<I understand this extremely long post is redundant for seasoned storage performance pros – however, these subjects come up so frequently, that I felt compelled to write something. Plus, even the seasoned pros don’t seem to get it sometimes… 🙂 >
IOPS: Possibly the most common measure of storage system performance.
IOPS means Input/Output (operations) Per Second. Seems straightforward. A measure of work vs time (not the same as MB/s, which is actually easier to understand – simply, MegaBytes per Second).
How many of you have seen storage vendors extolling the virtues of their storage by using large IOPS numbers to illustrate a performance advantage?
How many of you decide on storage purchases and base your decisions on those numbers?
However: how many times has a vendor actually specified what they mean when they utter “IOPS”? 🙂
For the impatient, I’ll say this: IOPS numbers by themselves are meaningless and should be treated as such. Without additional metrics such as RAID type, randomness, latency, read vs write % and I/O size (to name a few), an IOPS number is useless.
And now, let’s elaborate… (and, as a refresher regarding the perils of ignoring such things when it comes to sizing, you can always go back here).