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Enterprise SSD testing spec released

Lucas Mearian, Computerworld | May 23, 2011
The Storage Networking Industry Association today announced the release of a specification that can be used to test the performance of solid-state drives regardless of the vendor.

The PTS describes a reference test hardware and software platform used to validate the specification itself. The reference test platform was developed by SSSI member Calypso Systems.

Calypso built a hardware platform that has multiple bays to test drives in parallel and developed the software that adheres to the specification.

"You pretty much plug in a drive and it does the test," Wassenberg said. "If you want to test a drive, they'll test it for a fee. This reference test platform is the gold standard."

But Wassenberg said users can set up their own testbeds using the spec and other open-source benchmarking tools such as DBench or Iometer.

"You just need to ensure that you use a hardware platform that doesn't bottleneck the SSDs. We recommend a server motherboard," he said. "You must also be knowledgeable enough to write [a] script for it."

SNIA is currently also working on application-specific specifications that will allow SSDs to be tested under loads for specific tasks. For example, SSDs could be tested for their performance in PC environments running Windows 7 or in server environments running Oracle software.

"But, that's a ways off. The important thing for us was to get something out there to test drives with and compare performance," Wassenberg said.


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