FREE: Iometer – Measure disk performance

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Mon, March 17, 2008 - 8 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Contents of this article
  1. Iometer

Iometer_speedometerIometer is a free Open Source tool to test disk performance. Among others, you can measure the I/O transfer rate and the average I/O response time. Its first version was released 10 years ago for Windows NT. But it is still a useful tool because it also works under Windows XP/2003 and even with Vista and Windows Sever 2008. Iometer supports many different settings. In this post, I will just show you how to get started with this nifty free disk measurement utility. If you like it, you should consult its manual for further instructions.

Iometer_sectors Note that you have to run this tool with administrator privileges. Under Vista, you must elevate Iometer, that is, it has to be launched explicitly “as administrator”. Iometer’s navigation pane displays the so-called workers. They contain the I/O devices, i.e. the available logical drives. Click on the disk target tab and select one of the drives. You should specify the number of sectors Iometer can use for the performance test. Otherwise it will use all available disk space. For your first test, 1000 sectors will do. Iometer creates a file called iobw.tst in the root folder of the corresponding disk for this purpose.

Next, you have to configure the Access Specifications. You can find them under the corresponding tab. I suggest you use the pre-configured “512B; 100% Read; 0% random” access specification for your first performance test. Add it to the “Assigned Access Specifications” column. Now, click on the “Results Display” tab. Change the update frequency to 3 seconds. This allows you to watch the measurement process more or less in real time.

Iometer_resultsTo start the performance test, you have to click on the green flag in the task bar. Iometer will ask you to specify the name of the csv file where Iomenter will log the results of your performance test. It will then create the iobw.tst file I mentioned above. The status bar will display “Preparing drives” until Iometer is finished. Now you should be able to watch the results of your performance measurement. To display the gauge you see above, you have to click on one of the arrows next to the measured parameters. To end the test, click on the “Stop” icon in the task bar.

Iometer

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8 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Jackie says:

    Chinese Version of this post is here. Thanks for show us such a good tool.

  2. Paul says:

    Why are you titling the article “FREE” if it’s a ‘trial’, aka, not FREE product?

  3. What makes you think that Iometer is not free?

  4. david says:

    It may be a great tool, but I cannot find the link to download it.
    Cheers

  5. david, the link is at the end of the article as in all 4sysops article about free tools.

  6. Max says:

    Michael, is there a way to measure IO performance on remote servers? I’d hate to spend time running the IO meter on each individual server. 40 of them :)

  7. Christoph says:

    Michael, first off thanks for making such a tool available.
    First thing I stumbled across, was, that my asked me to allow some network access for that tool. Unusual, for a disk i/o perf. meter. But OK, since I saw it was quite complex, and is doing things via network.

    I launched it under Windows XP SP3, 32bit. Chose one disk and clicked “All in one”, started and ran it for about 30 seconds, then I clicked STOP.

    After that I scratched my head how to get the results to be displayed. Good that you mentioned it in the write up above here. I dragged worker1 to the first track (IO/s) and worker 2 to the second (MB/s) and clicked on the arrows at the right. Nothing happened. The application got frozen. It hung there for about 30 seconds when I decided to kill it. Did I do something wrong?


    Christoph

  8. Christoph says:

    sorry, my windows firewall asked me

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