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Web-Server, File-Server and Workstation Patterns

The drives are now going to be 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 created on it. 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.

We’ve got rather surprising results here. The Buffalo’s USB 3.0 implementation is better for server applications than the Vantec’s one although both are inferior to the SATA-connected hard disk drive. It’s the same with the workstation load except that the Buffalo only enjoys a big advantage when the test zone is limited to 32 gigabytes. USB 3.0 is faster than USB 2.0 with the Vantec and the gap is even larger with the Buffalo.

Multithreaded Read & Write Patterns

The multithreaded tests simulate a situation when there are one to four clients accessing the disk subsystem all at the same time – the clients’ address zones do not overlap. The number of simultaneous requests from each of them varies from 1 to 8, but we will discuss diagrams for a request queue of 1 as the most illustrative ones. When the queue is 2 or more requests long, the disk subsystem’s performance doesn’t depend much on the number of applications. You can also click the following links for the full results:

Offering more bandwidth for the hard disk drive, USB 3.0 is about twice as fast as USB 2.0 under multithreaded load. Interestingly, USB is better than SATA in this test for some unknown reason when reading three or four data threads.

There are no unexpected results at multithreaded writing. The HDDs have the same standings irrespective of the number of data threads. USB 2.0 is so much of a bottleneck here that the HDD connected via USB 2.0 is indifferent to the number of data threads whereas the other HDDs slow down when there are more threads to be processed.

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