Power Measurements and Thermal Monitoring
One of the most overlooked areas in many enterprise evaluations of storage solutions is the power consumption and the amount of heat the unit generates. Heat generation is dealt with via a range of different types of active cooling methods. This constant need to dissipate heat away from the datacenter results in one of the highest ongoing expenses in these environments. Active cooling requires power and lots of it.
For every watt of power consumed in a datacenter there also has to be a redundancy for that power as well. This will provide the datacenter the ability to continue operating during power 'events'. This usually consists of large banks of batteries and generators that can be a very expensive proposition.
Limiting the amount of heat introduced into the datacenter reduces the power needed for climate control and the redundancy costs of that power as well.
Power consumption, of both the device itself and the power needed to deal with any heat generation, sometimes costs more than the purchase of the unit itself over the lifespan of the device. Power and heat generation are significant measurements to take into consideration when making purchasing decisions.
The workload testing for heat generation was conducted at a QD of 64. The results are measured as T-Delta to Ambient. This allows for a higher level of accuracy as it accounts for any small variations in room temperature.
We were also able to use AIDA64 software to monitor the temperatures in real-time, and we placed the drive under varying workloads to ascertain the heat production in certain usages. At idle the unit generated 10C, and the highest recorded values were during random reading and writing, generating 14C. Sequential read monitoring shows the device generated 13C, and sequential write measured 11C.
There is little variation in heat generation during the different workloads, with the largest difference being four degrees Celsius while under load.
Overall keeping a low power threshold is the holy grail of high-performance enterprise storage solutions. For every watt of power consumed, there is also an accompanying increase in heat generated by the device. This creates a vicious cycle of overall power consumption as the additional heat generated must also be cooled.
The Toshiba draws power from the 5V and 12V rail, and consumes very little compared to other larger HDDs. The average draw under a number of random and sequential workloads was between 4 and 6 Watts. The HDD drew just over 10 Watts at startup.
IOPS/Watts is a calculation used to determine the amount of IOPS given per Watt of power consumed. This will become more relevant as we add more enterprise HDDs to the comparison field. The Toshiba MK1401GRRB generated 137 read IOPS at 4k random, 148 IOPS at 4k random write, and 245 IOPS per watt with sequential reading.