While parallel file systems often satisfy the need of applications with bulk synchronous I/O, they lack capabilities of dealing with metadata intense workloads. Typically, in procurements, the focus lies on the aggregated metadata throughput using the MDTest benchmark (https://www.vi4io.org/tools/benchmarks/mdtest ). However, metadata performance is crucial for interactive use. Metadata benchmarks involve even more parameters compared to I/O benchmarks. There are several aspects that are currently uncovered and, therefore, not in the focus of vendors to investigate. Particularly, response latency and interactive workloads operating on a working set of data. The lack of capabilities from file systems can be observed when looking at the IO-500 list, where metadata performance between best and worst system does not differ significantly. In this paper, we introduce a new benchmark called MDWorkbench which generates a reproducible workload emulating many concurrent users or – in an alternative view – queuing systems. This benchmark provides a detailed latency profile, overcomes caching issues, and provides a method to assess the quality of the observed throughput. We evaluate the benchmark on state-of-the-art parallel file systems with GPFS (IBM Spectrum Scale), Lustre, Cray’s Datawarp, and DDN IME, and conclude that we can reveal characteristics that could not be identified before.