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September 03, 2007


Open Systems Guy

"Technically speaking, throughput and IOPS are directly related (they are computed from the same value), but the difference is in how people use the terms."

Actually, the difference is that the MB/s pushed by a database is minuscule compared to a backup server or graphics file server, but these high bandwidth applications do very few, but very large sequential reads or writes. The IOs per second stat is usually directed at databases that do a large number of small, random reads and writes.

I agree with much you have written, however it's important to differentiate workloads.

Another thing- latency is a contributing factor to IOs per second, not a measurement in its own right. I don't know of any applications that can only perform one read or write at a time, so latency might drive the application performance up or down, but it won't be linear as Dave Hitz seems to be claiming.

Gary O.

Open Systems Guy,

Thanks for the clarification. We try whenever possible to take a workload-driven view.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on "What is an IOP?" As this term gets more attention with industry recognition of performance needs, we think it deserves more explanation.


I am still not clear about the way IOPS and Throughput has been differentiated.
Can anyone plz help me in understanding this clearly.

Gary O.


Another way to think about it:

Throughput is similar to the number of lanes on a highway.

IOPS is similar to the speed of a single car.

You really need both to get a lot of people (or information) moving back and forth. And having a wide highway won't help if all the cars only go a few miles per hour.

Hope this helps. -Gary

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