Hardware used

This is the hardware I’m using to create the cluster:

Storage benchmarking

Different Raspberry PI storage configurations have been tested:

  1. Internal SDCard: SanDisk Ultra 32 GB microSDHC Memory Cards (Class 10)

  2. Flash Disk USB 3.0: Samsung USB 3.1 32 GB Fit Plus Flash Disk

  3. SSD Disk Kingston A400 480GB + USB3 to SATA Adapter Startech USB 3.0 to SATA III

  4. iSCSI Volumes. Using another Raspberry PI as storage server, configured as iSCSI Target, using a SSD disk attached.

Testing procedure

Sequential and random I/O tests have been executed with the different storage configurations.

For the testing a tweaked version of the script provided by James A. Chambers (https://jamesachambers.com/) has been used

Tests execution has been automated with Ansible. See pi-storage-benchmark repository for the details of the testing procedure and the results.

Sequential I/O performance

Test sequential I/O with dd and hdparam tools. hdparm can be installed through sudo apt install -y hdparm

  • Read speed (Use hdparm command)

    sudo hdparm -t /dev/sda1
    Timing buffered disk reads:  72 MB in  3.05 seconds =  23.59 MB/sec
    sudo hdparm -T /dev/sda1
    Timing cached reads:   464 MB in  2.01 seconds = 231.31 MB/sec

    It can be combined in just one command:

    sudo hdparm -tT --direct /dev/sda1
    Timing O_DIRECT cached reads:   724 MB in  2.00 seconds = 361.84 MB/sec
    Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 406 MB in  3.01 seconds = 134.99 MB/sec
  • Write Speed (use dd command)

    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=4k count=80k conv=fsync
    81920+0 records in
    81920+0 records out
    335544320 bytes (336 MB, 320 MiB) copied, 1,86384 s, 180 MB/s

Random I/O Performance

Tools used fio and iozone.

  • Install required packages with:

    sudo apt install iozone3 fio
  • Check random I/O with fio

    Random Write

    sudo fio --minimal --randrepeat=1 --ioengine=libaio --direct=1 --gtod_reduce=1 --name=test --filename=test --bs=4k --iodepth=64 --size=80M --readwrite=randwrite

    Random Read

    sudo fio --minimal --randrepeat=1 --ioengine=libaio --direct=1 --gtod_reduce=1 --name=test --filename=test --bs=4k --iodepth=64 --size=80M --readwrite=randread
  • Check random I/O with iozone

    sudo iozone -a -e -I -i 0 -i 1 -i 2 -s 80M -r 4k

Performance Results

Average-metrics obtained during the tests removing the worst and the best result can be found in the next table and the following graphs:

  Disk Read (MB/s) Cache Disk Read (MB/s) Disk Write (MB/s) 4K Random Read (IOPS) 4K Random Read (KB/s) 4K Random Write (IOPS) 4K Random Write (KB/s) 4k read (KB/s) 4k write (KB/s) 4k random read (KB/s) 4k random write (KB/s) Global Score
SDCard 41.89 39.02 19.23 2767.33 11071.00 974.33 3899.33 8846.33 2230.33 7368.67 3442.33 1169.67
FlashDisk 55.39 50.51 21.30 3168.40 12675.00 2700.20 10802.40 14842.20 11561.80 11429.60 10780.60 2413.60
SSD 335.10 304.67 125.67 22025.67 88103.33 18731.33 74927.00 31834.33 26213.33 17064.33 29884.00 8295.67
iSCSI 70.99 71.46 54.07 5104.00 20417.00 5349.67 21400.00 7954.33 7421.33 6177.00 7788.33 2473.00
  • Sequential I/O


  • Random I/O (FIO)


  • Random I/O (IOZONE)


  • Global Score



  1. Clearly SSD with USB3.0 to SATA adapter beats the rest in all performance tests.
  2. SDCard obtains worst metrics than FlashDisk and iSCSI
  3. FlashDisk and iSCSI get similar performance metrics

The performace obtained using local attached USB3.0 Flash Disk is quite similar to the one obtained using iSCSI with RaspberryPI+SSD Disk as central storage.

Last Update: Sep 10, 2022