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Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

 
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Paridaens Robrecht
Occasional Visitor

Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

We installed 2 Proliant servers with an MSA1000 each. Both machines are installed identically with W2003, one of them with the Enterprise version. The MSA1000 is directly connected via 1, resp. 2 Gbit HBA's and has 1, resp. 2 controllers (no fiber switch).
We noticed a poor performance on every RAID5-drive we created, especially when writing to the disk. Even the internal RAID on the server was much faster. Our 4 year old SAP-server with an RA4100 was almost as fast as this new MSA1000.
HP could not solve the problem. We swapped the HBA's, loaded new drivers, put a fiber switch in between, ... nothing could help us.
Is there anyone out there who has experienced the same performance drop with RAID5 ?

Note : we tested by creating an 10 Gb database with SQL2003, which took us 15 minutes or more. A Proliant ML530 test-machine did it in less than 3 minutes ! Other measurements (copying under Windows, restoring a tape, ...) confirmed the earlier tests.
6 REPLIES 6
Stephen Kebbell
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

Hello,

we had a customer with a similar problem (bad write performance for RAID5 in an MSA1000 under Win2003). HP managed to solve it. There's an option in Windows 2003 Device Manager:
Please Enable Advanced Performance under the MSA1000 Volume SCSI Disk Device (or Compaq SecurePath Disk) Properties Policies Tab -> Optimize for Performance -> Enable Advanced Performance.
You might need to reboot the server(s) for this to take effect.
Hope this helps.

Regards,
Stephen
Paridaens Robrecht
Occasional Visitor

Re: Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

Many thanks to Stephen Kebbell for his quick respons. His suggestion did help : write performance improved by 90% (almost twice as fast), read performance improved 10% (no logical explanation ; could be statistical variance).
I was surprised however that write caching was enabled by default. This is a rather risky option, except when the MSA1000 provides for its own battery backup. We do have an UPS of course, but I would not like to rely on this alone.
It's surprising that 3 HP-guys that examined our problem for half a day could not give this answer. Good job Stephen !
Stephen Kebbell
Honored Contributor

Re: Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

You're welcome! :-)
Glad I could help.

Stephen
david5337_1
Regular Advisor

Re: Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

Is there same issue when I use the w2k os server?
And will I do this same opperation?
Thank you!
Stephen Kebbell
Honored Contributor

Re: Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

Hi David,

I don't think this option exists under Win2K.
There's an option for write cache for the disk in device manager, although I don't know if it's recommended to enable this.
Check your cache settings in ACU.

Regards,
Stephen
Anthony_117
Occasional Visitor

Re: Write performance MSA1000 with RAID5

Hi Guys,

We are currently still on Windows 2000 SP4 servers and we are impacted in similar ways on this FCA2101 and MSA1000 SAN infrastructure. Out of 4 servers, 2 with higher load (higher read and write access) are having major performance issue, which is affecting the service availability and reliability.

Is there any solution for the Windows 2000 platform?