Access "How useful are storage benchmarks?"
This article is part of the Vol. 6 No. 8 October 2007 issue of Continuous data protection (CDP) and the future of backup
Despite the attention they get, storage benchmarks can be manipulated to unfairly compare products with vastly different configurations. Although storage performance is one of many considerations when selecting a storage system, performance benchmarking results get the most headlines. IBM Corp.'s July news release that touted the record-breaking Storage Performance Council (SPC) result for its System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) 4.2 is a prime example of how companies play up their benchmarking news. It's no secret that storage vendors are eager to cite performance improvements of their latest arrays, often without any reference to the configuration, under what conditions the performance boost can be expected or how the testing was conducted. For example, EMC claimed earlier this year that "The new EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 series will improve performance by up to 30%," but failed to say under what conditions and in what configuration it tested the DMX-4. If performance benchmarking is mostly a marketing tool for storage vendors to pump up their products, ... Access >>>
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How useful are storage benchmarks?
Most storage vendors like to tout how well their gear performed on benchmark tests, but the results may not always be as they first appear. The benchmarking process can be easily manipulated because of the large number of variables that influence performance results. To level the playing field, test results need to be categorized by product type, configuration standards need to be defined for each category and vendors must strictly adhere to the configurations.
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