SOURCE: Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA)

Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA)

July 12, 2010 08:00 ET

SNIA SSSI Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification Available for Public Review

New Performance Specification Takes Big Step Forward in Enabling "Apples-to-Apples" Comparison of Solid State Storage Devices for Enterprise and Client Environments

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) -  The Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) today announced the availability of the Solid State Storage (SSS) Performance Test Specification (PTS) (version 0.9) for public review. The SNIA SSS Performance Test Specification defines a suite of tests and test methodologies necessary to enable comparative testing of individual SSS device performance to facilitate broader market adoption of solid state storage technology within both the client and enterprise computing environments. 

The public review phase is a 60-day period during which the proposed specification is publicly available and feedback is gathered across the worldwide storage industry. Upon completion of the public review phase, the SNIA Solid State Storage Technical Work Group (SSS TWG) will remove the SSS PTS from the web site, consider all submitted feedback, make modifications, and ultimately publish the version 1.0 of the ratified SSS Performance Test Specification. 

"Until now, there was no industry standard test methodology or specified test environment for measuring solid state storage device performance," said Eden Kim, SNIA SSS TWG Chair. "As a result, each solid state storage manufacturer uses different measurement methodologies to derive performance specifications for their solid state storage products. This makes it difficult for purchasers of SSS to compare products from different companies. This announcement is a major step forward in enabling purchasers of solid state storage devices to compare the performance of solid state storage products from different manufacturers on an 'apples-to-apples' comparison."

A typical SSS device, taken "fresh out of the box" and exposed to a workload, experiences a brief period of elevated performance, followed by a period of transition to an eventual performance Steady State. The SSS PTS prescribes preparation methodologies and defines "Steady State" so that performance measurements can be taken in the Steady State performance region, which should be representative of the device's performance during its normal working life. When executed in a specific hardware/software environment, the SSS PTS will provide measurements of performance that can then be fairly compared to those of other SSS products measured in the same way in the same environment. 

Jim Handy, SSD analyst for Objective Analysis, added, "This new specification is a sure sign that the solid state storage market is maturing. The SNIA has done an admirable job of bringing all parties together to satisfy the needs of the SSD buyer by devising an unbiased benchmark that can be used to make a well-informed decision of which SSD to use."

The Test Environment
The SSS PTS specification itself is test hardware and software agnostic. The tests and methodologies assume nothing about the underlying test platform environment except specifying general requirements to ensure that there are no test hardware or software bottlenecks or unintended contributions to test measurements. However, while individual testers can run SSS PTS on their particular platform to compare the relative performance of SSS devices they are evaluating, in order for SSS PTS results to be compared on a true "apples-to-apples" basis, across multiple testers, a consistent test platform must be used.

The Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification includes a Reference Test Platform (RTP) that describes the test hardware, software, and tools used by the Technical Work Group to do the bulk of the research and validation of the Specification. The RTP is not required to run the SSS PTS tests; it is merely an example of a platform that has been confirmed to meet the SSS PTS platform requirements. Readers are encouraged to use the Reference Test Platform and/or any of the tools specified therein to generate data as prescribed and submit it to the SNIA Solid State Storage Technical Work Group (SSS TWG).

The 56 member SSS TWG has been working on the SSS PTS since early 2009. These companies represent solid state storage industry leading SSS manufacturers, SSS controller makers, test houses, and computer system OEMs.

How to Get Involved
All interested parties are encouraged to download the work-in-progress SSS PTS draft at http://www.snia.org/publicreview/ and provide feedback at http://www.snia.org/feedback/. Comments coming out of the public review will be used to improve the specification. (Please note, work-in-progress DRAFTS of technical specifications are not endorsed by the SNIA for commercial shipping product implementation, but rather for review/feedback and prototyping work to ensure the work, when completed, will meet the needs of the Industry.) Status on updates to the specification and related white papers can also be found at http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi.

About SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not-for-profit global organization, made up of some 400-member companies spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIA's mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For additional information, visit the SNIA web site at www.snia.org.

About SSSI
The SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) was formed to foster the growth and success of the market for solid state storage in both enterprise and client environments. It consists of various subcommittees focused on promoting the development of technical standards and tools, in order to educate users about the advantages of SSS devices. For additional information, visit the SSSI web site at www.snia.org/sssi.

About SSS TWG
Upon the recommendation of the SSSI, the SNIA Technical Council organized the Solid State Storage Technical Work Group (SSS TWG) to create a reference SNIA architecture and facilitate industry-wide adoption of common requirements, methods, and specifications in related standards organizations.

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