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ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

cartal
Occasional Advisor

ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

Hello,

I'm facing big I/O performance issue with the following configuration :
ML350 G5, E200i smart array with 4 750GB 7200 RPM SATA disks.

3 disks are used in RAID5 configuration, the last one is not used at the moment.
Firmware updates have been applied using the 7.91 firmware CD from HP.
OS is an up to date CENTOS 5 update 1.
Filesystem is ext3 on top of LVM.

Write cache and array acceleration are enabled.
cache ratio is 25% read/75% write.

Reading from disk is OK (~ 90 MB/s), however writing is awfully slow (~ 10 MB/s) and iowait is ~ 100%, thus the machine is nearly unusable

Upgrading to the latest e200 driver version (3.6.18) from hp website does not show any improvement.

To insure that the performance issue was not related to RAID 5, I performed several tests on the 4th drive alone (i.e. RAID0) :
- dd directly to the device.
- dd on an ext3 filesystem.
- dd on an ext3 on top of LVM.
All tests gave the same result : ~ 10 MB/s

The same test on my laptop with a 7200 RPM SATA disk gives me ~30 MB/s

Does anybody have a clue on what is wrong here ?
9 REPLIES
seehigh
Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

use the firmware maintenance CD and update the firmware for every single HDD...you need to boot the Server with the CD inside and you need to burn your own .ISO firmware CD Image !

PussPower
Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

2 cartal.
If you read the previous topics, describing low performance, you understand, that at this moment there is no solution for that issue.
If you use SATA drives with E200i or even in other conditions you experience very low disk performance. This is because the HP engineers think, that disabling INTERNAL drive cache of SATA drives is a good idea, which provides reliability.
On e200i there is no way to enable that cache, so SATA drives not usable at working solutions, only as a expensive toys. On P400 controller this problem solvable - you can enable INTERNAL drive cache on SATA.
I don't deeply know how SATA drive's software operates, but I think that flushing of INTERNAL drive cache syncronized with spindle rotation at least. Disabling the internal SATA drive cache realy stucks all the drive's operation.

2 HP
Hey HP, I'm tired of telling to you at this forum about YOUR PROBLEMS. I don't have another ways to heat your brains. Do it something about performance of SATA on E200i. Your marketing of low and high solutions gives you another results. Your representatives at my region nothing can do. I'm slowly hate you firmi. 15k of $$ is expemsive for my business. Don't think about airplanes, think about peoples, that uses your technicsa and have many hours of useless "trahanie" with your servers, demonstrating unpredictable behaviour.
cartal
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

Seehigh,

As explained in my initial post, I've already applied the firmware maintenance CD, so all components are up to date.
cartal
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

PussPower,

Thanks for your answer.

I agree with you that HP should at least give the customer the choice to enable or disable the internal drive cache.

In the meantime it seems that I have no solution except going for a P400 RAID card since the machine is barely usable in this configuration.
cartal
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

For information, after upgrading to the latest available e200i firmware (1.72), I was able to enable internal SATA drive cache.

Performances are now up to 30 MB/s in RAID 5 and 60 MB/s in RAID 1+0 and RAID 0.

Regards.
cartal
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

see previous comment for answer
PussPower
Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

OK that's seems rigth. All the way you convice me and I'm download this 1.72 firmware pack and what i'm get ?

"The installation procedure did not complete successfully. An error occurred during the setup process.

You may look at the setup log file for more details if desired.

Additional Information:
The Array Controller ROM flash failed for the following device:

Slot 0, Product ID 0x103C3211, Version 1.66

Press the 'Close' button to exit Setup."

What's a *uck ? What I have to do. Sorry author, that thread is closed, but proplem isn't solved. Which log I have to view. Exact path please... On russ I will say "bla..."
PussPower
Advisor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

OK, thats works. I'm executing the firmware 1.72 update file 4 or more times and finally it works (Green circle appears). You can also try this way :-). Now it seems ok - performance of SATA drives in desireable values 30-40Mb/s (I don't see reboot of my server, because I'm not near it, but all seems to work). Thank you for all. I'm wish you and me good luck. See the thread about 1,72 firmware where I'm described my config. Hope this helps someone.
tov_mayor
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML350 G5 + E200i performance issue

Hello
I have upgraded e200i to the latest firmware 1.72, latest e200i driver (6.12.0.32), latest SATA disks firmware, but nothing seems to changed - write performance on RAID 5, 4x500GB 7200 RPM lasts maximum 20-23 MB/s.
Maybe i must enable write cache manual? How can i do that on Windows 2003 server?