We first sought to measure and compare the I/O performance on a workstation similar to that of Riedel’s running NT4SP6 and then Windows 2000 to compare performance between the two operating systems. We called these the old-old and old-new tests: signifying that we were testing old hardware and the old OS, and old hardware with the new OS. We then tested a modern workstation and the Windows 2000 operating system. These tests were called the new-new tests. The software and hardware test naming matrix is shown in Table 1.
The first old-old and old-new measurements were conducted on hardware similar to that used in the original study. The processor is faster, but the disks and controller that were the main bottlenecks in the original report, remain the same. We measured both Win2K and NT4SP6. Our objective for these tests was twofold: first, to compare the results of the original study by Riedel, et. al. with the most recent version of NT4 on comparable hardware to see if there have been any changes in performance. Second, to explore the differences and similarities between Windows NT4SP6 and Win2K.
The new-new measurements were taken on a Dell Precision 420 test machine with the latest processors, memory, and SCSI disks (When we started in January 2000): Dual Intel Pentium III processors running at 733 MHz, Rambus memory, an Ultra160 SCSI adapter, and four 10K RPM SCSI drives. Each of these has an advertised bandwidth of 1.6GBps, 160MBps, and 18 to 26MBps respectively. We also added a 3ware 3W-5400 IDE RAID card, along with four Quantum Fireball lct08 5400 RPM drives with an advertised internal throughput of 32MBps each.1 PAP (Peak Advertised Performance) however is often is quite different than RAP (Real Application Performance). We wanted to explore what kind RAP today’s hardware is actually able to achieve, along with how to achieve good performance with minimal effort.