IRON Labs Certified Storage





Iron Systems  had been building storage products since 1996 and builds storage platforms for  some of the largest storage companies in the world.   Storage  systems are some of the most complex hardware systems to design and build. Each have exacting component compatibility  issues, performance tuning and bottleneck considerations, component longevity  and complex testing and manufacturing processes.

IRON Labs has  developed through years of experience and shipping thousands of systems per  year the technology to design, test and build systems with the latest  break-through technologies, with solid durability and reliability at the most  competitive price points.

  • Exact,  Extensive and Comprehensive Testing Processes
  • Cost  verses Performance analysis in designs
  • Durability  designed ground-up
  • Leading-edge  technologies in stable implementations
  • Reliability  guaranteed through months long testing and analysis

Once a  product has completed the process to guarantee high levels of standards and  quality, it can then bare the label of “IRON Labs Certified”. Storage components such as hard drives have  industry standard tests and qualification requirements. Hard drives which pass the industry standard  tests often fail the IRON Labs qualification process and are returned, likely  to be used in someone else’s products.

Component Design and  Qualification

Each  component specified into an IRON Labs design is selected by several criteria

  • Cost  verses Requirements – to guarantee cost competitiveness, each component  performance requirements is analyzed thoroughly. Over performing components which are not a  bottleneck for performance raises the price of the complete solution  unnecessarily.
  • Component  Compatibility – storage products above most others have exact component  compatibility issues, including the revisions of firmware.
  • Life  expectancy – components each have a total and MTBF life expectancy, and the  overall life and durability of the storage product rely on the complete set of  components life expectancy.
  • Manufacturing  Life – Components selected must be available from the original manufacturers  since an end-of-life event for any component affects the storage product  solution. All components are analyzed  for availability
  • SPC  Analysis – Statistical Process Control technologies, often used in  manufacturing are used extensively in the testing and qualification processes.
  • Factory  Test Automation – Specific tests used in the manufacturing process which are  automated at Iron Systems manufacturing locations are developed specifically  for each storage solution.

Component Testing

Storage  products have a the standard server components including CPUs, Memory, Network  Controllers, Chipset Firmware, Power Supplies, Chassis components and many  others, each of these components are run through the same exacting processes as  performed by the IRON Labs HPC and Super  Computing test processes.   Storage  products also have the additional storage components including HBAs, special  cables, RAID controllers, extenders, HDD, SSD and many others. IRON Labs has developed custom testing  technologies for each of these components.  Many of these components have performance and error counters with  specific APIs and during performance, durability and stress tests, all of the  counters are analyzed and recorded.

Power-Off Tests

Power-off  tests are tests performed on systems to guarantee they survive environmental  stresses, including shipping and storage, and day-to-day usage.

  • Vibration  Tests
  • Drop  Tests
  • Physical  Durability Tests – For storage, these tests include physically removing and  inserting disk drives.

Power-On  Tests

Power-on  tests are tests on running systems.  These tests will run days to months on a certification process.

  • Thermal  Tests – Tests performed in special heated thermal chambers which run typically  35 to 40 C degrees temperature
  • Cooling  Pressure Tests – specific tests for the product cooling system. The internal fans must keep all areas inside  the chassis at specific air pressures to guarantee all components are cooled  adequately
  • Component  Temperature Sensor Measurements – Every critical component is measured for  temperature and cooling performance
  • Power  Recycle Tests – Each product goes through thousands of external power on and  off tests to test components can withstand power fluxuations in the field
  • Disk  Hammer Tests – special tests which put the disk drives through excessive usage  and stresses
  • Numerous  Automation Tests – Hundreds of specific test scripts are run repeatedly

Disk Drive  Specific Test Processes

Disk Drives  are tested separately and run through numerous industry standard and unique  custom tests developed by IRON Labs. The  standard industry tests include surface scans, repeated read and write, random  and sequential read and write IO and various performance measurement tests.   Unique tests  include

  • Inner  Outer Track Perf Differential – a specific test which measures the performance  of inner and outer tracks and compares this to a known threshold. This test identifies disk flaws which are not  identifiable using other standard tests.
  • SPC  Testing Analysis – Performance of drives should remain consistent from beginning to end of the tests. Any performance or test irregularities are  analyzed using specific Statistical Process Control techniques and algorithms  are identified and applied to the pass/fail criteria for each drive.


How can we help you?
Contact us today on +44 (0)161-486-9699
or by email