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Test Setup

Data Fever: Ultra320 SCSI from Adaptec and LSI Logic
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Test System
Processor 2x Intel Pentium 4 Xeon, 2.8 GHz
Motherboard Supermicro X5DL8
ServerWorks GC-LE
RAM 2x 512 MB PC2100/DDR266
Registered, ECC - Samsung
IDE Controller SB7440 UltraATA/100 Controller
System Hard Drive IBM Deskstar 60 GXP, IC35040, 40 GB, 7,200 rpm
Test Hard Drive 6x Seagate Barracuda 10K.4 (ST 3146807LW), 147 GB, 10,000 rpm, Ultra320 SCSI
Display Adapter nVIDIA GeForce4 MX440, PCI, 64 MB
Network Card Broadcom BCM5703, 1 Gb/s, on board
Operating System Windows 2000 Server SP3
Benchmarks and Tests
Access Time ZD WinBench 99 2.0
Performance Tests Intel IOMeter 2003.02.15
I/O Performance Intel IOMeter 2003.02.15
Drivers and Settings
Graphics Driver nVIDIA 44.03
Drivers Windows 2000 Server default Chipset drivers
DirectX Version 9.0

Because we have not used Intel's IOMeter software often up to this point, we would like to briefly explain the test procedure.

IOMeter allows access patterns to be generated for one or several drives, so that a typical system requirement can be re-created. For this article, we used four test processes:

  1. Maximum data transfer rate in MB/s
  2. Aggregate Block size Proportion of read accesses Proportion of random accesses
    100% 64 kB 100% 0% (sequential)

    No doubt this test is very theoretical and only serves the purpose of determining the maximum transfer rate. We are dispensing with write accesses and random accesses - only sequential reading is in demand.

  3. Maximum I/O performance in I/Os per second
  4. Aggregate Block size Proportion of read accesses Proportion of random accesses
    100% 512 Byte 100% 0% (sequential)

    In this area, we measured with 1, 4, 8, 16, 64 and 256 I/Os per drive access, since this can vary depending on the controller. Once again, this test only represents a theoretical result, as block sizes of 512 Bytes would hardly be used in practice.

  5. File server access pattern (recommended by Intel)
  6. Aggregate Block size Proportion of read accesses Proportion of random accesses
    10% 512 Byte 80% 100%
    5% 1 kB 80% 100%
    5% 2 kB 80% 100%
    60% 4 kB 80% 100%
    2% 8 kB 80% 100%
    4% 16 kB 80% 100%
    4% 32 kB 80% 100%
    10% 64 kB 80% 100%

    In this respect, we measured with 4, 16, 64 and 256 I/Os for each access. The distribution of the required block sizes corresponds to the recommendation by Intel and simulates the environment of a typical file server quite efficiently. We used a total of six hard drives, which ensures high usage of the controller.

  7. Database access pattern
  8. Aggregate Block size Proportion of read accesses Proportion of random accesses
    100% 8 kB 67% 100%

    The last access pattern is used by other online magazines as well: with a block size of 8 kB, it reflects other database applications.

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