Linux: hard disk performance test

Under linuxthere is a quick and easy way to test hard drive performance. Better than software to install, the tool hdparm only takes a few seconds to give an idea of ​​the performance of a typical server or workstation.

Install the linux hdparm tool

The hdparm package is probably preinstalled on the system but just in case:

  • sudo apt-get install hdparm on Debian and Ubuntu
  • yum install hdparm under Red Hat, Suse, CentOS and Fedora

Use hdparm

With the default settings, we already get interesting results:

(sudo) hdparm -tT /dev/sda

HDPARM on a VM of a VMware ESXi cluster on SAN:

linux hdparm hard disk performance tutorial

HDPARM on physical server with SAS 15KRPM RAID1 disks:

linux hdparm hard disk performance tutorial

HDPARM on physical server with RAID10 SSD disks:

linux hdparm hard disk performance tutorial

HDPARM on virtual machine of a VMware vSphere server with RAID10 SSD disks:

linux hdparm hard disk performance tutorial

For information, the last two examples are based on the same physical machine (Dell PowerEdge R620 with 6x200GB SSD in RAID10 on a PERC H710). We see that the layer vmware costs a bit in disk performance. The example VM was the only one hosted on ESXi 5.5u3, so with the maximum performance possible, with the drivers Open VM Tools.

Many options are configurable: man hdparm or on the ubuntu docs.