Jason Sares is a Giant Dork

Linux Quick Tip – Benchmark Disk Performance

A very quick way to benchmark your disk performance is hdparm -t /dev/Xda (hda or sda):

you should get results like this:

[root@esx-mars root]# hdparm -t /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads:  358 MB in  3.00 seconds = 119.33 MB/sec

This is from a Dell PowerEdge 2900 with the PERC 5i SATA RAID Controller.

Roughly you want to see 50 MB+ per disk, if you have a RAID 0 of two disks you should get 100 MB+.

What numbers are your getting?

Posted in Linux Hardware,Linux Quick Tip | 5 comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Alain Kelder December 22nd, 2008 5:21 pm

    The problem with hdparm is that it tells an incomplete story. I find tests that measure disk + filesystem performance more interesting. Here are some stats nevertheless:

    —————————————————-
    Dell PowerEdge 840 (tower)
    Areca ARC-1110 controller (JBOD mode)
    2 Western Digital 500 GB SATA, Linux Software RAID 1
    —————————————————-
    Timing buffered disk reads: 214 MB in 3.00 seconds = 71.33 MB/sec

    —————————————————-
    Dell PowerEdge 840 (tower)
    Areca ARC-1110 controller (JBOD mode)
    4 Western Digital 500 GB SATA, Linux Software RAID 10
    —————————————————-
    Timing buffered disk reads: 404 MB in 3.01 seconds = 134.13 MB/sec

    —————————————————-
    Dell PowerEdge 840 (tower)
    Areca ARC-1110 controller
    4 Western Digital 500 GB SATA, RAID 5
    —————————————————-
    Timing buffered disk reads: 666 MB in 3.01 seconds = 221.36 MB/sec

    —————————————————-
    Dell PowerEdge 2950
    Perc 5/i controller
    4 Western Digital 500 GB SATA, RAID 5
    —————————————————-
    Timing buffered disk reads: 346 MB in 3.00 seconds = 115.21 MB/sec

  2. Anonymous December 23rd, 2008 11:07 am

    I used the public domain I/O test program named “bonnie” a few days ago.
    Its easy to install/compile and execute and has reasonable results.
    Below is an example:
    [root@demo tmp]# ./run_bonnie.sh
    Start bonnie at Thu Dec 18 14:06:41 PST 2008
    File ‘/tmp/bonnie_tmp/Bonnie.16293′, size: 1073741824
    Writing with putc()…done
    Rewriting…done
    Writing intelligently…done
    Reading with getc()…done
    Reading intelligently…done
    Seeker 1…Seeker 2…Seeker 3…start ‘em…done…done…done…
    ——-Sequential Output——– —Sequential Input– –Random–
    -Per Char- –Block— -Rewrite– -Per Char- –Block— –Seeks—
    Machine GB M/sec %CPU M/sec %CPU M/sec %CPU M/sec %CPU M/sec %CPU /sec %CPU
    demo.fas 1 39.8 76.5 93.0 31.9 844.8 99.8 65.8 99.9 2557.8 99.6 77 0.5
    End bonnie at Thu Dec 18 14:09:27 PST 2008
    [root@demo tmp]#

  3. Alain Kelder December 23rd, 2008 12:48 pm

    Yeah, bonnie++ is great. I usually use hdparm to get a general idea of a drive’s performance, then move on to dd and bonnie++ for more useful performance metrics of individual disks or RAID arrays with a filesystem on top.

  4. Cesar Delgado December 23rd, 2008 3:18 pm

    Dell PowerEdge with PowerVault
    PERC 6/E Controller
    14 SAS drives in RAID 10
    Timing buffered disk reads: 636 MB in 3.00 seconds = 212.00 MB/sec
    ——————————
    Work Desktop
    SATA drives
    /dev/sda:
    Timing buffered disk reads: 196 MB in 3.01 seconds = 65.10 MB/sec
    /dev/sdb:
    Timing buffered disk reads: 204 MB in 3.02 seconds = 67.54 MB/sec

  5. Alain Kelder December 24th, 2008 12:06 am

    Hey Cesar, are those SAS drives 10K RPM or 15K RPM?

    I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed with the performance of PERC controllers in Dell boxes I’ve used. I’m equally underwhelmed with the LSI controllers in the IBM boxes I’ve been using lately. I’ve found Areca controllers almost twice as fast using the same hard drives. I have some gripes with Areca (and most other commercial RAID controllers) so on my to do list is to get a fast PCI-E or PCI-X controller and see what sort of performance I can get out of Linux software RAID 10 over 8 or more 7.5K RPM SATA drives.

    Installing an IBM DAS with 12 7.5K SATA drives in the next couple of weeks. Will test out RAID5 and RAID10 and see how fast it is..