Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Startup’s SSDs top 1,000,000 IOPS

March 17, 2010 – According to independent test results, Pliant Technology’s Lightning Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs), which are based on solid-state disk (SSD) technology, topped one million IOPS in a configuration with 16 drives.

Many storage vendors have issued press releases claiming performance of more than, or at least very close to, one million IOPS. Examples include Broadcom (press release), Emulex (press release), and Microsoft and Intel (blog post and video).

The reaction from most people (including me) would be “So what?” and/or “Who the heck needs one million I/Os per second?” It’s a legitimate response, because almost nobody needs that level of horsepower, even in the context of rapidly growing virtual server environments, multi-core processors, etc.

But that was also the response when 10GbE, 8Gbps Fibre Channel, 6Gbps SAS, etc. came onto the scene. And we know how those technologies are doing. The fact is, end users’ need for speed is insatiable, and if you don’t need it today – you will tomorrow.

The testing of Pliant’s SSDs was done by OakGate Technology, which supplies testing tools for IT technology providers.

As with any benchmark tests, it’s important to (a) have a grain of salt on hand and (b) look at the test configuration. The 1.1 million IOPS results were achieved with 16 drives and an 80/20 read/write ratio with 4KB block sizes.

The testing also revealed that that configuration can produce 2.3 million IOPS with a 100% read stream and 512-byte blocks.

Two ZT Systems Linux platforms with dual quad-core Xeon processors were used in the Lightning EFD tests, each running the OakGate FireOak test suite, which was controlled by a Java-based GUI running on Windows XP. Each system included four Adaptec 1045 SAS HBAs, with each HBA connected to two 3.5-inch, 300GB Lightning LS300 EFDs from Pliant.

For complete test details, see OakGate CEO and founder Bob Weisickle’s videos on YouTube:

· Benchmark 1: Real-world Workload
· Benchmark 2: Maximum I/O Rate
· Benchmark 3: Maximum Bandwidth
· Benchmarks 1-3 (complete version)

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