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DL380 G2, G3 and G4 SA5 & SA6 performance!?!?

Mikael Lindqvist
Occasional Advisor

DL380 G2, G3 and G4 SA5 & SA6 performance!?!?


I have a couple of DL380's that I've been doing some performance tests with and have come to the conclusion that no matter what RAID (0, 1, 0+1, 5), my Laptop (NC8230 with 60GB 2,5" drive) writes faster (about twice the speed) than any of the above servers when copying files!!!

It seems that when copying files to any DL380 server (without the BBWC cache option) it levels out between 14-16MB/sec!!!

Then we rented a SA6402 card, and it solved all problems! Instead of it taking about 4.5-5 minutes to copy 4 GB's over a 1GB/sec switch, it took only 1.10 minutes with the SA6402!!!

I've tried to copy from my laptop, from G2's, G3's and G4's, even an IBM SAN, and it's still the same! I've tried several drivers, and Firmwares on the SA5 and SA6's as well as several networkdrivers. I've even tried a DL380 G1, with the same result. (The SA6 was slightly better).
When copying from any of the above servers to a homebuilt pc with a single SATA drive I almost average 60MB/sec!

Anyone who have had similar results?
Michael Richter
Trusted Contributor

Re: DL380 G2, G3 and G4 SA5 & SA6 performance!?!?

Got an ML530 with SA3200 without BBWC Enabler running a Raid1 with 2 HDDs (18.6 GB)

My Read Performance is about ~ 20MB/sec and My write performance is about ~10MB/sec.

some ideas to improve Performance (HW related):

1. change Raid Level
2. change Amount of physical Drives in one Raid Level
3. duplex cabling
4. Stripe Size
5. BBWC Enabler Option Kit
6. Cache Option (Read and Write)
7. keep your Firmware up 2 date (HDDs+Controllers)

i didn't find any informations on the HP Web Site about "pratical" Performance Values

Trusted Contributor

Re: DL380 G2, G3 and G4 SA5 & SA6 performance!?!?

Just a quick comment that these are Parallel SCSI controllers and drives, so I would expect them to be slower than SATA (1.5Gb/s). The SA5 has a max transfer rate (according the specs) of 160MB/s while SA6 class controllers should have a max transfer rate of 320MB/s.

It sounds as if you're testing data transfers across your network, not I/O between array controller and disks. If that's correct; are you sure you're not having a network problem such as incorrectly negotiated duplex mode? I've seen this in quite a few cases where auto negotiate at NIC or switch port doesn't work properly and I ended up having to define speed/duplex mode on both so they function as expected.

Mikael Lindqvist
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 G2, G3 and G4 SA5 & SA6 performance!?!?

Nope, the network is not an issue as I've tried most of all the possible settings, and I do get the speed when reading from the server to my laptop or the Home Built machine!!

I've done local copying as well, but the performance is still the same, i.e. my laptops harddrive totally outperforms the DL380 servers!!!

I've tried using 1 disc, 2discs, 4 discs, and 6 discs, in standalone mode, RAID0, RAID1, RAID 1+0 and RAID5, and my Laptop is still quicker in everyway!

But with the SA6402 with BBWC it outperforms just about everything!

Re: DL380 G2, G3 and G4 SA5 & SA6 performance!?!?

With out BBWC, it workes like an older IDE drive UDMA66, because it directly access's to disk and writes and waites, (you could get a cup of tea at this time) and starts, and finishes its work.

So please buy the BBWC option kit for SA6i with your new DL380 G4's. It costs about 150-200 USD and it gives you a very good performance boost!
Digital World