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HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Tim Patton
Advisor

HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

I'm having a horrible time with my (2) HP Ultrium 215 tape drives.

IBM @Server x232
8668-54X
2GB RAM
(2) 18GB Mirror
(3) 36GB Raid (Hardware)
HP Ultrium 215 plugs into C7474A HBA
Both HBA and Tape drive flashed to the latest firmware

Win2k SP3

Backup Exec 8.6 w/ IDR

Seems like a pretty powerful server ehh? I'm having a horrible time with speed when backing up. I'm only getting on average, about 80MB/min. Since I have over 45GB of data, obviously this is unacceptable.

I have (2) identical servers, and they both have the identical problem. I've seen the notes in the FAQs about speed, but I believe I am following all the rules. Can someone offer me some advice?

Thanks,
Tim
16 REPLIES
Leif Halvarsson_2
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Hi,
Is there perhaps something wrong with the blocksize setting. I am not sure about default settings in Backup Exec but try to increase the blocksize to 32 or 64kB.
Tim Patton
Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

The block size on the backup is set to 64K

Also, I have tried running pat12.exe to see what the performance utility had to say...however, on both servers I get an error when it tries to run, and it doesn't get me any data
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Tim,
then try HP LTT's perfomance test. LTO 215 should make at least 7,5mb/s to work in the best way (without stop-rewind-start cycle and excessive head wearing) http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/ltt/index.html
What can I propose? As soon as both servers are behaving the same - check anything else - SCSI cables, terminators etc
Eugeny
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Hello,

Which HBA are you using?

Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Marco Hogeveen
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Hi Tim,

You can download a utility called HP TapePerf from ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib/software2/COL1946/co-11011-1/HPTapePerf.exe This tool writes data directly from memory to tape (use a tape which you can overwrite). It will show you the maximum throughput to your tape (should be 15 MB/sec with compressed data). If TapePerf gives a bad result then you should have a look at the ADPu160M.SYS driver of the C7474A SCSI-HBA. There are some fixes about scsi-bus speed negotiation in the latest version at the adaptec website which should solve your problem.

Good luck!
Marco
Dave COTTLE
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

each LTO MUST be on a separate HBA.

I believe the rated speed for LTO215 is ~ 9 Mb/sec, so this equates to approx 1 MB/sec = 60 MB/min.

Note that LTO230 are twice as fast.
learn concepts, not methods -- a good mind devises its own methods
Dave Dewar
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Tim,

What error message do you get when you run pat? Pat should work fine on your setup. If you are getting a real error it would help us to have more info as we can possibly fix the bug in the next release.

The vast majority of issues we see with performance are invariably system related rather than drive related. The Ultrium products require well tuned systems to keep them fed. Your setup looks like it should be ok so I am not sure why you are having issues. There have been some issues with older adaptec drivers slugging performance as someone else mentioned so I would definitely check that.

Here is a link to a hp perf troubleshooting guide that might help

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=lpg50460#P5_340

The HP Ultrium drives use data rate matching DRM technology.
The 215 will keep streaming down to 6MB/s native. Obviously, achieving 7.5MB/s native is better for performance.

The Ultrium 230 has a DRM range of 6-15MB/s and the Ultrium 460 has a range of 10-30MB/s.

As long as you hit transfer rates in these ranges the tape drive will be streaming (not repositioning) and wear and tear on heads, drive and media will be minimised.

If the data transfer rate from the host varies, and it typically does with real customer data, the drives will slow down and speed up within their DRM ranges to try to keep streaming, quite clever really :-)

One other thing to bear in mind with the 215, if it detects that the thermal environment is too hot, then it will limit its performance to 6MB/s. LTT has a thermal cooling check test you can run on any HP Utrium drive to check that it has been installed with adequate cooling. My guess is that you have your 215's installed internally in your servers.
You might want to run the cooling check after you have solved your other performance issue if you find you can't get more than 6MB/s.

Cheers,

Dave Dewar.

Tim Patton
Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Thanks for all of your replies, here's my update.

1. Both servers are acting the EXACT same. They both get about a little over 100MB/min.

2. The version of ADPU160M.SYS is 7.0.4100.100, which is higher than Adaptec's version on their website 6.1.530.201. This was an update off of Microsoft's Windowsupdate.

3. Each server has ONLY one tape drive. Both tape drives are on ID 6, and BOTH tape drives are the ONLY device plugged into HP's C7474A HBA. The HBA is running the latest firmware

4. According to http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=lpg50460 the speed of the tape drive should be (native) 450MB/minute...this is MegaBytes, not Megabits. I'm only getting 100MB/minute

5. I just ran the HPtapePerf, and it reports the following

Testing With 2:1 Compression Ratio
Opening Tape Drive 0
Rewinding...
Setting Blocksize to 64K
Writing...
4096.00 MB written in 2213.67 seconds, 1.85 MB/s
Rewinding...
Closing Tape Drive 0

6. I do not get an error msg when I run PAT, other than "problem during the full test method"

7. I took some of the advice above, and ran a temperature check. The tape drive SAYS that it is reaching overheating levels. It says it's reaching 50 degrees celcius. It also says it's normal temperature is about 39 degrees. This is absolutely false. The server doesn't run anywhere near that temperature, and the tape drive is definately cold to the touch. What is it doing? (Both servers' tape drives are reporting this).

