[CentOS] Poor RAID performance new Xeon server?

Ross Walker rswwalker at gmail.com
Sun Jan 11 18:20:38 UTC 2009

On Jan 11, 2009, at 1:06 PM, Stewart Williams <lists at pinkyboots.co.uk>  

> Ross Walker wrote:
>> On Jan 11, 2009, at 10:13 AM, Stewart Williams
>> <lists at pinkyboots.co.uk> wrote:
>>> William Warren wrote:
>>>> Stewart Williams wrote:
>>>>> I have just purchased an HP ProLiant HP ML110 G5 server and
>>>>> install ed
>>>>> CentOS 5.2 x86_64 on it.
>>>>> It has the following spec:
>>>>> Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 3065  @ 2.33GHz
>>>>> 4GB ECC memory
>>>>> 4 x 250GB SATA hard disks running at 1.5GB/s
>>>>> Onboard RAID controller is enabled but at the moment I have used
>>>>> mdadm
>>>>> to configure the array.
>>>>> RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation 82801 SATA RAID Controller
>>>>> For a simple striped array I ran:
>>>>> # mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=0 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sdb1 /
>>>>> dev/sdc1
>>>>> # mke2fs -j /dev/md0
>>>>> # mount -t ext3 /dev/md0 /mnt
>>>>> Attached are the results of 2 bonnie++ tests I made to test the
>>>>> performance:
>>>>> # bonnie++ -s 256m -d /mnt -u 0 -r 0
>>>>> and
>>>>> # bonnie++ -s 1g -d /mnt -u 0 -r 0
>>>>> I also tried 3 of the drives in a RAID 5 setup with gave similar
>>>>> results.
>>>>> Is it me or are the results poor?
>>>>> Is this the best I can expect from the hardware or is something
>>>>> wrong?
>>>>> I would appreciate any advice or possible tweaks I can make to the
>>>>> system to make the performance better.
>>>>> The block I/O is the thing that concerns me as mostly I am  
>>>>> serving a
>>>>> 650MB file via samba to 5 clients and I think this is where I need
>>>>> the
>>>>> speed.
>>>>> Plus I am hoping to run some virtualised guests on it eventually,
>>>>> but
>>>>> nothing too heavy.
>>>>> ---
>>>>> ---
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> CentOS mailing list
>>>>> CentOS at centos.org
>>>>> http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
>>>> That onbard raid is fakeraid..so when you dialup raid 5 you
>>>> effectivly
>>>> put hte hdd's in pio mode since ALL data has to be routed through
>>>> your
>>>> cpu.  Please get a raid card from HP or go get a 3ware card so you
>>>> ahve
>>>> real hardware raid.
>>>> fake and real raid chpsets:
>>>> http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html
>>>> Why using fakeraid at all is bad:
>>>> http://thebs413.blogspot.com/2005/09/fake-raid-fraid-sucks-even-more-at.html
>>>> MDM under linux is kernel raid that does not use a binary
>>>> driver..however you don't want to do ANY software raid 5.
>>> Thanks William,
>>> I am no expert on RAID, so you have opened my eyes to somethings I
>>> wasn't aware of.
>>> I am considering disabling the onboard RAID in the BIOS and
>>> re-installing CentOS and configuring the 4 drives as RAID 10 just to
>>> see
>>> what the performance is like.
>>> Or I may purchase a card as you advise. Would I benefit from  
>>> buying a
>>> SCSI/or SAS card and drives for my requirements? Basically the main
>>> role
>>> of the machine is to serve a ~600MB file via samba to 5 Windows XP
>>> cient
>>> PC's on a gigabit network.
>> If all your doing is serving a single file to a handful of PCs then a
>> 2 drive mirror will be more then enough.
> That is what I currently have setup on the old server, but it only has
> 1GB ram and AMD Duron 1300MHz CPU.
> The performance on the clients gets slower as the file size grows and
> now it has got very slow - hence the new server.

Sounds like the file is getting more and more fragmented and the io is  
turning into random io over it.

Once a week disable access to the file, copy it to a new name then  
move it back over the top of the old one and that'll defrag it.

>> You should stick with the OS RAID though as the onboard RAID will
>> bring nothing but pain.
> That is what I have read. So understood :-)
>> For sequential IO expect 60MB/s read and 40MB/s write (with the
>> drive's write cache enabled) per drive. Random IO is an order of
>> magnitude less.
> Should that be OK for my needs or for the clients to be happy should I
> be wanting more? what figure should I be looking at?

That's what to expect with standard file io operations (4k) some apps  
use larger ios so they will get better throughput (backups 64k, video  
editing 128k+) which can max the network throughput (115MB/s on Gbe).

> Sorry for all the questions and thanks for the

Not a problem, that's what the lists are for!


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