since scaling on Qumulo is so easy.”

Just recently we published a blog with performance numbers demonstrating a synthetic workload (using Black Magic benchmarking software) with Qumulo on AWS, where our SMB3 multi-channel feature was able to sustain throughput speeds of ~2.3GB/s, and could even saturate a 10Gbps link over SMB without any special tuning. This test showed Qumulo could take full advantage of SMB multi-channel capabilities, where customers can now run 4k and 8k video formats. 

One highly notable mention – we had a recent Media and Entertainment customer located in Vancouver who wanted to perform a burst-test to ensure enough capacity and headroom was available if needed. That customer was able to drive an amazing 1M IOPS and 9 GiB/s on an AWS Qumulo cluster.


Life Sciences and Healthcare 

In the world of life sciences and healthcare, time is of the essence; doctors, clinicians, and scientists want immediate results so they can serve better patient outcomes. PACS and PACS VNA (vendor neutral archive) storage is one of Qumulo’s fastest growing workloads, with more and more hospitals and radiology centers trusting Qumulo with their patients’ data. And now that Azure Native Qumulo is HIPAA compliant, customers have more flexibility of storing second copies of DICOM images in the public cloud.  

Healthcare customers can easily migrate their existing PACS application because Qumulo is either certified with or has partnered with the industry’s leading PACS vendors who cumulatively have >70% worldwide market share. As a proofpoint, we took a sample of live production data for customers running their PACS and PACS VNA workloads. You can see from the below image that Qumulo never keeps doctors waiting to perform urgent radiology studies – PACS applications in this example are predominantly operating with sub-millisecond reads.

Whether it is 1 or 1000 hospitals, Qumulo can store, scale, and deliver the same experience to all users uniformly.  

“Retrieving long term archival radiology images is so much faster on the Qumulo than it was with Isilon. To the point where the radiologists actually noticed and asked what we had done.”
– Jason Cherry, Director of IS Technology Services, Lexington Medical

Qumulo’s exceptional performance helps researchers and medical professionals crunch vast amounts of data. Whether its genome sequencing, drug discovery, or analyzing medical radiology images, Qumulo accelerates research, leading to faster breakthroughs and improved outcomes for patient care.

Backup and Archive 

Performant backup operations are key for organizations, as they directly impact data availability and recovery times. In a world where ransomware attacks are increasing year over year, time to both backup and restore data have become crucial to recover data after an attack has been mitigated. Qumulo’s snapdiff API provides the ability to do one full backup with fast incremental backups to follow. Some of our partners directly integrate with Qumulo’s API to identify changes between two snapshots – this allows them to capitalize on the blazing speed of incremental backups without the overhead of a filesystem treewalk. 

Using Qumulo as a backup source or target is easy to configure, simple to operate. Qumulo supports backups over NFS and SMB, with more customers leveraging our S3 support to perform backups. Using a synthetic backup workload on all-NVMe nodes, our S3 implementation served 1 GB/sec for backup operations and 2 GB/sec for restore operations.

Our teams are happy and comfortable using Qumulo as their centralized data system. IT is happy too, because we have one place to look for files and one place for backup. And, the Qumulo analytics give us instant visibility into our data and users.
– Aidan Taub Systems and Technology Director


In the quest for truly unbeatable cost-effective performance, Qumulo stands tall, outperforming its competitors with remarkable speed and throughput, while delivering options to Scale Anywhere™. With its industry-leading capabilities, Qumulo has become the data management system of choice for various industry verticals and cloud native use cases. From media and entertainment to life sciences and financial services, Qumulo is improving the customer experience by leaps and bounds, with more exciting news to come as we continue to innovate and break boundaries, offering solutions that Scale Anywhere™.

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