I appreciate all of the help I have recieved so far. Hopefully we can figure this out

Thanks,
Tim
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Hello,

1.85Mb/s is roughly 100Mb/min. If tapeperv is reporting the same speed, then DEFINETELY it is not the software, it is some kind of hardware problem.

It could be the terminators or the cables on your Ultrium drives. What kind of terminators are you using? These should DEFINETELY not be single-ended. At least, LVD terminators.

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Marino Meloni_1
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

hi Tim
Temperature could be effectively the cause, if overtemp is reached, the speed is decreased.
If the unit is an internal one, check inside the server in order to be sure that the scsi cable are not passing in front of the air flow, this is the higher cause of over heating for Ultrium inside of servers.
The temp is mesured in differents parts inside the unit, that is why these data are not the same as the temp inside the server.
check here for tuning performances on LTO
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=lpg50460#P180_15521
marino
Dave Dewar
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Hi Tim,

The Ultrium 215 will only slow down to 6MB/s if it detects it is running over temperature, no lower.

However, a secondary effect might be that under excessive over temperature the write/read performance of the unit could be impaired and consequently the unit might have to do more rewrites to ensure the user data on the tape is recoverable. This would require the unit to reposition more and so the effective transfer rate as seen by the host would be less than 6MB/s, maybe even as low as the the 1.85MB/s you are seeing.

There are two temperature sensors inside the Ultrium 215. One is positioned in the tape path to measure media temperature, this is refered to as tape path temp in LTT I believe and typically measures between 5 and 20degC higher than the ambient temperature external to the unit depending on airflow though the unit. Under conditions of very low airflow this delta can rise to close to 20degC. The second sensor is mounted within the backplane electronics at the rear of the unit and measures electronics temperatures, this can be anywhere between 15 and 40degC above ambient depending on airflow. Low airflow will yield a 40degC delta.

The tape path sensor is the one that is used to be the drive to determine over temperature conditions, speed limiting and tape alert flag reporting and LTT cooling check tests. Sensor 2 is not used at all except for logging purposes.

The ambient spec of Ultrium 215 is 35degC and the airflow requirement is 5CFM through the front panel. From your result of 50degC for tape path it does sound like you are running outside specifications although I would have to see a support ticket to be sure.

If you want, you could post a LTT support ticket here and I'll take a look at the temperatures reported and the write/read performance as well. Generate a support ticket after running either the LTT cooling check or a backup and leave the tape in the drive when you create the ticket so that I can see the tape logs as well.

The other option you could try is to remove one of the units and try running it externally if possible to see if you get better performance. This would require you to have a suitable enclosure and cabling etc and so might not be practical long term, but would be useful from an experimental "proving the thermal theory" viewpoint.

Cheers,

Dave Dewar
Tim Patton
Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Everyone,

I finally have good news. This took a lot of effort to get it working properly. The short answer is that after a lot of searching, I came across the following HP website

http://h20004.www2.hp.com/soar_rnotes/bsdmatrix/matrix62462de_DE.html

If you click on the "info" button beside the win2k driver, you'll see the following

"The revision of the driver negotiates synchronous transfer rates with non-disk devices such as HP Ultrium Tape drive, and all subsequent I/O transfers now occur asynchronously.Tape I/O Test certification failure fix"

Now, as I mentioned above, I had tried drivers before, direct from Adaptec's website for the C7474A. However, they kept saying I already had the latest drivers. But, after reading what this driver did, I thought I would try it anyways. To my surprise it allowed me to install this driver for the controller.

According to device manager, the driver went from:

Adaptec SCSI Card 29160LP Low Profile Ultra160 SCSI
Driver Provider: Adaptec
Driver Date: 3/15/2000
Driver Version: Unknown Version

After the driver upgrade, the driver went to:

Adaptec SCSI Card 29160LP Low Profile Ultra160 SCSI
Driver Provider: Adaptec
Driver Date: 2/21/2001
Driver Version: 4.2.0.0

I rebooted the server, and started a backup. I'm currently getting over 800MB/MIN!!! My 120GB data store should be backed up after about 2h20min!!!

Thanks to all who replied, and tried to help. Obviously you can't trust comparing .sys driver versions. I am now a huge fan of the Ultrium 215 tape drives :-)

I hope this is of some info to anyone else who has speed problems with their HP Ultrium tape drives.

Tim
Rob_251
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

The subject of Tim's email seems to echo a problem that I have been having. I tried to go to the link that was given in his final post, but it doesn't work for me. Does any body have any information on how I could get to that site. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Tim Patton
Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

You are correct, it appears the HP link is down...you can go direct to adaptec's website, and download the new drivers from there

http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/drivers_by_product.jsp?sess=no&language=English+US&prodkey=ASC-29160LP&cat=%2fProduct%2fASC-29160LP

(There are NO SPACES in the above link)

I also highly recommend updating the card to the 3.10 bios revision.

Good Luck!
Tim
Rob_251
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Tim, thank you very much.
Rob
Tim Patton
Advisor

Re: HP Ultrium 215 is SLOW :-(

Since the problem is solved (as listed above), there doesn't seem to be any reason to keep this thread open. Closing thread