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Web-Server, Fileserver and Workstation Patterns

The drives are tested under loads typical of servers and workstations.

The names of the patterns are self-explanatory. The Workstation pattern is used with the full capacity of the drive as well as with a 32GB partition. The request queue is limited to 32 requests in the Workstation pattern.

The results are presented as performance ratings. For the File-Server and Web-Server patterns the performance rating is the average speed of the drive under every load. For the Workstation pattern we use the following formula:

Rating (Workstation) = Total I/O (queue=1)/1 + Total I/O (queue=2)/2 + Total I/O (queue=4)/4 + Total I/O (queue=8)/8 + Total I/O (queue=16)/16.

As you may have expected, the HDD from Western Digital takes first place. There is tough competition among the other drives. For example, the Toshiba is second at low loads while the Samsung pushes the Hitachi down to last place. Then, the Hitachi overtakes the Toshiba at high loads and the Samsung sinks down to last place due to the low efficiency of its firmware algorithms.

Let’s check out the performance ratings.

So, second place goes to the Toshiba while the Hitachi and Samsung have nearly identical results.

Western Digital’s first place is unchallenged in this pattern, too. As for the other drives, the Hitachi is the slowest under low loads, but outperforms its opponents at high loads, trying to catch up with the leader. The Toshiba seems to have flaws in its firmware. Its graph does not go up. Instead, it has a noticeable slump at medium loads. As a result, this drive is slower than the Samsung under most loads, but equals and even beats the latter at very short and very long queue depths, respectively.

So, the Hitachi enjoys second place in the performance ratings while the Samsung is third, pushing the Toshiba back.

The Hitachi drive does not like workstations: it is a clear loser in this test. Interestingly, the Toshiba is almost as fast as the leader under very low loads, but loses its ground and gives way to the Samsung at long queue depths.

The performance ratings are explicable: the Toshiba is better than the Samsung because the results at short queue depths have bigger weights in our formula.

The standings are different when the test zone is limited to 32 gigabytes. The ex-leader Western Digital finds itself in last place. The Samsung and Toshiba are contending for first place at very short queue depths but the Toshiba gives up and is replaced by the Hitachi as the load grows high.

So, three drives have similar performance ratings, the Western Digital being noticeably slower than the leaders. The Samsung wins this test by a narrow margin.

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