[CentOS] 3Ware 9550SX-4LP Performance

Joshua Baker-LePain jlb17 at duke.edu
Sun Oct 1 04:20:54 UTC 2006

On Sat, 30 Sep 2006 at 8:56pm, Kirk Bocek wrote

> 3Ware's site advertises 300MB/Sec writes using 8 disks on the PCI Express 
> version of this card (the 9580 I think.) I'm guessing 4x PCI Express has more 
> bandwidth but 133Mhz 64-bit PCI-X is no slouch. The only two things I need to 
> change are to put the disks in 3GB/Sec SATA mode (they're in 1.5GB/Sec mode 
> right now) and to enable memory interleaving on the motherboard (I only have 
> two sticks of memory, this M/B needs 4 for interleaving.) But I don't think 
> these things should drop me down to the write performance of a single IDE 
> disk.
> Does anyone have any suggestions on improving write performance?

1) Make sure the firmware on the board is up to date.

2) Turn off NCQ (last I knew, this was 3ware's advice).

3) Try putting the ext3 journal on another device.

4) Use XFS.

The last one is not just a prejudice.  There really seems to be some sort 
of odd (and rather bad) interaction between 3ware RAID5 and ext3.  Going 
to XFS really helps (especially with writes).

Oh, and be sure to 'blockdev --setra 16384' that device, which will help 
with reads.  16384 is what works for me -- YMMV, of course.

Joshua Baker-LePain
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Duke University

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