Performance considerations

This page provides details on parameters that directly affect volume performance.

Volume considerations

When you assign capacity to your volumes, consider the following:

  • Your choice of access protocol (Server Message Block (SMB) or Network File System (NFS)) might impact throughput.

  • Your choice of service level affects the throughput limit.

  • Each volume has a throughput limit independent of other volumes.

  • Adding additional capacity to a volume increases the maximum volume throughput limit.

  • Adding pool capacity doesn't affect the volumes within the pool.

Volume considerations for the Standard service level

Based on region and location, the following considerations apply to volumes created within the Standard service level:

  • The pool provides a common throughput limit for all volumes in the pool.

  • Adding pool capacity increases the maximum throughput limit for volumes in the pool.

  • Adding additional capacity to a volume doesn't increase the maximum volume throughput limit.

  • Standard service level volume performance depends on volume capacity or pool capacity depending on the region of the volume.

Workload characteristics

When you use NetApp Volumes, your application sends input/output (I/O) operation requests to volumes that define your workload and are characterized by the following parameters:

  • Client VM read cache size: you can't adjust a workload's read and write ratio, but you can add more buffer cache in your virtual machines (VMs), which can help reduce the number of necessary read operations.

  • Block size: Fewer, larger I/O operations are much more efficient than many smaller ones. Strive to use large block sizes of 64 KiB or more. Consult your application manual to determine if you can change block size.

  • I/O concurrency: you can increase I/O concurrency to process more I/O operations in parallel without increasing the overall runtime.

Metadata operations

Metadata operations are small, protocol-specific operations. Metadata operation performance is primarily limited by latency. Examples of metadata operations include the following:

  • List contents of a folder

  • Delete a file

  • Set permissions


Latency is the total amount of time it takes for an I/O operation to complete. This includes the wait time in queue and the service time where the I/O is acted upon. To improve your latency, we recommend that you test the connection to NetApp Volumes from all the zones in your region and select the zone with the lowest latency.

Latency considerations

  • When a client's network bandwidth is smaller than required, the client latency reported by perfmon in Windows or nfsiostat in Linux is higher than the latency reported by NetApp Volumes because the I/O operation spends time queueing on the client.

  • Storage latency becomes high when a volume's throughput ceiling is lower than required for a given workload. This also causes the client latency to be higher because of the additional client-side queuing.

  • When the capacity-defined throughput ceiling is reached, you can improve the client and storage latencies by increasing the throughput limit.

What's next

Expected performance.