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Improving Disk Performance on DL380G4

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Improving Disk Performance on DL380G4

I have a 380G4 that is running an application and SQL Database.
It is configured with mirrored 72GB 15K drives and a hot spare.

The SQL queries are not returning fast enough, and Perf Mon is showing high Physical Disk Writes.

I am thinking of adding 2 more 15K drives and moving the pagefile and the SQL transaction logs there for better performance.

I have 2 questions.

Should I also add a second RAID controller to get the new drives on a separate controller? We are currently just using the integrated controller.

Also, there is the ability to do simplex and duplex configurations on the drives. I am not sure of what the benefit of this would be or how to change from the default we are using now.


Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Improving Disk Performance on DL380G4


You should try utilizing the integrated Smart Array first. it has 2 channels that should be sufficient. You can always add the second controller later. Doing so, you may also need to add a disk shelf.

How to utilize the second channel...

Inside the 380G4 there is a clear backed terminiator sitting right behind the hard drive backplane. Most DL380G4's come with the box in "simplex" mode. If you bought a DL380G4 with a packaged cluster, they sometimes come in "Duplex" mode. Not sure why. Either wat, to enable duplex mode, you need to install the clear backed terminator onto the back of the hdd backplane.

How to utilize...

On the front of the server... the first 2 drives.. 0 and 1 (on the right hand side) are on channel 0. The rest are on Channel 1.

The benefit would be better performace due to the extra channel of bandwidth.

Enabling duplex mode DISABLES the external SCSI port i the back of the server.

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Honored Contributor

Re: Improving Disk Performance on DL380G4

I you want reasoneble performance add two couple of drives & create RAID10 on them - purely for SQL data leaving logs on mirrored pair you currently have.

You will not have a hot-spare then, but I don't thik it is a major issue when everything is mirrored.

Don't panic! [THGTTG]
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Improving Disk Performance on DL380G4

Hi Chris,

Have you installed the Battery Backed Write Cache (BBWC) option onto the internal SmartArray ?

If not then your write performance will be a *lot* slower than it could be.

During some recent tests with Microsoft's SQLIOStress tool on a DL380G3, I was seeing IO throughput increases of at least an order of magnitude by installing the BBWC. On a G4 you get even more cache memory with this option so the increase may be even more.



Re: Improving Disk Performance on DL380G4

Best possible disk performance on a G4 would be achieved by installing the BBWC Module on the 6i Array Controller, installing a SA6404 (it has 256Mb of cache on it) and putting a MSA30 on the 6404.

I would then set up the internal drive cage as Duplex with PCI (the stickers on the inside of the lid of the box will tell you how to set this up). Would have 2X36Gb (15K) disks mirrored on the 6i in bay 0 and 1, for the OS (presumably WIN2K/WIN2K3), would run a RAID 5 Array (using 15K disks again) in bays 2-5 (with the DB and web data running from this array) and on the MSA30, another RAID 5 array for the logs, with pagefile most likely on the internal RAID 5 array.

Quite an expensive upgrade, but that's how we run 'em and very effective they are too!(might also think about splitting your workload by putting your aplication bits and bobs onto a 360G4)

My tuppenceworth :), hope it helps