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Memblaze PBlaze3L 1.2TB Enterprise PCIe SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | PCIe SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 4, 2014 3:03 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Memblaze

4k Random Read/Write




We precondition the 1.2TB Memblaze PBlaze3L for 15,000 seconds, or four hours, receiving performance reports every second. We plot this data to illustrate the drives' descent into steady state.


This dual-axis chart consists of 30,000 data points, with the IOPS on the left, and the latency on the right. The red dots signify IOPS, and the grey dots are latency measurements during the test. 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 gives 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. 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. 4k random performance is a heavily marketed figure, and one of the most sought-after performance specifications.


The Memblaze PBlaze3L at 80% utilization averages 579,522 IOPS at 256 OIO (Outstanding I/O). With 100% utilization, it scores nearly identical with 578,387 IOPS. The Intel DC P3700 averages 467,055 IOPS, the HGST FlashMAX II averages 350,532 IOPS, and the Micron P420m averages 724,958 IOPS. A key consideration is the superb scaling at 32 - 128 OIO, where it easily leads the rest of the pack. Many workloads hover in this range, and the excellent low-load scaling is impressive.






Our Latency vs IOPS charts compare the amount of performance attained from each solution at specific latency measurements. Many applications have specific latency requirements. These charts present relevant metrics in an easy-to-read manner for readers who are familiar with their applications requirements. The arrays that are lowest and furthest to the right exhibit the most desirable latency characteristics.


The PBlaze3L scores 559,623 IOPS at .2ms, and the nearest competitor is 462,000 IOPS from the P3700. The swing low and to the far right highlights the impressive latency profile with random read workloads, and the results are so similar between 80 and 100% utilization modes that the 100% results hide behind the red line.




The Memblaze PBlaze3L at 80% utilization averages 148,593 IOPS at 256 OIO, and the difference between the two modes crops up in random workloads. At 100% utilization, the Pblaze3L averages 70,358 IOPS. The Intel DC P3700 averages 147,846 IOPS, the FlashMAX II averages 119,662 IOPS, and the P420m averages 98,304 IOPS. One impressive aspect is the clearly defined performance envelope in both modes.






The Memblaze3L is very competitive in latency-v-IOPS measurements with a 4k write workload.




Our write percentage testing illustrates the varying performance of each solution with mixed workloads. The 100% column to the right is a pure 4k write workload, and 0% represents a pure 4k read workload. Mixed I/O is a constant reality In VDI, and other intensive applications, resulting in the I/O blender effect. The PBlaze3L cuts an impressive swath across the mixed workload spectrum, and leverages its tremendous read performance to take an easy win in this test.




The 80% utilization mode delivers incredibly consistent latency performance.

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