Test System and Methodology
Our Enterprise Test Bench is specifically designed to target long-term performance with a high level of granularity. Many testing methods record peak and average measurements during the test period. These average values give a basic understanding of performance, but fall short in providing the clearest view possible of I/O QoS (Quality of Service).
Average results do little to indicate performance variability experienced during actual deployment. The degree of variability is especially pertinent, as many applications can hang or lag as they wait for I/O requests to complete. This testing methodology illustrates performance variability, and includes average measurements, during the measurement window.
While under load, all storage solutions deliver variable levels of performance. While this fluctuation is normal, the degree of variability is what separates enterprise storage solutions from typical client-side hardware. Providing ongoing measurements from our workloads with one-second reporting intervals illustrates product differentiation in relation to I/O QOS. Scatter charts give readers a basic understanding of I/O latency distribution, without directly observing numerous graphs.
Consistent latency is the goal of every storage solution, and measurements like Maximum Latency only illuminate the single longest I/O received during testing. This can be misleading, as a single 'outlying I/O' can skew the view of an otherwise superb solution. Standard Deviation measurements consider latency distribution, but do not always effectively illustrate I/O distribution with enough granularity to provide a clear picture of system performance. We use histograms to illuminate the latency of every I/O issued during our test runs.
Our testing regimen follows SNIA principles to ensure consistent, repeatable testing. We measure power consumption during precondition runs. This provides measurements in time-based fashion, with results for every second, to illuminate the behavior of power consumption in steady state conditions. Power consumption can cost more over the life of the device than the initial acquisition price of the hardware itself, significantly affecting the TCO of the storage solution.
We connected four Intel DC S3700 200GB SSDs to the HYDRA Bridge for our tests, and higher maximum speeds may be possible with other hardware. The first page of results will provide the 'key' to understanding and interpreting our test methodology.
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