I (re)discovered iozone today. I first used it at OldJob to do some testing of new file-servers we had received, but I had forgotten the NAME of the tool. And without the name, googling didn't get me what I was looking for. Happily, I found it today. YAY!

As I've mentioned before, one of the stopping points for us regarding the future of Novell operating systems is fileserver performance. Now that I have a tool I can run, I plan to do multiple runs of the test suite against both a Netware/NSS back-end and a Linux/NSS back-end (all over NCP) and see what differences we have. This'll be on an HP Bladeserver, so the base hardware is identical. I'll also do what I can to make sure that the partition sizes are similar, and code-base is similar.

If I have time, I may also do the suite over SMB. CIFS for NetWare, and SAMBA for Linux. Due to our love-affair with the Novell Client, even 'whoa!' results won't get us off of NCP and on SMB. But still, it would satisfay a certain intellectual itch.

One thing I'd like to do, but just don't have the resources to pull off, is multiple simultanious runs of iozone. That would better simulate the multi-hit environment we have, and give a better indication of performance under heavy loads.

I'm doing a run right now against a volume in the NetWare cluster. The results so far are interesting. IOZone runs multiple tests on files of various sizes, and also on sub-sets of data inside those files. So when the 'record size' inside a file gets over 64K, the network card on my workstation saturates. TaskManager tells me my NIC is running at 70-85% total CPU, which is really close to the saturation point for switched Ethernet. Since the server is on the other end of a router, my IO is contending with other IO at the router level so I can't get much faster than I am right now.

What I do want to check into is file-access for smaller file-sizes. That represents the vast majority of files on these servers, so represents the key area we're concerned about. If it was all whonking huge GIS files, NO PROBLEM! But no, it is bajillions of .wpd, .ppt, and .jpg files.

If I can make sense of the data, I'll share! How's that for fun?