SuperMicro VSAN HCIBench

After spending a lot of time and money building up my home lab environment, the first thing I wanted to do was test it out. I wanted to know what sort of performance will I get from this little VSAN lab. In my haste to to get my hardware I opted for an NVMe M.2 SSD that I expected to perform well but it wasn’t ever going to break any records. It was available at the time and at the right price, so I bought it. Now that my lab is built, I really want to know how it actually performs and if my eagerness paid off or if it’ll come back to bite me. Regardless of the hardware, this is a home lab configuration built on the SuperMicro E200-8D platform with an all flash VSAN. How good can it be?

Lab Specs

Here is my hardware details. I have 3x SuperMicro servers in a VSAN cluster, each running the same hardware, connected via a 10Gb network.


SuperMicro E200-8D SYS-E200-8D
CPU Intel XEON-D 1528 1.9GHz (6 core)
Capacity Disk 1TB 2.5″ SanDisk X400
Cache Disk 128GB NVMe M.2 SanDisk X400
 Network 10GBase-T with 9000MTU
ESXi  ESXi Version 6.5.0 (4887370)

Lab Test with HCIBench

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 8.16.19 AM

VMware Flings publish an awesome little appliance called HCIBench, which is a Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Benchmarking tool. You can download it from the VMware Flings website. This is a very simple tool that makes performance testing of a HCI POC or home lab an extremely simple task. Run it in your home lab and let me know what you get. I’d like to get some comparisons on other home lab environments.

I won’t go into much detail around the install process because it is very simple and the Install Instructions are very clear and well written. The gist of the install goes like this:

  1. Download and import OVA.
  2. Enter the network configuration.
  3. Log into the website at http://ipaddress:8080.
  4. Username is “root” and the password was setup in the OVA deployment.
  5. Enter all of your vCenter details.
  6. Press the button to download Vdbench and then upload it. This is for licensing constraints. You must download Vdbench yourself.
  7. Tick the “Easy Run” for automated VSAN testing.
  8. Validate and then start the Test.

Once the test has started you will get a progress screen

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 7.56.49 AM

The HCIBench tool will deploy the necessary VMs to your environment, configure them and wait for them to respond on the network. You will need to either provide a DHCP network or tick the box to get the HCIBench tool to allocate IPs to the worker VMs.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 7.59.40 AM

It will take a while for the VMs to be deployed and then they will prepare the disks before the actual test starts. This takes about 10 minutes or more. Once everything is ready the test will start.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.10.25 AM

 It will take a couple hours to do a full test. While it was running I logged in to esxtop and took a couple quick screen shots of the current disk activity.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 8.50.16 AMScreen Shot 2017-04-29 at 8.59.35 AMScreen Shot 2017-04-29 at 9.00.13 AM


After a few hours of testing I had the results. I wasn’t really surprised at the figures, they seem to be exactly what I was expecting to get from the SanDisk X400 disks. According to the UserBenchmark website the expected 4k Write throughput for the X400 is 63.7MB/s and my throughput was 62.81MB/s. Now it’s time to buy a Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD and do the test again 🙂

Datastore SuperMicro_VSAN
VMs 6
IOPS 16078.98 IOPS
LATENCY 23.8660 ms
R_LATENCY 16.0298 ms
W_LATENCY 42.1727 ms

Other posts you might be interested in:

SuperMicro VSAN HCIBench

SSL Certificate Tool (CertGenVVD)

Single Node SuperMicro Home Lab

SuperMicro vs Intel NUC