Feeds

Intel squeezes one million IOPS from desktop

Seven SSDs = 5,000 hard drives

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

IDF Intel has managed to squeeze one million IOPs out of a two-socket desktop tower.

Intel Fellow Rick Coulson showed off the eye-opening setup during a keynote Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The secret ingredients are SSDs tightly coupled to a host in a highly tuned setup that Coulson called "co-optimization."

Coulson's storage technologies group works to improve SSD performance. But that's not all. "Perhaps more importantly we look at the platform and see how the SSD and the platform play together," he said. "We look at the interface between the SSD and the system, software, overhead, those sort of things."

Since SSDs are, according to Coulson, about 100 times faster in terms of latency than hard drives, there are performance bottlenecks to be overcome in the physical interface, the protocols on that interface, the software driver, and the chipset interface.

"So as we look at optimizing some of those things," he said, "like interrupts, driver speculation, improving the physical interface between SSDs, and the system, we expect great gains in power, performance, and cost."

Gains in performance, for example, that add up to 1M IOPS (input/output operations per second) in Coulson's lab, where he hooked up a dual Xeon 5500 desktop tower to seven Intel SSD prototypes - four in the tower and three in a PCIe expansion box - and ran a 4K read/write benchmark on it.

"This many I/Os per second is about four gigabytes per second of storage bandwidth," he claimed. "As a storage guy, that's a huge number, a very huge number."

He also pointed out that during the test, the CPU utilization of the tower was about 50 per cent. "That's really nice," he smiled.

To the non-storage guys in the audience, he said "I want to put this in perspective: this is about 5,000 disk drives worth of random performance. And 5,000 disk drives, when you think about it, is a lot of floor space. Maybe more importantly, that's maybe 50 kilowatts of power - and this whole setup is about 500 [watts]."

To be sure, Coulson's setup is still in Intel's labs, and is tweaked to perfection. But no matter how you cut it, one million IOPS - 1,076,600, to be exact - is one hell of a lot of desktop I/O. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.