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I have recently ran some hard drive benchmarks on one of my servers follow Brent Ozar's blog. For the random writes test, i got 86.52 ios/sec and 2.23mbs/sec. I am not a hardware person, and my sys admin doesn't seem to know much about these stats as well. Are these numbers horrible? How do I figure that out?

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closed as too localized by jcolebrand Nov 19 '12 at 3:39

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This is a hard question to answer as is. There are a lot of variables at play. Please provide more info - like your IO setup details, the rest of the metrics of the tests and other tests. Even then, though, it is hard to say "good or bad" - The IOPs seem low and the throughput is lower than I'd expect for most DB systems, but there is no hard and fast rule and without details I can't provide more. Even then any answer you get is going to be subjective. Two questions to answer with these tests: 1.) is my storage doing its expected job? and 2.) Is it enough for my intended workload? – Mike Walsh Nov 14 '12 at 19:46
Is this system dedicated to SQL Server? Is it running on bare metal, or is it a Virtual Machine? Do you have a RAID array, and if so, is it software or hardware? Are your hard disks old, slow, SATA drives, or are the 15k RPM SAS Enterprise-class drives? As Mike said above, it's pretty hard to answer your question without further detail. – Max Vernon Nov 14 '12 at 20:25
It's solely a SQL Server... server. I will try and add as much info tomorrow. – DForck42 Nov 16 '12 at 4:26

This pretty much depends on your I/O subsystem. I generally expect 100-120 IOPS per spindle on 7200 rpm S-ATA and 160-180 iops per spindle on 15k rpm SAS.

IOPS in this context typically refers to random 4K reads or writes, and I'm not entirely sure if the number you have given refer to physical 4k iops, or logical 8k iops.

Either way, 87 or 174 iops could both be within the expected range of a single drive, depending on type of drive and whether or not there were any other disk activity on the drive while running the benchmark.

As to whether these numbers are horrible, that ultimately depends on your requirements. I/O subsystems easily range from the 100 iops of a small webserver (single s-ata drive, or perhaps more commonly, two mirrored s-ata drives) to the 25,000 iops provided by the Oracle Database Appliance (20 SAS drives + 4 SSD drives) and beyond.

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