Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog

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Disk Speed Testing on Linux

Hey all,

In the past I’ve spent a bit of time talking about the merits of RAID and other high speed disk setups. Several years ago I also published posts about dual drive setups and did some surgery on my MacBook Pro in an effort to scrap the optical drive in favor of adding an SSD. (Psst, the old article is still available here)

All in all, the overall speed of a computer can be attributed to the combination of all of its internal parts working together to get more work done in less time. This is especially true of high performance machines, servers and drive array machines. While a wonderful utility, known as the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test, is available for Windows and OSX, it isn’t available for Linux. While I am sure there are a plethora of GUI disk speed utilities for Linux, there is one that I’m particularly drawn to, due to its simplicity and ease of use from the terminal. Since Linux is focused on being minimalist in the pursuit of performance, it only makes sense that installing a whole new utility just for spin testing is a bit wasteful.

As a result, I’ve written a basic script that does a pretty accurate disk speed test via the command line. The utility should work with all flavors of linux, I have been using it and deploying it across my fleet, all of which are either running Debian, ARCH or centOS 6.5.

The script is far from complex, merely taking a user input of how large a block of info to write to the disk and then it both writes and reads that size block of info and takes a time measurement. It is, however, pretty handy and works as fast as your drives can spin. Here, you can see the output of the script. I ran it with an argument of 2048MB across a single Western Digital VelociRaptop 15K RPM drive in one of my servers here in the rack.

WD Raptor Disk Speed Test

Not too shabby for a single 15K drive!

The code isn’t proprietary, you are free to use it how you like as an easy sysAdmin tool and it is easily modified to work however you please. Enjoy!




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Summer Updates

Hey everybody!

So, over the last couple of evenings I’ve spent a good deal of time updating the site! I”ve added new content, a couple new pages, and most importantly of all, began posting content from Spring semester! There’s a lot going on here so let me break down all of the updates for you!


Third Year MPS Camera Shootout!

So this is the first big one! If you head over to my page under projects, you’ll see the page for the MPS Shootout! This is a whopper and all of the content from the shoots, uncluding b-roll, final analysis and our final video screened for all of RIT’s film school is posted. There’s a lot of information here, and if you’ve followed along at all, it should be pretty exciting. I found it easier to turn it into a whole page, rather than a post so it can house more information as well as be easier to find later as more posts pile up!

Raw & Order Shootout


Senior Thesis Project Update #1

The page is finally live! I have some updates to publish tomorrow so stay tuned for those! If you follow the header, it will take you to the landing page for my senior thesis project – this sucker is being researched over the summer and then the completion of research and the beginning stages of engineering will start in the fall! I’m still working on populating the page with information about the initial ideals and concepts of the project but those will be up soon as well!




As a lot of you know, I’ve recently moved over to doing all of my code versioning and revision tracking via GitHub and I think it’s pretty cool! I’ve started a couple of pages within this site to either pull from Gists that I’m working on or completed that I want to show you or from actual Git hub repos. Basic Gists can be found here and the rest of my stuff can be found on my actual GitHub page for now!



Thanks for catching up, be sure to check back to the pages as I’m adding more posts!