Google recently published a study in corporation with the University of Toronto that came to the conclusion that computer memory error rates are higher than previously suspected. The study, conducted over the course of 2.5 years on tens of thousands of Google servers, revealed that a third of all machines in the test experienced at least one memory error per year with the amount of correctable errors per year averaging over 22000.
Google has released a Stress App Test at Google Code. The program, that is released under the Apache 2.0 license, tries to " maximize randomized traffic to memory from processor and I/O, with the intent of creating a realistic high load situation in order to test the existing hardware devices in a computer".
The Google Stress App Test was designed for several applications including stress testing but also hardware qualification and debugging, memory interface tests and disk testing.
stressapptest is a userspace test, primarily composed of threads doing memory copies and directIO disk read/write. It allocates a large block of memory (typically 85% of the total memory on the machine), and each thread will choose randomized blocks of memory to copy, or to write to disk. Typically there are two threads per processor, and two threads for each disk. Result checking is done as the test proceeds by CRCing the data as it is copied.
The software program is available for download at the Google Code project page. Installation and usage guides are available on the website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.