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Serial Cables SA-ENC12G-01A 12Gb/s SAS3 JBOD External Storage Review

By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: May 6, 2014 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Serial Cables

RAID 0 4k Random Read/Write




We precondition the ASR-8885 RAID controller with an array of eight HGST SSD800MH for 9,000 seconds, or two and a half hours, receiving performance reports every second. We plot this data to illustrate the drives' descent into steady state.


This chart consists of 18,000 data points. The red dots signify IOPS for the SA-ENC12G-01A JBOD, and the blue dots are the same array of SSDs connected directly to the ASR-8885 during the test. 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.


This downward slope of performance only happens during the first few hours of use, and we present precondition results only to confirm steady state convergence.




Each level tested includes 300 data points (five minutes of one second reports) to illustrate performance variability. The line for each OIO depth 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 SSDs inside the Serial Cables SA-ENC12G-01A 12Gb/s JBOD average 685,760 IOPS at 256 OIO, and with the SSDs directly attached to the ASR-8885, they average 685,203 IOPS. This slight difference falls well within the tolerances of repeated testing, and is well below a 1 percent variance. This workload produces the most IOPS of our tests and quickly sets the tone for the remainder of our testing. During this test, we are pushing the highest IOPS during our regimen, and the Serial Cables JBOD comes away with a perfect result. We test with other types of workloads to verify the results as mixed workloads can introduce jitter into our test results.




Examining the latency results at a high level of granularity reveals no additional latency impact from deploying the 12Gb/s JBOD.




As we move into our mixed testing, we note some increased variability due to the nature of the solid state devices we are testing. The SSD800MH produces the most consistent performance of the 12Gb/s SAS SSDs, and the Serial Cables enclosure adds no performance impact. The JBOD averages 533,193 IOPS at 256 OIO, and the direct connected SSDs average 536,286 IOPS. Again, the variance is well below 1 percent.




Latency is unaffected by the addition of the JBOD into the storage subsystem.




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


Our write percentage testing shakes out the loose ends when we test all manner of storage devices, whether they are HDDs, SSDs, RAID controllers, or HBAs. Typically, if there is a significant weakness hiding in the performance, this test flushes them out. The performance of the 12Gb/s JBOD remains unaffected in comparison to the direct connection, delivering the same level of superb performance that doesn't impact the storage subsystem.

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