Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

SPEC releases SPECsfs2008 file server benchmark

How fast is your file server? SPEC has released a new network file server benchmark, SPECsfs2008. A follow on to the SFS97_R1 benchmark for NFS file servers, the new benchmark adds support for the CIFS protocol. Of course NFS transaction rates cannot be compared with CIFS transaction rates because the workloads are completely different. Both workloads draw from real world measurements of thousands of customer sites. More client types are supported and the benchmark is easier to use than ever.

Wednesday Feb 20, 2008

SPEC award recipients, Network File Server

More SPECtacular awards given at SPEC's 2008 annual meeting in San Francisco, these to members of the System File Server Group. As before, I won't post anyone's name without permission, but you know who you are and SPEC is grateful for your contributions.

SPEC SFS97_R1 is SPEC's benchmark suite for evaluating performance of network file servers using the NFS protocol. The committee has been working to update the workload based on measurements at thousands of customer sites, add support for Windows and Mac OS X clients, and add support for the CIFS protocol. For this important work SPEC recognizes NSPlab, two engineers from another member company which prefers not to be thanked publicly, and Don Capps of NetApp, who is also known as the creator of the IOzone filesystem benchmark.

Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

Blame storage

"Is storage becoming IT's Hummer?" asks The Register. Reporting from SNW Europe they report that as data centers reduce the power cost of computing, storage is poised to become the biggest energy consumer. Well that's just the outcome SNIA hopes to avoid with their Green Storage Initiative. The efficiency race between computing and storage is one where we can cheer for both sides. Besides, as Jonathan points out, the distinction between computers and storage is blurring fast.

The Reg says that virtualization will be primarily responsible for reducing computing power usage through consolidation. Certainly the most effective way to save energy is to follow your mother's command: "Turn that thing off if you're not using it!" But I think the Reg is a bit premature in giving the industry credit for solving the problems of computing power usage. Yes there's a lot of innovation in this area making data centers more efficient in many different ways. But there remains a lot of hard work to do by vendors and users alike.

 


Wednesday Oct 17, 2007

Green as in money

The Register has a cynical article on the newly formed SNIA Green Storage Initiative as "yet another eco-cause group."

"As par, the initiative includes vendors hoping to woo customers who a) want to cut energy costs and b) feel they owe nature a favor despite it providing terrors such as roving packs of wild dogs and brain eating parasites."

So the Reg thinks that green initiatives are meant to lure dumb customers into paying more for dubious benefits to Mother Earth. Well, I think that former Labor Secretary Robert Reich gave a much better characterization of company eco initiatives on NPR today. Sure companies are doing it to make money. As Reich commented on companies who proudly proclaim their energy saving programs that save millions of dollars, finding money saving efficiencies used to be called simply good management. Reich said you should not be surprised or impressed by eco claims, but should look at how it benefits you.

Sun has always been open about our eco initiatives being as much about green money as about green ecology. And as Reich noted, that's what makes it work, not vague notions of corporate responsibility. I like to think of Sun as a reponsible company, and I'm glad that our green initiatives make money for shareholders and save money for smart customers.

About

I am a software engineer in San Diego, president of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (spec.org), formerly a mathematician and a violist.

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