OLTP on Microsoft SQL Server with the Micron 9300 PRO NVMe SSD: 2.5x Performance with Fewer Drives

By Dilim Nwobu - 2019-04-30

Hello, everyone, things have been pretty busy with the release of the Micron® 9300 series NVMe™ SSDs. Our Storage Solutions Engineering (SSE) team here at Micron gets access to production samples of drives and tests them in various enterprise applications as part of our New Product Introduction (NPI) process. In my case, I scaled up the number of 9300 PRO NVMe drives and compared their performance against eight enterprise SATA SSDs with an OLTP workload on Microsoft® SQL Server® 2017. Believe it or not, the high-performance 9300 PRO NVMe drives can get more than double the performance with half the number of drives (or less) compared to SATA. Read on to learn more.

The Setup

  • Dell PowerEdge R740XD
  • 2x Intel Xeon 8168
  • 384 GB RAM
  • 2-4x Micron 3.4TB 9300 PRO NVMe drives
    • Configured with Mirrored Storage Spaces
  • 8x 2TB Enterprise SATA SSD
    • Configured in RAID 10 with Dell PERC H740P
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Datacenter
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Enterprise Core
  • 10,000 warehouse TPC-C dataset: ~1TB on disk

Before each test, the dataset was restored from backup to the database to ensure each test worked from the same starting point. The load was increased on each configuration until the test met a stop condition. This stop condition defined max performance for that configuration. The main performance metrics I’ll be discussing are New Orders per Minute (NOPM) and log write latency. For more details on how we determine the stop condition, check out our solution brief.

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The Results and Analysis

When compared to the 8x SATA SSD configuration, 2x Micron 9300 PRO drives completed 2.5x more NOPM. That’s more than double the benchmark performance while only using ¼ the number of drives! Generally, adding more drives to a system will increase storage performance. In this case, using 4x 9300 PRO drives achieved 2.75X more NOPM than the 8x SATA configuration and a 7% increase over the 2x 9300 PRO configuration.

TPC-C is a write-heavy benchmark, and, in the case of SQL Server, as latency increases, the transaction log can become a performance bottleneck. Consequently, we can also observe the transaction log to the benchmark performance gained when switching to Micron 9300 PRO NVMe SSDs. The 2x 9300 PRO configuration had 95% lower latency than the 8x SATA SSD configuration. By scaling up to 4x 9300 PRO’s, observed latency dropped even further to 99% lower than the SATA SSD configuration. To help contextualize those percentage drops, the SATA SSD configuration log latency was on the order of single digit milliseconds while the NVMe configurations were on the order of double- to low-triple digit microseconds!

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Would You Like to Know More?

The data presented here is only a snapshot of the performance benefits the Micron 9300 PRO SSD can provide in applications. Customers can consider replacing their current SATA SSD or HDD deployments with Micron 9300 PRO SSDs, or simply add them to accelerate their current workloads. Check out these tech briefs on the Micron 9300 PRO SSD and learn more about how our fastest drive can address your performance needs.

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Dilm Nwobu portrait

Dilim Nwobu

Dilim Nwobu started his career at Dell Technologies where he worked on storage, custom solutions and server platform development. At Micron, Dilim is a storage solution engineer where he focuses on testing Micron products with Microsoft technologies, namely SQL Server and Azure Stack HCI.