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Analysis of IO Performance Comparison Over Different Storage Media and Block Sizes-B. T. L. Fernando, Prasanna S. Haddela

Analysis of IO Performance Comparison Over Different Storage Media and Block Sizes-B. T. L. Fernando, Prasanna S. Haddela

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Analysis of I/O Performance Comparison over different Storage Media and Block sizes

B. T. L. Fernando, Prasanna S. Haddela Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology Department of Information Technology Colombo 03, Sri Lanka {tania.f, prasanna}@sliit.lk

The usual storage device that is known to all is the Magnetic Disk. Since 1980s to 2000, with the introduction of the Personal Computers (PCs), the small form factor of the Magnetic Disks became a need. At the beginning of the 21st century, this target was achieved and the disk diameter was down to one inch [1, 2]. The mechanical nature of the Magnetic disk affected on the performance and the data access time depends on the location where the data block resides [6]. With the technological enhancements, the disk capacity has been increased about 2500 times during the period from 1993 to 2003. But, the disk bandwidth and latency has improved only about 140 times and 8 times respectively [7, 3]. Therefore, the Access Density has been declined over the years and with the increasing capacities of the disk drives, it can be decreased even further in the future [7]. With the introduction of the mobile devices such as pocket PCs, palmtops, and hand held devices, the different Storage Medias such as flash drives, Secure Digital (SD), Micro SD and Solid State Disks (SSD) comes in to play. The new Storage Medias are mainly based on the flash memory technology. The characteristics of Flash memory are significantly different from Magnetic disks. The first difference that can be pointed out is the absence of mechanical components in the flash memory. This leads to no latency in flash memory where the magnetic disks have high latency due to its moving parts. This was promising for the expected need of the small form factor and the access speeds. Flash memory also has low power consumption and provides reliability. When considering the flash memories, there are two types of non-volatile flash memory technologies that can be identified. The two types are NAND flash and NOR flash. NOR flash based solutions are best used for code storage and

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execution, usually in small capacities where NAND flash based solutions are best used for high capacity data storage [5]. The flash memory storage Medias used for this research are based on NAND based flash memory. According to previous research, the average access times for NAND flash memory can be given as; reads 284.2µs and writes 1833.0µs. These figures are for 4KB of data [4]. Due to the reasons of light weight, small form factor, these Storage Media are highly used in mobile devices. These mobile devices are playing a major role in today’s work environment and due to that reason, these devices manage fairly large amounts of data. These data includes movie files, photos and considerably large databases. Therefore, the storage mediums used in these devices are important and should be monitored for performance. But unlike the high end servers which are monitored periodically for performance, these devices are not monitored for performance issues. However, mobile devices are expected to provide high performance, especially with regards to IO response time. Therefore, there is a specific and urgent requirement to analyze these storage devices’s performance in detail. When analyzing the performance, consideration of access time of data gains an importance, since that plays a major role in performance. Therefore, experiments were carried out to measure the performance for different access patterns over the different storage media and block sizes. Further, the tests were compared to discover the performance patterns with regards to the access time and the block sizes. The research was based on analyzing the experiment results of I/O performance rates of different storage Medias for different block sizes. The selected storage media for the experiments were Hard Drives, Flash Drives (Thumb drive), micro SD, SD and memory sticks. All experiments were performed using two performance benchmarking tools available, namely; IO Meter and HD Tune. With using these tools a series of tests were performed. Each storage media was tested for the available read write patterns; Sequential Reads, Sequential Writes, Random Reads and Random Writes, based on different block sizes. The test experiment settings and the details about the used storage Medias are given in detail along with the test results. After performing the tests individually for all these storage Medias, the results were analyzed by comparing the different storage Medias. As example, HDD performance was compared against flash drive for all access patterns separately. With these comparison results, it was interesting to see how the storage device IO performances
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vary with the block sizes. The results also varied unexpectedly for the different read write patterns. At some block sizes, the performance of two different Medias had no difference. For example, when comparing the HDD performance with the flash pen drive for random reads, it was evident that the HDD perform well for small block sizes (eg.512 bytes) rather than the flash drive. Block sizes greater than 64 KB resulted in an opposite way where the flash disk performed better than the HDD. Similar to this mentioned scenario there were many differences between the device performances with different block sizes. The objective of the research was to analyze the IO performance patterns for different access methods for different storage media. With the experiments performed, it was possible to analyze all access patterns for the above mentioned storage medias. The results discovered from the analysis leads us to re-think about the storage Medias that are used in different applications. In order to gain good performance for the applications used in all devices, there is a need to consider the block sizes that are used in the application. Depending on the average block size used in the applications the decision can be taken on which storage media is to be used for that particular application. As conclusions from the research the best performing storage device / devices for different block sizes and different access patterns can be suggested and also along with that, a list of suggestions can be given for different storage Medias that can be used for different applications depending on the selected block size.

[1] Albert S. Hoagland, “History of Magnetic Disk Storage Based on Perpendicular Magnetic Recording”, Proceedings on IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. No.4, July 2003 [2] Albert S. Hoagland, “Early History & a 50 year Perspective on Magnetic Disk

Storage: The Genesis of the Current Revolution in Information Storage”, Magnetic Disk Heritage Center, February 2005 [3] David A. Patterson, “Latency Lags Bandwidth”, Communications of the ACM, 47(10): 71-75, October 2007

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[4] H. Lee and N. Chang, “Low-Energy Heterogeneous Non-volatile Memory Systems for Mobile Systems”, Journal of Low Power Electronics, vol.1, no.1, pp.52-62, Apr.2005 [5] M-Systems, “Two technologies compared: NOR vs. NAND”, White paper, July 2003 [6]Ragu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke, Database Management Systems, Third Edition, MaGraw-Hill, 2003, chapter 9, pg.306-309 [7] Sang-Won Lee, Bongki Moon and Chanik Park, “Advances in Flash memory SSD Technology for Enterprise Database Applications”, Proceedings of ACM SIGMOD 2009, July 2009

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