Tom Coughlin and Jim Handy, respected storage analysts, conducted a survey on how many IOPS are really needed for several popular enterprise applications to better understand real-world IOPS requirements. They asked respondents about their critical storage applications and how many IOPS those applications needed. More than 80 percent of their initial respondents said that their key app was a database, an OLTP solution or a Cloud storage service. About half of the respondents said their IOPS needs were in the 1k to 100k range. Coughlin and Handy note that other factors like latency contribute to overall performance, not just speed. You can view research details from a presentation that Tom did at the SNIA Storage Developer conference, How Many IOPS is Enough? or get the full report at How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?
Measure Consistent Performance
I am bringing this up now as a way to comment on how Kaminario looks at performance. We do not see performance as a point in time such as timing a runner in a single forty-yard dash. True performance is measured by consistency of speed and results over time and as capacity and applications are added. You shouldn’t necessarily buy an all-Flash array based of the performance of a single app because there are so many variables that can come into play down the road. This is one of the reasons that Kaminario is taking the general purpose storage approach with the K2. We think it is smarter to evaluate a Flash storage system in the context of your entire storage environment and future app needs. You don’t want to buy a system that gives you great value up front but falls short in mixed workload environments. You don’t want to have to buy a separate storage system when you introduce a new application or need to drastically scale up capacity.