Everyone wants to be the best, so outrageous claims of supremacy are as old as time. In IT, these claims often revolve around synthetic benchmarks chosen to highlight a system’s performance. Buyers have grown wary of these claims, smartly asking to try before they buy. But predictability is even more important than real-world testing, and this is particularly difficult for storage systems to achieve.
Why do some data storage solutions perform better than others? Mechanical performance, RAM caching, I/O capacity, and the intelligence of the system all have a part to play. Today we examine the rule of spindles: Adding more disk spindles is generally more effective than using faster spindles.
Hiding in the shadow of the huge VMware vSphere 4 announcement was a very interesting introduction by EMC: PowerPath/VE. As I mentioned in my post on storage changes in vSphere 4, PowerPath/VE plugs into the new pluggable storage architecture (PSA) found in vSphere 4 versions of ESX and takes over the decision-making and heavy-lifting tasks related to communicating with storage systems.D