How much storage performance do you need vs. want?

Storage I/O trends

How much storage performance do you want vs. need?

The answer is probably it depends on cost, which applications or benefit among other things.

I recently did a piece over at 21cit titled Parsing the Need for Speed in Storage that looks at those and other related themes including metrics that matter across tiered storage.

Here is an excerpt:

Can storage speed be too fast? Or, put another away, how do you determine a return on investments or innovation from the financial resources you spend on storage and the various technologies that go into storage performance.

Think about it: Fast storage needs fast servers, IO and networking interfaces, software, firmware, hypervisors, operating systems, drivers, and a file system or database, along with applications. Then there are the other buzzword bingo technologies that are also factors, among them fast storage DRAM and flash Solid State Devices (SSD).

Some questions to ask include:

  • How do response time, latency, and think or wait-times effect your environment and applications?
  • Do you know the location of your storage or data center performance bottlenecks?
  • If you remove bottlenecks in storage systems or appliances as well as in the data path, how will your application or the CPU in the server it runs on behave?
  • If your application server is currently showing high CPU due to the system overhead of having to wait for IOs, you may see a positive improvement. But, if more real work can be done now, will all of the components be ready to support each other without creating a new bottleneck?

So how about it, how much performance, for primary, secondary, backup, cloud or virtual storage do you want vs. need?

Ok, nuff said for now.


Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)

twitter @storageio

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