A 2007 paper, that still has lots to say on the subject of benchmarking storage and filesystems. Primarily aimed at researchers and developers, but is relevant to anyone about to embark on a benchmarking effort.
- Use a mix of macro and micro benchmarks
- Understand what you are testing, cached results are fine – as long as that is what you had intended.
The authors are clear on why benchmarks remain important:
“Ideally, users could test performance in their own settings using real work- loads. This transfers the responsibility of benchmarking from author to user. However, this is usually impractical because testing multiple systems is time consuming, especially in that exposing the system to real workloads implies learning how to configure the system properly, possibly migrating data and other settings to the new systems, as well as dealing with their respective bugs.”
We cannot expect end-users to be experts in benchmarking. It is out duty as experts to provide the tools (benchmarks) that enable users to make purchasing decisions without requiring years of benchmarking expertise.