Load DynamiX Enterprise comes as a 2U 16-core hardware product or a lower performance virtual appliance. One 2U box generates customised storage network traffic to the equivalent of that pumped out by 15 to 20 physical servers and around seven million input/output operations per second.
The product is based on a Linux operating system with network drivers and data generation capabilities for Fibre Channel, iSCSI, network file system and server message block. OpenStack Swift and Cinder storage protocols have been added in version 2.6.
Load DynamiX’s products were only available to suppliers, and it has been in use by all the major storage array makers as well as a significant number of startups.
The Enterprise product is aimed at storage architects and engineers that are planning “next-generation storage architectures”, according to Load DynamiX marketing vice-president Len Rosenthal.
Read more about storage performance
Customers use Load DynamiX as a way of generating test traffic on storage arrays in proof-of-concept situations. By using its data generation and traffic simulation capabilities they can model their own environments, see how tested storage arrays perform and gauge the correct specification for their real-world deployments.
Traffic can be set to one or a mix of protocols, with the ability to adjust levels of random and sequential input/output, simulate traffic subject to data deduplication, and set proportions of traffic with different block sizes, amounts of metadata and number of users accessing drives.
Results allow customers to compare storage arrays and configurations by latency over time and discover where key breaking points in performance levels occur.
Load DynamiX Enterprise costs around £60,000 in hardware format, said Rosenthal, and usually only requires one box per datacentre. "It takes only a few hours to configure and run tests,” he said.
Load DynamiX Enterprise’s Workload Iterator feature allows for multiple tests with varying parameters to be run in sequence to see the effect of changes to storage traffic variables.
The company has around 50 enterprise customers. It cites one customer – website host GoDaddy – which it claims used Load DynamiX Enterprise in a storage proof-of-concept that resulted in replacement of existing filers with Dell servers running Nexenta storage software, cutting storage costs by 66% in the process.
Load DynamiX has recently appointed its first Europe-based employee, operations director Gavin Tweedie.