Just how fast can things go?

May 4, 2012

I spent some time last month at Intel’s IDF in Beijing. Doing the meet and greet with all the great Chinese customers, resellers, integrators etc. They really are a nice bunch of people and I love Beijing at that time of year (it’s considerably warmer than December).

On the Adaptec stand we had all of our current products, and something a little special. A PCIe 3 prototype product demonstrating PMC’s SRCv chip: 24-native SAS ports, PCIe Gen 3.0 etc etc. We borrowed 16 SATA SSD’s (Pulsar XT) from Seagate, scrounged a server from our friends at Karmen (or should I say my good friends at Karmen did the scrounging for me) – and we cobbled the whole thing together in 20 minutes just (and I mean just) before the show.

A simple raid0 across the 16 drives using all defaults (256kb stripe size etc). slapped Windows 2008 R2 SP1 on it, formatted the disk and ran up iometer. I like to do this because it shows real world speed – yes I can get better performance running on a raw disk but that’s just hocus pocus when it comes to numbers.

So … slap the whole thing together, run up iometer on a 100% 256kb sequential read – simple. Then sit back and watch whether this is in fact going to work at all. Holy suffering catfish Batman – 6030mb per second read speed. Blink, double-check, run iometer again – yep, 6030mb per second.

Is this a secret? The product running the whole show certainly is. The chip powering it is not (it’s a publicly released product) and the results – well to every person who picked their jaw up off the ground and stopped to question us intently about just what we were doing – no it’s not a secret.

It’s just one hell of a performance number.

Ciao
Neil

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