Virtualization Technology News and Information
Study Finds ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) Better Throughput Than Fibre Channel
CORAID, providers of affordably fast SAN, today announced that it has released the results of a performance comparison study of ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) running in a VMware® ESX™ environment. Using the Iometer benchmarking tool originally developed at Intel Corporation, I/O loads were generated for testing a single virtual machine using VMware ESX Server connected to a CORAID EtherDrive® SAN storage array.  For a 32 Kbyte I/O size, throughput with sequential reads was measured to be 234 Mbytes/sec for AoE as compared to 172 Mbytes/sec for Fibre Channel.  The study also demonstrated that throughput with sequential writes was measured to be 234 Mbytes/sec for AoE compared to 123 Mbytes/sec for Fibre Channel.

“AoE is an open lightweight SAN protocol that leverages the advantages of Ethernet to transport ATA disk commands without the burden of TCP/IP overhead and easily outperforms Fibre Channel and iSCSI”, said James Kemp, CEO of CORAID. “Running on AoE, our EtherDrive SAN leverages VMware virtualization to efficiently resolve the increased storage demands of virtualization.  EtherDrive is providing customers with an affordably fast SAN that is reliable, scalable and easy to implement. At about $400/TB, EtherDrive SAN is also far more affordable that iSCSI and Fibre Channel.” CORAID EtherDrive SAN products provide a complete solution for extreme performance storage area networks and offer best enterprise-class solutions that embrace virtualization for the demands of today’s IT organizations.

This performance comparison study builds on published results from VMware detailing the ‘Comparison of Storage Protocol Performance.’  Using Iometer for load generation, tests were performed with a single virtual machine running on the VMware ESX Server 3.5 U3 configuration connected to a CORAID EtherDrive LD2461 AoE-based storage array.  Results prove that AoE is substantially faster than Fibre Channel and iSCSI in testing both read and write throughput.  AoE demonstrated better response times than either Fibre Channel or iSCSI. The complete study is available for download free of charge at  For more information about Iometer, visit

The EtherDrive Host Bus Adapter for VMware® ESX™ Server is available in 2-Gigabit and 20-Gigabit configurations. Installing multiple HBAs in an ESX server provides scalable bandwidth and path redundancy. EtherDrive SAN scales efficiently, quietly and affordably. For more information on how CORAID EtherDrive SAN is being used in virtualization network storage applications in enterprises all over the world, please contact CORAID at +1-706-548-7200, email or visit
Published Wednesday, May 20, 2009 6:45 PM by David Marshall
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