Performing a Field Test

The most accurate way to know how a device will perform and last in a given usage environment is to perform a field test. The goal of the field test is to collect real usage data and then, using some basic performance information you will also collect, apply this data into a spread sheet that will help you estimate how long a device will last in your specific usage environment. Again, this is necessary because of the unique pattern of usage determined by the way your storage device, system, and usage environment interact. Every flash device will have its own unique pattern of usage.

Please note, determining how long a device will last in your application is somewhat involved but we have broken the entire process into simplified steps to curb the complexity. The field test steps are Gather Usage Data, Input Usage Data, and Determine File Size IOPS. Simply follow the outlined process below to estimate the useful life of a device in your application. 

  •  
  •  
  •  

Install DiskMon 

Install DiskMon 

 

 To gather the usage data, we recommend an application called DiskMon, which is a Windows application that logs and displays all drive activity. By enabling this application while your device is experiencing real-life activity, you will be able to determine a realistic usage model for your system and in combination with our Drive Life Spreadsheet (step 3), you will gain insight into usage data such as average file size, percentage of reads/writes, percentage of random/sequential, amount of data being written and dozens of other valuable usage figures.

To perform a successful test, you will need to configure your device and replicate the computing activity it will endure over its lifetime for a sample time period. The best way to replicate the type of usage it will endure is to put the device into service in the actual computing environment for which it is being tested. On average, we suggest the field test last one week so that enough transfer activity can take place on the device.

DiskMon runs on Widows XP and higher for client operating systems and Windows Server 2003 and higher for server operating systems. Unfortunately, a comparable application is not currently available for Linux users.

 

Instructions:

A - Download and install the DiskMon application into the system.

B - Ensure that DiskMon is properly configured and running on your system before deploying into the field for data gathering. You can do this by running the application for a 5 minute test and verifying data is being collected.

C - Deploy the system into the field application for a period of time that will allow it to adequately perform routine transfer activity. The goal is to have the drive take on wear and tear that is akin to what it will experience throughout its useful life.

D - Important: When you have completed gathering usage data at the end of your test period, be sure to save the usage data before closing the program as DiskMon does not automatically save the data. You will need this information in the next step.