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Vol. 6 No. 8 October 2007

How useful are storage benchmarks?

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 ...

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Features in this issue

  • Storage still lacks energy metrics

  • Top 10 tips of the summer of 2006

    by Staff

    Storage, security and open source were the front runners in our tally of the Top 10 SMB tips for the summer of 2006.

  • 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.

Columns in this issue

  • Storage Bin: Leaving you in good hands

    It's time for a changing of the guard for the Storage Bin column. Steve Duplessie, whose witty and perceptive insights have graced Storage magazine from day one, is stepping aside to make room for ESG's Tony Asaro to take up residency on our end page.