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SNIA Publishes Solid State Storage Test Specification

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced that it has published a new specification that defines a suite of tests and methodologies to enable comparative performance testing of Solid State Storage (SSS) enterprise devices.

Solid State Storage (SSS) Performance Test Specification (PTS) Enterprise Version 1.0 can be downloaded from the SNIA’s web site.

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Unedited press release follows:

Enterprise Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification Released by SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative
Comparative Testing of Drive Performance Drives Broader Market Adoption

San Francisco, CA (May 26, 2011) — The Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) today announced that the Enterprise Solid State Storage (SSS) Performance Test Specification (PTS) has been released to the public. The Enterprise PTS Specification ( defines a suite of tests and test methodologies necessary to enable comparative testing of individual SSS enterprise device performance. Over 50 individuals from 25 companies have been working on the SSS PTS since early 2009. These companies represent solid state storage industry–leading – manufacturers, controller makers, test labs, and computer system OEMs.

“Until now, Solid State Storage buyers have not had a single methodology to fairly compare the performance specifications of SSS products from different manufacturers,” said Paul Wassenberg, chair of the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative. “Using the Enterprise Performance Test Specification, the result is a common, easy to use methodology that gives system integrators and enterprise IT professionals the tools to objectively evaluate the performance of SSD products on the market today.”

“The SSD industry will benefit significantly from the PTS release. Consistent testing and specification of solid state storage devices will do much to resolve the confusion in the market and help speed adoption of solid state storage as a key element in the digital storage hierarchy,” stated Thomas M. Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates.

Testing SSS Devices
When executed in a specific hardware/software environment, the SSS PTS provides performance metrics that can be fairly compared to other SSS products measured in the same way in the same environment. A typical SSS device taken “fresh out of the box” and exposed to a workload demonstrates a brief period of elevated performance, followed by a period of transition to a performance level called “Steady State” which should be representative of the device’s performance during its working life. The SSS PTS prescribes preparation methodologies and defines Steady State so that performance measurements can be taken in the Steady State performance region.

The SSS PTS itself is test hardware and software agnostic, and individual testers can run the SSS PTS on their particular platform to compare the relative performance of SSS devices they are evaluating. However, in order for SSS PTS results to be compared on a true “apples–to–apples” basis across multiple testers, a consistent test platform must be used. The SSS PTS includes a Reference Test Platform (RTP) that describes the test hardware, software, and tools used by the SNIA SSS Technical Work Group to do the research and validation of the specification. The RTP is not required to run the SSS PTS tests; it is merely an example of a platform that has been confirmed to meet the SSS PTS platform requirements.

How to Get Involved
A corresponding Client (single user) Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification is in development, with the first public review anticipated to occur later in 2011. Any company interested in participating in the ongoing development of the SSS Performance Test Specifications (both Client and Enterprise) and promoting SSS technology is encouraged to join SNIA, SSSI, and the SSS TWG. Status on updates to the specification, related white papers, and industry articles can be found at

About the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative
The SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) fosters the growth and success of the market for solid state storage in both enterprise and client environments. Members of the SSSI work together to promote the development of technical standards and tools, educate the IT communities about solid state storage, perform market outreach that highlights the virtues of solid state storage, and collaborate with other industry associations on solid state storage technical work. SSSI member companies represent a variety of segments in the IT industry; the membership list can be found at For more information on SNIA’s Solid State Storage activities, visit and get involved in the conversation at

About the SNIA Solid State Storage Technical Working Group
Upon the recommendation of the SSSI, the SNIA Technical Council organized the Solid State Storage Technical Work Group (SSS TWG) to create a reference SNIA architecture and facilitate industry–wide adoption of common requirements, methods, and specifications in related standards organizations.

About SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a not–for–profit global organization, made up of some 400 member companies spanning virtually the entire storage industry. SNIA’s mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For additional information, visit the SNIA web site at