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Disk Queue Length

 
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Disk Queue Length

Hi,

I found that 1 disk in my cluster had at one moment a queue length of 90. At 6:00 it was 30, at 6:02 it was 90 and at 6:04 it was 5.

The event is repeated every day at the same time.

The active image is dataserver (Sybase).

Top hot files reports high Non Virtual QIO (about 30% of all IO, mainly writes). This indicates file system activity ?

What can this be ?
(VMS 7.3, GS160, HSG80, MA8000, FDDI)

Wim
17 REPLIES
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,

why not try to collect some info about those IOs with my favourite tool: SDA.

If this happens predictably at the same time every day, just submit a batch job to run at 06:00 and include the following commands:

$ ANAL/SYS
SDA> SET OUT/NOINDEX file1.lis
SDA> SHOW DEV
SDA> EXIT

This should give you the list of IOs in the queue for the device and you can find out, what they are alike, who issued them etc.

Volker.
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

That's an option Volker. In TNG I found some extra info :
1) both cluster nodes have a peak at the same moment : 70 for 1 and 20 for the other.
2) thruput was about 4 MB/sec at the moment of the peak
3) there was also a peak of 35 in "credit waits"

Wim
Wim
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Correction : thruput was about 9 MB/sec on 1 node, about 3.5 on the other. Thus about at its maximum.

cluster_credits is at 128. Too low ?
Since the disk is shadowed via FDDI : mscp_buffer is at 16384 and mscp_credits at 128.

Wim
Wim
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,

CLUSTER_CREDIT = 128 is the maximum value.

Is anything unusual happening with the disk, pathes to the disk or HSG80 ? Mount-verification ? Path switches ?

Check the FC counters with SDA> FC STDT
(QF seen or Seq TMO > 0 ?).

Is there a specific job, which always starts at 06:00 ?

Volker.
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,


Since the disk is shadowed via FDDI : mscp_buffer is at 16384 and mscp_credits at 128.


Maybe a superfluous question, but since you use FDDI, did you set NISCS_MAX_PKTSZ to 4486?

Proost.

Have one on me.

Jan
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Jan, yes it is at 4468 (Set by Johan Michiels, so, should be ok).

But I did mon clu and added cr_waits.
There are a few thousand of them but all nodes I checked have them, even in other companies.

Volker : nothing special active. Just an application peak.

Other thing : the FDDI is shared with another cluster. This one had a thruput of about 2-4 MB at the moment of the problem.

Wim
Wim
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,

here is an article explaining non-virtual QIOs as reported by TNG/PSDC

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/asktima/operating_systems/CHAMP_SRC931006004627.html

In your case, this would point to 'database', probabyl doing Logical-IO to some of it's files. And if it is happening every day at 06:00, there must be some 'time-released' job in the application causing this.

Did you check the FC counters ?

Volker.
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Now I took a look at a wider interval.

It seems that there are also peaks at other hours. And the peak at 6:00 has been lowered because the interval is 30 min instead of 2.

Between 01:06 and 2:15 several disks have peak queues of 10-70. And at this moment backup is active reading about 15 MB/sec. The SCS traffic during this interval is almost 0. I also saw backup doing lots of IO but not doing any thruput (during 20 minutes) generating queue length of 70 continuously.

Wim

So I guess it is normal behaviour when reading or writing too fast.
Wim
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,

are you running your BACKUP jobs from an account with a very high DIOLM ? You may be overloading your HSG80...

The SDA> FC STDT/ALL counters would give an indication (QF seen).

Volker.
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Volker,

It is 7.3, so no /ALL.

The DIOLM is indeed high (4096).

But how do you tell that the HSG80 is overloaded ? If thruput stays high I don't have a problem with long queues. But I like to know why and who is doing it.

Wim

Wim
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,

the only indication of an 'overloaded' HSG80 - that I know about - is seen in the FC counters: QF seen = 'Queue Full seen' or
Seq Tmo = sequential timeouts. You need to check the counters on all your FC pathes from the node to the HSG80:

SDA> FC SHOW FGA0
SDA> FC STDT
SDA> FC SHOW FGB0
SDA> FC STDT
...

If IOs to the disk/path/HSG80 are temporarily stalled, the queue length will stay high, but no IOs will be processed, they will all be pending.

Volker.
Tom O'Toole
Respected Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Have you run VTDPY on each controller in the pair to determine whether one or the other runs out of CPU or other resource. Maybe path switching to serve this unit from a controller which only has other units mostly idle at this time will improve recovery from this peak.
Can you imagine if we used PCs to manage our enterprise systems? ... oops.
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim,

A side note, not particularly on topic.

Taken to its extreme, a short queue (queue length = 1) is not necessarily a good thing. For example, seek optimization algorithms cannot optimize without a queue to analyze. If the HSG has a problem with long queues, it is a BUG. The driver and the controller should jointly ensure that the queue length does not cause controller problems.

Short of exhausting non-paged dynamic memory on the host OpenVMS system, and the performance problems caused by a dis-porportionate queue length on one particular device, there should be no problems with long queues.

Of course, the individual performance of a particular process is a different question. Most analyses of overall system performance maximize the overall performance of the system.

Using DIOLM and other account quotas to manage the workload on the HSG is crude and imprecise at best, and self-defeating at worst. It is true that for a particular configuration, increasing quotas beyond a certain point yields dramatically decreasing benefits, but that is an entirely different issue.

I hope that the above is helpful.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Did some thinking at home. Maybe it is just that normally all write IO goes into the cache and is processed afterwards. But if the cache is full it may lead to queues. So, simply a longer interval of heavy load. I will check on Wednesday with the real data.

Tom : yes running vtdpy could give some extra data but I don' have permission to come at 6:00.

Wim@home
Wim
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

It seems that I "fogot" this case.

I now have a simular case. FAL was doing non-virtual IO with a thruput of 2 - 6 MByte per second. This during 1 hour, so several GB. But the application guys don't know why.

Any idea's ?

The cluster was rebooted and the problem is gone. But I would like to know what it was.

Wim
Wim
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Wim, Is that really VMS 7.3 or VMS 7.3.x?

What Volker is suspecting but maybe not articulating strongly enough is that there is a serious performance problem once you hit a QFULL condition (credits) on the fibre channel driver. One spike, and you'll slow down after that.
The recovery for that is way too gentle/slow.
This is addressed by VMS732_FIBRE_SCSI-V0700.
The fact that it gets better after reboot kind of confirms this.
That potential alternative to this is supposdly:
SDA> FC SET WTID/WWID=wwid-number/QFTIMED=1


About the 6 am/ hourly spikes possibly related to sybase... Coudl sybase be doing like what oracle calls a checkpoint? A great many IOs in one go to sync memory with disks?
Is there a knob in sybase to limit this? Like a 'max-write-io' perhaps?

Now about Backup. The backup process settings with DIOLM many thousands is 'old school'. It goes well beyond the point of diminishing returns. Please check the current process quota recommendation, or just set it back to 100 and try.

met vriendelijke groetjes,

Hein.



Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Disk Queue Length

Hein,

It is 7.3 patched until the patches of 12-mar-2003.

Note that the reboot solved the problem that FAL does a lot of non-vir qio. But why ?

The queue length problem is still present and imo caused by high activity (controller saturated). At that moment a backup is busy and also some big FTP. And some smaller Sybase dumps. And the controller is also used by another cluster that is doing backups combined with heavy DWH activity.

I still have the peaks non-virtual qio but currently not when the queue length is high.

And Sybase has no checkpoint activity.
Wim