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ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Michael Jezard
Occasional Contributor

ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Having configured for Raid 1 with twp 80Gb drives and 1.25Gb ram, my ML330 has taken just under 1.5hrs to get to the first graphical install screen of W2003 server and I still have the setup to go (another 40 minutes it tells me!)

This is my 2nd shot at this, having reset everything and reinstalled per support desk request.

first time around I ran a speed test (Passmark performance test 5.0) and found that I was only getting a write speed of 5Mb/sec. My old pc has a 12Mb/sec write speed !

Should I have left the Raid 1 well alone?, what speeds/performance are others getting with this server, I realize that it is "low end", but this is miserable.

14 REPLIES
Nault
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Hi

Do you try to flash you bios. I try this because my server install of w2k3 it to slow and it resolve my problem.
Michael Jezard
Occasional Contributor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1


My BIOS was apparently the latest ( D15 dated 2003.11.01 )

I don't want to take the risk of "reflashing" if it s still the same BIOS, and as it has a checksum, I figure it's OK.

was your BIOS a lower revision?

Michael Jezard
Brian_Murdoch
Honored Contributor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Michael,

Are you manually installing the driver for the ATA/100 raid at W2K3 installation time, i.e. via F6 when prompted?

HP fixed a low performance issue with data transfer in driver version 4.1.502.2003 but there is now a newer driver available, 4.1.730.2003 which can be downloaded from the following link and used with F6. Hopefully it will be better than your current situation.

http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/18828.html

Regards,

Brian
Michael Jezard
Occasional Contributor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

I am running the latest driver as well :-(


Is there any chance I can get someone to try to use the Passmark performance test and see if they get similar results to me?.

Maybe I'm expecting too much from an IDE RAID controller running RAID 1

the passmark software I'm running is the eval from www.passmark.com

I'm getting:

Sequential Read 19.8Mb/sec
Sequential Write 5.5Mb/sec
Random seek + RW 2.0Mb/sec
Disk Mark 71.5
PassMark Rating 14.3

Am I expecting too much ????
Wagner_14
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Hi,

we also have these kinds of perfomance problems. At the moment we're using ML330G3,
2x2,4Ghz Xeon and 2GB RAM with a raid 0+1
configuration. (we'll use the machines as entry level servers).

With current ML330G3 bios and the current driver the raid perfomance is as bad as you described. (with +0 perhaps a little bit better)

write average 15-20 MB/s, read average about 50Mb /s. In the past weeks we recognized some problems with the LSI (CSB6) controller
onboard. Some weird error messages were reported. (disk error entry, LSI timeout for about 5 seconds once a day e.g.)
But the harddisk and the controller were ok.

The point was that the controller had problems with the perfomance, applications like RIS, SQL "overloads" the onboard controller. Current performance test shows about 1MB/s write perfomance e.g.
(and it was only an active MS SQL server with
an average load) and so on.

We tested with the ML330G3 also a DawiControl DC133 or Promise controller in a 0+1 environment and both controllers reported in average a 3 times better perfomance than the onboard one.
(about 50-60MB/s write and and about 60-90MB/s read.)

Ok, there's no integrated CIM functionality but the old onboard legacy LSI product (Megaraid ATA100) is a bad one, with extremly bad/low perfomance.

We're wondering too, because HP takes such piece of an old controller in a machine that isn't bad. The other performance of the machine isn't bad.
ernst limbrunner
Trusted Contributor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

hi michael

1) the hardware raid is not really a hw raid. during boot time fw in the bios will take care of raid 1. when windows is loading, driver is loaded and from now on will do the raid. so in contrast to smart controllers which have their own processor, the ide raid uses the system processor. a pci card is diferent, as it usually brings its own processor.

2) do NOT connect both drives to the same cable. ide has only one active device per channel (other than scsi).

3) never use ide raid or a hw/fw solution if you need performance.

best regards
ernesto
Michael Jezard
Occasional Contributor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

The ML330 comes with two drives already connected together on the same channel/cable. Are you saying that I should recable the default setup?.

HP are advertising that this is hardware IDE RAID.

Still, if as you say it is a combination of Hardware and software, it would probably explain my woes with this server.

I actually have another posting on this forum about disabling the whole RAID system and just running as regular IDE, but no one has managed to answer whether I can disable.

Thanks


Michael
ernst limbrunner
Trusted Contributor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

hi michael

if they DO ship the system with 2 drives connected to the same cable, than it is definitely not a good configuration. gives you only half of the performance you can get.
-----------------------------------------
the ide raid in the ml310, ml330 and dl320 is NOT a genuine hw raid. there is HP internal documentation telling the truth. sales does not seem to even know that.
-----------------------------------------
i do NOT recommend to simply recable the drives. you probably will lose data. if you had a smart controller you could easily do this.
-----------------------------------------
parallel ide (ata) has only one active device per channel and hence per cable (this is NOT hp specific !!)

best regards
ernesto

ps: the ide raid is NOT a hp development (as opposed to the smart). it used to be an integrated version of the ATI megaraid controller. the driver was called megaraid.sys. have a look at the name of the current driver and use google to find out the truth - you will not find anything on the public hp sites.




Max_60
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Hi!

I just got 5 DL320 G2 servers with P4 3.06GHz, RAID 1 enabled on 2 x 80GB HD using the default IDE cabling installed.

I too noticed very slow disk performance on install and use. Using PerformanceTest 4.0, I got performance 4 times slower than a regular P4 2,2GHz disk !!!

I did an automatic OS prep with SmartStart with latest IDE drivers 2.5.2003.6.13.

Anybody has an idea if we can rewire the IDE cables, even if it means reinstalling the whole OS ?

I need the RAID1 with a little more performance here ! I got my servers for $840 each with free HD, so I wonder if HP knew about this problem, and got rid of these lemons.
Mike Chang
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Michael,

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 does.not.work.

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.

Ben
Max_60
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 slow with IDE Raid 1

Hi,

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!

Max

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! ;-)
Tim_361
Advisor

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