March 14th, 2005 by eugene
Things have been too quiet here around SR, thanks largely due to continued behind-the-scenes work on our next-generation testbed. When researching the configuration and methodologies associated with our previous test machine, we had the luxury of continuing with prompt reviews of new products in an existing machine. Testbed4 is not as sweeping a change as the landmark Testbed3 was; as a result, we expected the transition to be much smoother and promptly retired the third-gen machine as soon as Testbed4’s parts came together.
As is wont to happen, of course, we’ve hit some snags here and there. This has resulted in a large backlog of unreviewed products- a plethora of notebook drives, Hitachi’s newest Ultrastars, and a handful of new SATA units patiently wait for their chance to shine in the SR labs.
There are several goals associated with Testbed4. The first is to update the hardware to a more contemporary, more flexible standard- a dual-Xeon machine featuring 2 GB of RAM, an SATA-2 compliant controller, an Ultra320 SCSI host adapter, and, when ready, an SAS controller. Second, associated software (operating system and application) traces require an update to more accurately reflect today’s disk usage. Finally, the last goal is to streamline the test time required for a single drive, thus opening the doors for more exploration of multi-drive performance.
The good news is that all the pieces are finally coming together- we’ll keep you updated as we move along!