A new benchmark for testing storage systems that lets users, resellers and integrators compare the performance of competing devices has been announced by the Storage Performance Council.

The SPC Benchmark-2 (SPC-2) was conceived for testing direct-attached, network-attached and storage-area network systems, as well as storage virtualisation technologies, host bus adapters and volume managers.

It consists of three workloads designed to demonstrate the performance of a storage configuration during the execution of business-critical applications that require large-scale, sequential movement of data. The three workloads are:

  • Sequential processing of one or more large files used in scientific computing or large-scale financial processing.
  • Large database queries such as those performed for data mining or business intelligence.
  • Video on demand, such as retrieving data from a digital film library.

Each of these applications is characterized by large, repetitive I/O requests.

The SPC-2 Toolkit for the AIX, Solaris, and 32- and 64-bit Windows Server 2003 operating systems is expected to be available in January 2007.

It does not replace SPC-1 , which was released in September. SPC-1 benchmarks the performance of a storage subsystem performing random I/O operations, queries and update operations. Typical applications are online transaction processing and e-mail server applications. SPC-1 is less about comparing systems against each other than SPC-2 is.

The Storage Performance Council is an industry group of storage vendors including Intel, IBM, Dell, Network Appliance, Sun, Pillar Data and Symantec .