For Peak Performance, Bare Metal with NVMe® RAID Comes Out on Top

Prowess Consulting testing showed that bare-metal servers with NVMe RAID controllers offer an ideal solution for performance-hungry workloads, such as analytics, AI, ML, and HPC.

It’s no surprise that bare-metal servers often provide the highest level of performance for demanding workloads. Organizations might be tempted to use bare-metal deployments to maximize performance and value from their platforms, especially for use with demanding workloads such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and high-performance computing (HPC). Until recently, this approach has been blocked due to concerns around high availability. For example, although RAID arrays could be used with bare-metal deployments to ensure availability, this option hasn’t been viable in the past due to performance constraints of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)−based RAID controllers.

Newer NVM Express® (NVMe®)-based RAID controllers remove that constraint. The NVMe protocol in newer RAID controllers, such as Dell™ PowerEdge™ RAID Controller 11 (PERC 11), can overcome the latency gaps caused by the slower SAS protocol.

To determine the viability of using platforms with NVMe RAID controllers for demanding workloads, Prowess Consulting ran tests to measure transactional database performance using a Dell™ PowerEdge™ R750 server, built with Dell PERC 11 NVMe RAID controllers. We compared performance to a Dell PowerEdge R740xd, configured with Dell PERC 10 controllers using SATA SSDs. In our testing, the PowerEdge R750 with NVMe RAID demonstrated an impressive 2.92x increase in database transaction performance, demonstrating that the newer platform offers a compelling option for businesses looking for high performance with the reliability and availability offered by PERC 11 RAID.

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