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Testbed and Methods

Our testbed was configured as follows:

  • Supermicro 370DLE mainboard;
  • Intel Pentium III (Coppermine) 600MHz CPU;
  • 2 x 128MB PC100 ECC Registered SDRAM by Micron;
  • IBM DTLA 307015 HDD;
  • Matrox Millennium 4MB graphics card;
  • Windows 2000 Pro SP2.

To connect the hard disk drives we used Adaptec 29160N controller card with BIOS version 3.10.0 and drivers version 4.10.4002 and Adaptec 39320D controller card with BIOS version 4.10.1 (HOST RAID disabled) and drivers version 1.0. the controllers were installed into PCI64/66MHz slot.

The reviewed drives had the following firmware version:

  • Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 - FW: 0002
  • Fujitsu MAS3735NP – FW: 0102
  • Maxtor Atlas 15K 18GB - FW: DT60

We used the following benchmarking software:

For WinBench tests the arrays were formatted in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. The WinBench tests were run five times each; the average result was taken for further analysis. The HDD didn't cool down between the tests.

To compare the hard disk drives performance in Intel IOMeter we used the FileServer and WebServer patterns:

These patterns are intended to measure the disk subsystem performance under workloads typical of file- and web-servers.

Our colleague, Sergey Romanov aka GreY, developed a WorkStation pattern for Intel IOMeter basing on the StorageReveiw's study of the disk subsystem workload in ordinary Windows applications. The pattern was based on the average IPEAK statistics StorageReview provided for Office, High-End and Bootup work modes in NTFS5 file system and mentioned in Testbed3 description.

The pattern serves to determine the attractiveness of the HDDs for an ordinary Windows user.

Well, and in the end we checked the ability of the drives to work with sequential write and read requests of variable size, and tested the drives performance in DataBase pattern, which imitates the work of the disk subsystem with SQL-like requests.

 
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