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New SSD Performance Test Specification Brings Clarity, Levels Playing Field

We’ve blogged about the importance of testing and standardization when it comes to defining and validating enterprise-level SSD reliability. Industry organization JEDEC has brought that to the forefront of the industry with its standards work. But what about the need for having industry-accepted test methods for measuring and reporting real-world SSD performance? Especially when considering that SSD manufacturers have used dramatically different measurements to determine and report their performance specs.

The good news is that the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) this week announced just that. With its SSD Performance Test Specification (PTS), the idea is to provide the tools necessary for comparative benchmarking and keep SSD makers on the same page. And it’s not just an outside group that’s doing the work – the PTS came about after more than two years of work and collaboration from over 40 member companies, including SSD makers and storage system OEMs.

Our friends over at Computerworld posted an in-depth story about the new specification, which includes great insight from industry analyst Jim Handy. Handy, an analyst at research firm Objective Analysis, was also a keymember of the technical working group involved with PTS development.

In the past, we’ve joked that the world of SSDs has often felt like the “wild west,” but now with responsible standards and test methodologies at work, it’s a positive sign of good things to come. And that’s true especially for IT pros who need to make critical system purchasing and deployment decisions. Dare we suggest that the industry may be moving away from its wild west origins with excessive hype and exaggerated claims, and perhaps entering a new era of clarity and transparency.

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