IOMeter v2006.07.27 – IOps

Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems. It was originally developed by the Intel Corporation and announced at the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) on February 17, 1998 – since then it got wide spread within the industry.

Meanwhile Intel has discontinued to work on Iometer and it was given to the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL). In November 2001, a project was registered at and an initial drop was provided. Since the relaunch in February 2003, the project is driven by an international group of individuals who are continuesly improving, porting and extend the product.

Light desktop usage sees QD figures between 1 and 4. Heavy / power user loads run at 8 and higher. Most SSD's are not capable of effectively handling anything higher than QD=32, which explains the plateaus.

Regarding why we use this test as opposed to single-tasker tests like 4KB random reads or 4KB random writes, well, computers are just not single taskers. Writes take place at the same time as reads. We call this mixed-mode testing, and while a given SSD comes with side-of-box specs that boast what it can do while being a uni-tasker, the tests above tend to paint a very different picture.

Here we see another dividing line between 3Gb/sec and 6Gb/sec units. What was surprising to see was that the 910, which has seemed to struggle through many of the tests, is only barely on-par with older units communicating at only half of the throughput. While the 910 model does pair 2 or 4 of these units together, it may be better (and cheaper) to RAID multiples of the other models here instead to achieve better results.

While the Samsung 840 Pro was a surprise, it was mostly bested by the pair of SSD DC Series units. Also surprising was the DC S3500 slightly edging past the S3700, though we can attribute that to optimizations that have taken place between both product launches (the S3500 was released last week, while the S3700 was released last year). A future update should even up this difference.

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