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ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Mike Chang
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1


I've ran into the same slow performance issues as well with my DL320 in an IDE RAID1 configuration. It took a long time to install Windows 2003 server and when I measured the performance I was also getting around 5-6MB/s write performance.

I tried enabling the write-cache and it improved the write performance dramatically. I was getting about 35-40MB/s with the write cache on. It appears the server is nearly unusable without the write-cache enabled...

I haven't had a chance to test, but do SCSI drives also take similiar performance hits when write-cache is disabled? I might try this on one of my servers the next time I get a chance.

For now I've decided to keep the cache enabled and risk the data loss...that's better than having an unusable server in my opinion.
Jens Baumann_2
Frequent Advisor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

The ML330 is a real lemon if you use the onboard LSI Raid controller. First, you get only the 40GB or 80GB disks, which somewhat limits you if you need lots of cheap disk space (something we intended to use the ML330 for). Next, the onboard LSI Raid cannot use large off-the-shelf IDE disks (we tried replacing the 40GB disks we bought our ML330s with with 200GB drives to create our "large, cheap disk space" and all we got were disk errors in the event log). Further still, the performance of the LSI Raid is absolutely horrible if you want to use Raid1. And when I say "horrible" I mean "completely unusable". When you do continous disk access (e.g. a backup), the whole system gets bogged down and you practically cannot work on the console. Robocopy jobs from another machine to the ML330 fail. Don't even think about using the ML330 as a RIS machine. It simply

We ended up buying extra IDE Raid controllers for our ML330 servers and plugged in the 200GB disks we bought. Performance is OK now (like we expected it to be in the first place).

To see what problems I talk about, have a look at the two pictures I attached to this message. The "lsi.jpg" shows the disk transfer rate (read/write) in Raid1+0 mode using the onboard LSI controller and four of the original 40GB disks, the "promise.jpg" shows the performance using a Promise SX4000 controller with four off-the-shelf 200GB IDE disks (Raid5). y axis is file size in KB, the numbers to the right are speed in KB/s.
Ben Conrad
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

I did some tests while running on the latest PSP and ROM (as of 12/23/04), seems that performance is acceptable with the write cache on, not acceptable at all with it off.

See spreadsheet, I also compared drives on/off the same IDE channel. The best combination is write cache on with the 2 drives on the same channel.

Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1


I FOUND A SOLUTION for the ML330 slow disk transfers !!!

I now get up to 8x faster transfers across the network ON REAL applications, and about x2 or x3 on performance tests.

SOLUTION: run Windows Updates, and install the updated disk driver from there. Do not install/reinstall any driver from HP. Reboot, and zooom !!!!

If you don't have Internet connectivity, just download the update from another PC, and move it/run it on the server.

I haven't checked that for the DL320, but I have installed the cheap Adaptec 1210SA card and a couple of 250GB SATA disks in most of my servers, so the on-board performance becvomes irrelevant.

You could keep write cache on if you want to get an additional boost, but I wouldn't recommend it, and anyway with the new driver, you have a pretty decent performance now, so the best trade-off of performance and safety is to update the driver and disable the write cache. If you have reliable power and setup, you can still disable write cache at your own risks.

Just thought this might be good news for you guys for Christmas !!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


P.S.: I actually did some other changes in the BIOS at the same time, but I believe the most relevant came from the new driver. Let me know if this doesn't work, and I'll post my BIOS changes, probably next year! ;-)

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Has anyone found a definative answer to fixing this slow RAID issue? Is there a PCI IDE RAID card that can simply be added and attached to the existing drives and have it work - although faster? If so, do you have specific make/part numbers for such PCI card that will work in an ML330 G3? Thanks in advance! Tim