I came across this simple – too simple? – flash performance benchmark on an anonymous blog named DelayToleraNt.

The benchmark is

a Java program that creates random data (in chunks of kilobyte) and writes the data to a file. For comparison I ran the same program with the cheapest Intel based MacBook available using Java 1.4. I used same source level and same Java binary that I used on N800 running Java CDC.

So the comparison does not measure only storage performance, but also Java. Anyways, storage performance counts often only when some application is using the storage, and this application might as well be written on Java. In the tests, each size of file was created consecutively 10 times and average was calculated. For file size of 0 kB we measured only time to create an empty.

The flash didn’t do so well:
flash performance

The author states he wants to do more tests combining download speeds with file creation times as well as testing an iPhone. That will be interesting.

The StorageMojo take
One benchmark is not enough to generalize from, so I won’t. If this is a consistent issue I have to wonder at the impact on mobile device user experience.

Comments welcome. Can someone try to replicate the results?

Addition: Another interesting performance topic is explored in A look at MySQL on ZFS by John David Duncan, a consulting engineer with MySQL Inc., that compares the performance and management of MySQL on UFS and ZFS.

The money quote:

ZFS introduces remarkable ease and flexibility of administration, without any real cost in performance. At its worst, in these tests, ZFS performed almost as well as UFS with Direct I/O. With InnoDB, the ZFS performance curve suggests a new strategy of “set the buffer pool size low, and let ZFS handle the data buffering.” I did not test Falcon, since it was not yet in Beta when I ran the benchmarks, but a similar strategy for Falcon on ZFS might be to concentrate on the row cache but minimize the page cache. And although double-buffering problems are clearly visible in this ZFS performance curve, even with those problems at their worst, ZFS still outperformed UFS. The real reason for the good performance on this benchmark is not clear — indeed, every workload will be different — but the ZFS I/O scheduler, the Sun engineers paying attention to database performance, and the ZFS bug fixes contributed in recent (late 2007) releases of Open Solaris seem to be adding up to something good.