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SanDisk Extreme II 240GB 6-Drive SSD RAID Report

By: Jon Coulter | RAID in Storage | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 2:00 pm



Version and / or Patch Used: 2.47


ATTO is a timeless benchmark used to provide manufacturers with data used for marketing storage products.




Transfers quickly ramp up reaching full performance by 16k transfers. Read and write transfers are well balanced, strong, and consistent throughout. Our arrays of 4-6 drives are maxing out the bandwidth available from our Lynx Point chipset.


Sequential Write




Here we can see that available sequential write bandwidth can be maxed out by three drives.


Sequential Read




Read bandwidth is a slightly different story. Performance is increasing all the way from a single drive to a six-drive array.



Anvil Storage Utilities


Version and / or Patch Used: RC6


So what is Anvil Storage Utilities? First of all, it's a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.




SanDisk's Extreme II is all about performance at low queue depths. This is where performance matters most. Most notable is write performance at QD4. I'm anxious to see how this will translate to real-world performance over time.


Read IOPS through Queue Depth Scale




Adding more than three drives to the array does result in a performance increase; however, it's a diminishing return until we hit queue depths of eight or more. This is why we consider three drives the sweet spot. Right now, a three-drive array will smash any consumer PCIe SSD.


Write IOPS through Queue Scale




The Extreme II is tuned for write performance at low queue depths. This makes sense because most commands on an SSD are executed at queue depths of 4 and below.





Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0 Technical Preview


CrystalDiskMark is disk benchmark software that allows us to benchmark 4k and 4k queue depths with accuracy.


Note: Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 Technical Preview was used for these tests since it offers the ability to measure native command queuing at 4 and 32.




That's mega performance across the board. Write performance at QD:4, and read performance at QD:32, is outstanding.




Like we've seen so far, read performance is able to increase at higher queue depths as drives are added to the array.




Notice the marked performance decrease in 4k performance between the 3- and 4-drive arrays. This is a clear indicator than we need a change in stripe size to increase performance. This is why we changed to 32k stripes for our 5 and 6 drive arrays. Here's the deal: there are three ingredients for great SATA based RAID 0 performance. First, the driver needs to be 11.2 RST driver.


Drivers newer than that are only good for single drives. Second, a stripe size of 64k for 2-3 drive arrays; 32k stripes for arrays of 4-6 drives. Third, write caching must be enabled in RST control panel and Windows buffer flushing should be turned off.





Version and / or Patch Used: 1.7.4739.38088


AS SSD determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains four synthetic as well as three practical tests. The synthetic tests are to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are carried out without the use of the operating system caches.






Here we're seeing a nice increase as we add drives to the array. 32k stripes are making the difference for our 5- and 6-drive arrays. Notice the small difference between the 3- and 4-drive arrays. This is a clear indicator that a stripe change is in order. Notice the difference between the 4- and 5-drive arrays. This big performance increase is due to a stripe change.


So, the next logical question is: if we went to 16k stripes on our 6-drive array, would we see another performance increase? The answer is no, in case you are wondering. If we had 7 or 8 RST ports, then probably, but with 5- and 6-drive arrays, 32k stripes will provide maximum performance. A 4-drive array is where there is a grey area. Depending on the drives, 64k stripes may be better than 32k or vice versa.

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