Intel squeezes one million IOPS from desktop

Seven SSDs = 5,000 hard drives


IDF Intel has managed to squeeze one million IOPs out of a two-socket desktop tower.

Intel Fellow Rick Coulson showed off the eye-opening setup during a keynote Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The secret ingredients are SSDs tightly coupled to a host in a highly tuned setup that Coulson called "co-optimization."

Coulson's storage technologies group works to improve SSD performance. But that's not all. "Perhaps more importantly we look at the platform and see how the SSD and the platform play together," he said. "We look at the interface between the SSD and the system, software, overhead, those sort of things."

Since SSDs are, according to Coulson, about 100 times faster in terms of latency than hard drives, there are performance bottlenecks to be overcome in the physical interface, the protocols on that interface, the software driver, and the chipset interface.

"So as we look at optimizing some of those things," he said, "like interrupts, driver speculation, improving the physical interface between SSDs, and the system, we expect great gains in power, performance, and cost."

Gains in performance, for example, that add up to 1M IOPS (input/output operations per second) in Coulson's lab, where he hooked up a dual Xeon 5500 desktop tower to seven Intel SSD prototypes - four in the tower and three in a PCIe expansion box - and ran a 4K read/write benchmark on it.

"This many I/Os per second is about four gigabytes per second of storage bandwidth," he claimed. "As a storage guy, that's a huge number, a very huge number."

He also pointed out that during the test, the CPU utilization of the tower was about 50 per cent. "That's really nice," he smiled.

To the non-storage guys in the audience, he said "I want to put this in perspective: this is about 5,000 disk drives worth of random performance. And 5,000 disk drives, when you think about it, is a lot of floor space. Maybe more importantly, that's maybe 50 kilowatts of power - and this whole setup is about 500 [watts]."

To be sure, Coulson's setup is still in Intel's labs, and is tweaked to perfection. But no matter how you cut it, one million IOPS - 1,076,600, to be exact - is one hell of a lot of desktop I/O. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022