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IntelliProp Hydra SATA Bridge IPA-SA117A-BR Review - Tested with Four Intel DC S3700 SSDs - 4K Random Read/Write

IntelliProp Hydra SATA Bridge IPA-SA117A-BR Review - Tested with Four Intel DC S3700 SSDs
IntelliProp's HYDRA SATA bridge allows manufacturers to cram more density, endurance and performance into a 2.5" slot. Paul investigates it.
By: | Accessories in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Feb 4, 2014 2:02 am
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: IntelliProp

4K Random Read/Write




We precondition the HYDRA Bridge with 4 x 200GB Intel DC S3700 SSDs for 18,000 seconds, or five hours, receiving reports on several parameters of workload performance every second. We then plot this data to illustrate the drives' descent into steady state.


This chart consists of 36,000 data points. This is a dual-axis chart, with the IOPS on the left and the latency on the right. The red dots signify IOPS during the test, and the light green dots are latency measurements during the test period. We place latency data in a logarithmic scale to bring it into comparison range. The lines through the data scatter are the average during the test. This type of testing presents standard deviation and maximum/minimum I/O in a visual manner.


Note that the IOPS and Latency figures are nearly mirror images of each other. This illustrates that high-granularity testing can give our readers a good feel for latency distribution by viewing IOPS at one-second intervals. This should be in mind when viewing our test results below.


We provide histograms for further latency granularity below. This downward slope of performance happens very few times in the lifetime of the device, typically during the first few hours of use, and we present the precondition results only to confirm steady state convergence.




Each QD tested includes 300 data points (five minutes of one second reports) to illustrate performance variability. The line for each QD represents the average speed reported during the five-minute interval.


4K random speed measurements are an important metric when comparing drive performance, as the hardest type of file access for any storage solution to master is small-file random. One of the most sought-after performance specifications, 4K random performance, is a heavily marketed figure.


The HYDRA Bridge averages 88,917 IOPS with a 4K random read workload at QD256. The single Intel DC S3700 averages an impressive 63,870 IOPS. Even though the most impressive gains are found in random write/mixed workloads, there is a big benefit to read-centric workloads as well.




Garbage collection routines are more pronounced in heavy write workloads; this leads to more variability in performance.


The HYDRA really shines in this test, with a blistering average of 85,664 IOPS at QD256. The single DC S3700 performs admirably with an average of 36,228 IOPS. In IntelliProp's internal testing, they have reached 90,000 IOPS.




Our write percentage testing illustrates the varying performance of each solution with mixed workloads. The 100% column to the right is a pure write workload of the 4K file size, and 0% represents a pure 4K read workload.


Another major benefit to the HYDRA Bridge solution is the resilience to varying workloads with mixed read/write data. While the single Intel DC S3700 exhibits the typical performance plot as we mix in write data, the four Intel's aggregated on the HYDRA barely blink at the heavier workloads.




A single Intel provides lower latency than the HYDRA, with four of the drives aggregated, but the increased latency falls into an acceptable range, which is comparable with other RAID solutions.

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