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HGST Ultrastar He6 6TB Helium Enterprise HDD Review - Test System and Methodology

HGST Ultrastar He6 6TB Helium Enterprise HDD Review

Paul examines HGST's Ultrastar He6, which delivers the highest capacity and storage density in tandem with low power consumption and cool operation. (NASDAQ:WDC)

| HDDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Mar 30, 2014 8:59 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%      Manufacturer: HGST

Test System and Methodology

 

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Our approach to storage testing targets 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 they fall short in providing the clearest view possible of I/O Quality of Service (QoS).

 

'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 such as 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 they do not always effectively illustrate I/O distribution with enough granularity to provide a clear picture of system performance. We utilize high-granularity I/O latency charts to illuminate performance during our test runs.

 

We measure power consumption during precondition runs. This provides measurements in time-based fashion, with results every second, to monitor power consumption behavior. We also present IOPS-to-Watts measurements to highlight efficiency.

 

We conduct our tests over the full LBA range to allow each HDD to highlight its average performance. Varying capacities should be taken into account when viewing results. Both test samples feature the SAS interface. It should be noted the SAS He6 consumes more power than the SATA variant. The first page of results will provide the 'key' to understanding and interpreting our test methodology.

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