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ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

David Geek
Occasional Advisor

ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

I just bought a ML350 G6 with the "P410i Controller with HP 256MB P-series cache module upgrade" and six (6) "146GB 6G SAS 10K rpm SFF (2.5-inch) Dual Port Enterprise" hard drives.

I created a 1+0 volume with 2 drives and a Raid 5 volume with the remaining 4 drives. All drives show that they are connected at 6GBPS.

My disappointment is that when I run HDTune on the Raid 5 volume, it is only reading a max of 155 MB/Sec. I recently had a similarly configured Dell PE T610 read at over 250 MB/sec.

In the ACU, I have the Array Accelerator enabled on all drives and even tried enabling "Write Cache When Battery/Capacitor Not Present or Charged".

Has anyone figured out how to get +200 MB/Sec read speed out of this server???
(I did try a 1+0 array with the 4 drives and it only bumped me up to 180 MB/sec)

Thanks!
17 REPLIES
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Did you also purchase the battery and attach it to the cache module? Can you generate an ADU report?

Is HDTune running a read test or a write test?

good luck!
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

The disk controller does not have the battery backup. I was wondering if this was the problem but would like someone who has worked with these servers to verify before I purchase it.

HD Tune was only reading, not writing.

Attached is ACU diagnostic report.

BTW - The server is running Windows Server 2008.
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Definetively buy the battery kit. Once you have it you need to set your read write cache ratio to 50/50 and test again, it will improve alot, you can then experiment on different configs and see what suits best for your config (25/75, 75/25)


From the adu report:

Total Controller Memory Size 256 MB (0x0100)
Percent Read Cache 100% (0x64)
Percent Write Cache 0% (0x00)
Default Percent Read Cache 100% (0x64)
Default Percent Write Cache 0% (0x00)
Installed Batteries 0x0000
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

I got the battery backup and it had no affect on performance.
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Can you generate another ADU report now that you have the battery?

Maybe try a different benchmark?
Bleeder
Frequent Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

From my experience, simply connecting the battery kit will not automatically enable the caching. I would double-check that the cache is really enabled.
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Attached is a copy of the ACU report.

I believe the cache is enabled, that it always has been, even before I put the battery in.

Again, it came with the Embedded P410i/256MB controller.
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

SMR
What benchmark would you recommend?
Bleeder
Frequent Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Is advanced performance / write-caching also enabled in Device Manager, under Disk Drives, Policies tab for your raid disk?
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Bleeder,

No, they were not. Do I need to reboot now that they are enabled?
Bleeder
Frequent Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Ah, that might have been it. I'm fairly certain it won't take effect until a reboot.
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

I tried changing the write caching policy for the disk in Device Manager. However, the policy change does not save. When I place the check next to the box and click OK to close then open it backup again, the check box is removed.
Moreover, I noticed a note below the Enable write caching check box that states "This device does not allow its write cache settings to be modified"

Any ideas?
Bleeder
Frequent Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

You may at least be able to enable write caching, but not advanced performance. Some vendors drivers are coded to disable it like you've seen. It looks like that's what's happening here. The important thing is that your cache is enabled on the controller. The setting in Windows was just an extra thing to try/test.

Another thing you may want to do is update your p410i firmware from 3.00 to 3.52.
SMR
Valued Contributor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

David,

I just realized from your original post that you are referring directly to the RAID 5 logical drive, whats the performance on the RAID 1 LD?

Is this server in production?
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

SMR

Yes this is in production now.

The RAID 1 volume has a read rate of about 100 MB/sec.
David Geek
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

Bleeder

I upgraded the P410i Firmware w/o change to the performance.
Bleeder
Frequent Advisor

Re: ML350 G6 Disappointing Disk Read Speeds

If you have no worries about power loss, you can test enabling drive write cache on each of the drives via ACU.

Also, curious, do you have the same logical drive stripe sizes on your Dell setup?