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ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

Erik Schuurman
Occasional Visitor

ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

First of all I have to say I'm a newbie regarding disk arrays.

For a customer in the US I'm testing our software on the above mentioned system (CPU 2.4 GHz, 512Mb RAM). The system has been complete configured before it was shipped to us. But somehow the disk access is very poor. Retrieving e.g. the folder properties for the system32 directory takes several minutes before it has counted all 5500 files.

The disk array contains 3 HD's of 36 Gb each in a RAID5 configuration. Anyone any idea?

Thanx in advance,
Erik Schuurman
6 REPLIES
e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

Erik,
Post more information on the system. Who configured it? HP? What are the disk drives in the system? HP/Compaq? (I hate having to use both names all the time) Are the disks identical?
SOmetimes timing issues between different drives can slow the bus, or if one drive somehow is acting in SE signalling, or the is some data corruption somehow. May be check the drives are all OK, the array consistancy, there is not a process going on like rebuilding? Run the ACU and see if there ia a problem. Do you have a Smart Raid User Guide?
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Erik Schuurman
Occasional Visitor

Re: ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

I don't exactly know at this moment who configured this server. I suppose the local dealer of the customer configured it. The HD's are identical HP drives 36.4 Gb / 10k speed. The OS installed is Windows2000 Server.

Earlier this week I changed the configuration from RAID5 to RAID0 to see whether this would increase performance. But it didn't, so I'm configuring it back to RAID5. This reconfiguring is now going on for more than 36 hours which seems incredibly long to me since only the OS is installed yet. The ACU says everything is Ok and only displays a status message about the reconfiguring of the logical volume that I started later.

I haven't found a Smart Raid User Guide yet. Is that available anywhere?

Erik Schuurman
The Netherlands.
Erik Schuurman
Occasional Visitor

Re: ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

Ran some benchmarks over different systems and the harddisk (array) on the Proliant only performs at a low 10 MB/s while at other systems the harddisks perform at least at 30 MB/s!

e4services
Honored Contributor

Re: ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

Erik,

Sounds as if you have something that is not functioning correctly in the ML350 and not in the hard drives themselves. If you saw no performance change going to RAID 0 then it is not the RAID 5 that is doing it, but it could be the controller. You could have tried taking the RAID 0 out and attaching it to the Onboard SCSI controler, bypassing the RAID controller and see what you get. Or at this point you could just attacha drive to the SCSI and test.
Something is not correct, i.e. at full potential on this machine, PCI bus or the controller itself.
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Victor Pendlebury
Valued Contributor

Re: ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

Hi

Are you disks U320 or U3 ?

If they are U3, maybe this advisory could help ...

CUSTOMER ADVISORY
EX030325_CW01 REVISION: 0
Ultra3 SCSI Hard Drives And Storage Enclosures Perform At Ultra2 Speeds
When Attached To A Smart Array 641 Or Smart Array 642 Controller
RELEASE DATE: April 2003
DESCRIPTION
The hp Smart Array 641 and Smart Array 642 Controllers are Ultra 320-capable and are
optimized for performance with Ultra 320-capable SCSI hard drives and storage
enclosures. Although the Smart Array 641 and Smart Array 642 Controllers are
compatible with previous generations of SCSI technology, when attached to Ultra3 SCSI
hard drives or an Ultra3 SCSI storage enclosure (e.g., StorageWorks Enclosure 4300)
the Ultra3 hard drives will perform at Ultra2 speeds.
When Ultra 320 hard drives and Ultra3 hard drives are both installed in an Ultra 320
server or enclosure, the Ultra 320 hard drives will continue to perform at Ultra 320
speeds and the Ultra3 hard drives will perform at Ultra2 speeds. However, Ultra 320
drives will perform at Ultra2 speeds when installed in an Ultra3 storage enclosure that is
attached to a Smart Array 641 or Smart Array 642 Controller.
SCOPE
Any ProLiant server configured with a Smart Array 641 or Smart Array 642 Controller
that is connected to an Ultra3 SCSI hard drive or storage enclosure.
RESOLUTION
To maximize performance when using Ultra3 SCSI hard drives and storage enclosures,
use an Ultra3 optimized controller, such as a Smart Array 5300-series controller (i.e.,
Smart Array 5302, Smart Array 5304, etc.)
To maximize performance when using a Smart Array 641 or Smart Array 642 Controller,
use Ultra 320 hard drives installed in an Ultra 320-capable server or enclosure.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS AFFECTED: Non-platform specific
Erik Schuurman
Occasional Visitor

Re: ProLiant ML350G3 / SmartArray 641 Slow HD access

Nope, the drives are 36.4 GB, 10k RPM, Ultra320. (type BD036863AC)

I'm afraid the controller is indeed giving problems. If I have any time I'll put it back to a RAID0 config and bypass the Smart Array Controller.

Is it normal that moving from a RAID0 to RAID5 configuration takes about three days with only the OS installed??

TIA,
Erik