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Demartek Publishes Evaluation of LSI WarpDrive Performance

3 January 2011

By , Demartek President

When users have a choice of websites to do their business, providing acceptable response times is critical in retaining customers. As the client base grows, the high demand for serving pages may cause users to experience slow page delivery. To solve this problem, businesses may spread the web page demand across scores of systems each capable of providing web pages. This report evaluates whether using solid state storage will allow fewer systems to be deployed.

Solid state storage uses a robust version of the flash technology found on camera memory cards and is being used to augment or replace hard disk drive (HDD) storage. Since solid state storage has no spinning disks and movable read/write heads, it can provide from 10 to 1000 times more transactions per second than traditional HDD storage. Initial implementations of solid state storage have been solid state disks (SSD) which emulate the form factor and interface characteristics of a HDD.

LSI Corporation commissioned Demartek to evaluate their WarpDrive Acceleration Card, a solid state storage implementation that plugs into the PCI Express® (PCIe) bus in a server. The purpose of this evaluation was to compare the performance of a web server using WarpDrive for web content storage versus HDD. WarpDrive is able to provide 300GBs of storage and by interfacing to PCIe, more transactions per second and higher throughput can be supported compared to HDD.

These tests were conducted in the Demartek lab in Arvada, Colorado using Demartek servers, disk drives and networking infrastructure. LSI supplied the WarpDrive Acceleration Card solid state storage card and disk enclosure. The web server content was created by Demartek and run on Windows Server 2008 R2 with IIS 7.5.

Moving the Bottleneck
This web server application workload using high-performance solid-state storage technology, when pushed to a heavier load, showed an example where the storage was no longer the bottleneck, but the 1GbE network was the bottleneck, which required us to move to our 10GbE network. We believe that as more solid-state storage is deployed and pushed to heavier loads, I.T. professionals will discover similar new bottlenecks.

“We achieved tremendous web server performance, very quick response time and low power consumption with the LSI WarpDrive card,” said Dennis Martin, Demartek President. “We had to move to our 10GbE network to get the full performance of the WarpDrive, achieving more than 100 million web hits in 90 minutes.”

This report includes charts showing web server performance, web server response time, power consumption and other measurements taken during the tests.

View the Demartek LSI WarpDrive Performance Evaluation

(PDF, 3326 KB)

Demartek LSI WarpDrive Web Server Performance


LSI and WarpDrive are trademarks of LSI Corporation.
PCI Express is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG.