For our power consumption testing, we have the drive connected to the system as a secondary drive. To record the wattage, we are now utilizing a Quarch Technology Programmable Power Module. It allows us to accurately measure power consumption over time and is flexible enough to allow us to test any SSD that comes our way.
When enterprise-class storage is deployed, not only one or two drives are set out in a deployment, hundreds to thousands are, therefore, when booting a NAS or SAN it is important to ensure the power sources will be able to provide enough power to the systems. First, we look at idle power consumption and workload averages at a QD of 32. This helps us gauge IOPS per Watt.
Our power analysis may change as time goes on, but for now, we are looking at just a few metrics with the main goal of measuring our results against the manufacturer’s ratings.
From Kingston, we have the specification of 1.56W idle. In our testing, the DC400 idled at 1.6W without OP and at 1.5W with OP. The maximum rating for read is listed as 1.8W, but during testing, you can see that read power consumption ranges from 2.7W – 3.0W depending on the workload. Finally, we were given the specification of 4.86W for maximum write consumption, but again, during testing, it consumed a bit more than the rating. During our sequential write workload, it consumed 5.4W without OP and 5W when over-provisioned to 800GB.
Looking at our IOPS per Watt chart we can see that the DC400 is on the low end of the totem pole. However, once over-provisioned, the DC400 becomes a much more competitive option.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
While testing the Kingston DC400 it was apparent that it wasn’t the best performing product that has come into our hands. From the get-go, we saw that consistency during our preconditioning was lacking with results swooping in and out of patterns. Not only that, but the average IOPS and latencies were also typically lower than most of the competition, except for during our sequential read and write workloads.
As is, our read-optimized DC400 at 960GB achieve 80K IOPS read and 10K IOPS write during our 4K random testing. At 8K it nearly reached 40K read and 5K IOPS write. When testing its sequential performance, it faired very well with read speed averaging 560MB/s and write speed averaging 530MB/s. During all our mixed workload tests, (database, email server, file server, and web server), it came in last overall, but from time to time gave the Micron 5100 ECO a run for its money.
It wasn’t until we over-provisioned it, however, that the DC400 started to put up a fight. Over-provisioning gave the DC400 new life. After bombarding the drive once again with our test regime, the now, “800GB performance optimized” variant, was able to stand ground against the other big players in the market. To start, in our SNIA test, the DC400’s average mixed latency results were much lower and max latencies looked to be much more under control. In testing 4K speeds, it averaged 80K IOPS read, again, but now, 25K IOPS write. During 8K it averaged 40K IOPS read and 15K IOPS write. During sequential testing, the performance remained pretty much the same as before, but during our mixed server workloads, the DC400 showed much better results. It easily beat out the Micron 5100 ECO in a few of the tests and was now in the Micron 5100 MAX’s performance territory, for the most part. Additionally, and to top things off, the DC400’s consistency patterns were night and day better. Where it was once having huge latency spikes showing vast inconsistencies, it was now showing steady performance that was predictable, just as one would expect from an enterprise-class product.
Finally, when we took a look at the DC400’s power efficiency, the over-provisioning, yet again, helped to make the DC400 a much more competitive product. Here we saw that it was able to deliver over 2x the IOPS per Watt when testing and beat out the other read workload oriented, SSDs. Though, keep in mind, this is at the cost of usable capacity.
The DC400 is another step to help Kingston expand deeper into the largest part of the enterprise market, the SATA segment. Here players from all around offer options to suit the needs of data centers and it is getting tougher to stay ahead of the competition every day. Whether it is streaming, VDI, media capture, or other web server type workloads, SATA SSDs typically offer a great price to performance ratio over HDDs. These read-oriented SATA SSDs don’t need the best performance. They just need to be more power efficient and offer access times than their HDD brethren…and that’s exactly what the Kingston DC400 provides. It boasts a 5-year warranty, has all the essential enterprise class features you could ask for, such as firmware power fail protection and end to end data path protection, and comes in capacities of up to 1.8TB. It may not be the best performing, nor is it the most power efficient SATA SSD, but depending on your workload requirements and the price you can snag it for, the Kingston DC400 could just be the deal for you.