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DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

We are using a DL320 G4 with a SATA RAID (HostRAID) configuration. In comparing performance for such tasks as disk format or rebuild rates, it appears that the G4 is MUCH worse than the performance of the DL320 G3. In trying to quantify "MUCH", the format of a drive on on the G3 is on the order of 30 minutes while on the G4 the format takes 6 hours.

Are others seeing this performance difference?
Is there a fix in the works (i.e. like new firmware for the embedded controller)?
8 REPLIES
Chris Saindon
Valued Contributor

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

Hello Richard,

Is this format being done from the O/S on secondary drives, or is it done through the O/S install.

If it is done post-O/S install I'd recommend checking the support pack installed. If it's older (<7.30) I'd recommend updating that.

Proliant Support Pack 7.40 (Windows 2000)
http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/23836.html

Proliant Support Pack 7.40 (Windows 2003)
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/23837.html

Otherwise, I'd recommend updating all the firmware on the server

Firmware Maintenance CD
http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/23331.html

or more current updates:

Software Directory (To get the software page for any server and O/S)
http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/index.html

That should be a good start, if you have any other questions, feel free!

Chris
Black holes are where God divided by zero - Steven Wright

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

Hi Chris -

Thanks for the response...

The format is being conducted from the embedded RAID utility. So this is not related to any OS at the time.

This is a new server, with all the latest firmware (BIOS version 4.7-1 1316).
Chris Saindon
Valued Contributor

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

Hello again Richard,

Sorry for multiposting but I thought of something else. If a drive was failed/failing you would have poor performance on the drives.

I recommend getting a Smart Start 7.40 cd and booting the server off of it to run the Array Diagnostic Utility, or if your O/S is up you can grab it from the server software page in my above post. (Assuming you're running Windows)

If you haven't seen this report before I recommend calling HP and have them review it for you. We can tell if there are any read/write errors on the drive which would affect performance greatly.

Chris

Black holes are where God divided by zero - Steven Wright

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

Hi Chris -

It appears that the SmartStart CD does not support this server (DL320 G4 with SATA RAID enabled). Any other suggestions?
Chris Saindon
Valued Contributor

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

Hello Richard,

I forgot to mention that you would need to disable the RAID to get that to work, sorry about that. Now I also didn't realize that if your array was already built by this point, that may not be the best option. I was thinking you had just 2 blank drives and had not configured anything on them yet.

This definately makes it more difficult.

The only other thing, which I'm sure you checked, would be to make sure the cables are seated correctly and the drives sit correctly into the backplane. Otherwise, at this point I'm suspecting the backplane could be having issues or something farther down the line, ie system board.

Sorry I couldn't help more...

Chris
Black holes are where God divided by zero - Steven Wright
abcxyz
Frequent Advisor

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

I am also facing a similar issue where in the installation of Windows 2000 takes 6 Hours if i select Build Option under F8 of the Array utility.The time is 1.5 Hrs if quick init is selected.

This is very high as compared to G3 server where it takes 40 minutes with build option.

This seems to be common across DL320 G4 servers.

Any Ideas or pls advise if you have already resolved this


Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

HI -

Upon further digging into this with HP and Adaptec it appears that the embedded RAID FW was changed between the DL320 G3 and DL320 G4. One of the items that changed was exposing the write cache.

The DL320 G3 always had the write cache enabled with no mechanism to disable. However, this apparently exposed the potential for data loss since the write cache is not battery backed on this server.

The DL320 G4 has the write cached DISABLED by default. This leads us to the 6+ hour rebuild times, etc.
To enable the write cache, enter the Array Configuration Utility (Ctrl-A)and select Manage Arrays. Enable the Write Cache (you should see the menu at the bottom the screen with the configuration choices) by pressing Crtl-W.

Now, that the write cache is enabled the array can be configured to utilze the write cache (i.e. write-back) from the array configuration utility (ACU) from within the operating system.

For those that are deploying across a number of units, there is supposedly a new HRCONF utility due out soon that will capture the write cache setting for programatic deployments.

Hope that helps...
Deepali Singh
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL320 G4 Slow SATA RAID Performance

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your reply. I was able to resolve the issue after enabling the write cache customer is very happy now.

Thanks again for your help.

Regards,
Deepali