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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.

I don’t think that many people will use external HDDs for server applications, so I will only offer you diagrams with the drives’ overall 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.

There is no heavy linear load and no write requests, so all the drives and interfaces produce similar results. The XTreme with eSATA wins by a very small margin.

The picture is different when there are write requests in the queue. The Desktop and Desk models enjoy a big lead whereas the XTreme shows modest performance irrespective of the interface. And this pattern contains only 10% writes of the total number of requests!

There are more changes when the load is changed to Workstation. The Desk remains in the lead while the old Desktop has stepped back. The XTreme with FireWire is an obvious loser. The FireWire interface seems to dislike this load.

When the test zone is limited to 32GB, we have the same results as in the File-Server pattern: the Desk and Desktop are in the lead (the older Desktop even being somewhat ahead). The XTreme is far behind, delivering the same speed with any of its interfaces.

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