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HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

Bruce Ireland
Occasional Visitor

HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

We are running a DL380 D4 using Windows Server 2003. I recently installed all the support packs and updates via the HP Version Control Agent.

After doing this, the Ultrium 960 tape drive was no long detected.

I then downgraded the Online ROM Flash Component for Windows - Smart Array 6i from 2.58 back to 2.48, and now the tape drive is detected again.

The other issue we are having is speed. The tape drive is connected to the external SCSI interface on the back of the DL380 D4 server.

We were told that the SA6i controller was a dual channel, and could support the raid array on the first channel and the tape drive on the second.

According to the Yosemite TapeWare XE log, we are getting an Effective Throughput 92 Mbytes/Minute. It is taking 4.5 hours to backup only 40 Gigabytes. According the drive specs, it should backup at 576 GB/hr.

Do we need a separate SCSI adapter? If so, what ones would be able to handle the tape drive speed?
9 REPLIES
Basil Vizgin
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

It's not recommended to attach tape to SmartArray RAID controller. In this case RAID controller works in simple SCSI emulation mode and many problems can be encoutered. Better to use separate qualified SCSI adapter.
Richard Bickers
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

The 960 is a very fast tape drive and you'll need a fast system set up well to keep up with it. Try www.hp.com/support/pat for advice on getting the best out of your tape drives.

As Basil says, you should avoid using any 'free' channels within your RAID system as performance will be limited. Best to use a dedicated HBA capable of U320 speeds for your 960. Follow the compatibility information links at www.hp.com/go/connect to see which HBAs are recommended. In your case the page you need is at www.hp.com/products1/storage/compatibility/tapebackup/ISS/detail/16-0024-0059.html

Use HP Library & Tape Tools to measure the performance of your disk system and tape drive independently. You'll probably find, with a dedicated HBA, the tape drive goes as fast 'as advertised' but your disk system is the limiting factor. It depends on your RAID configuration and the number of disks your are using. L&TT is available from www.hp.com/support/tapetools

Good luck!
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong
Bruce Ireland
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

Well I thought the issue of tape drive disapearing was due to the 2.58 rom. I am now having the tapedrive dissappear with the 2.48 also.

I tried to run the HP tapeware diagnostics and that causes the following event.


Event Type: Error
Event Source: PlugPlayManager
Event Category: None
Event ID: 12
Date: 12/20/2005
Time: 9:24:16 AM
User: N/A
Computer: ABD-APPS
Description:
The device 'Hewlett Packard LTO Ultrium-3 drive' (SCSI\Sequential&Ven_HP&Prod_Ultrium_3-SCSI&Rev_G27D\6&209bcdd9&0&050) disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 00 00 00 00 ....

The tapedrive then disappears and it takes a reboot to find it again.
Bruce Ireland
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

We purchased and installed a standalone scsi card. It is a 64bit U320 PCI 133 1 channel card. 374654-B21 - Single-Channel Ultra320 SCSI HBA G2. Which is one of the recommended cards.


After installing this card, I ran HP StorageWorks Library and Tape Tools with the following results.

Tape Test
16384 MB written in 102 seconds at 159 MB/s (This appears to be running at max capacity)

Disk Test
TOTAL: 19770 MB read (178874 files) in 1688 seconds with rate 11 MB/sec (This has increased about 5 times)

Virus Scan Disabled
TOTAL: 19770 MB read (178874 files) in 802 seconds with rate 24 MB/sec (Disabling Virus scanning doubled the throughput)

Tapestore Backup
Effective Throughput : 6.3 Mbytes/Second
: 380 Mbytes/Minute

This is much better than before, 92 MBytes/Minute.

It still seems pretty slow. Shouldn't we be getting much better disk performance?

We have 3+1 300 GB 10K Ultra320 Scsi attached to the SA6i controller. Shouldn't the tape drive be the bottleneck?
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

> Disk Test
> TOTAL: 19770 MB read (178874 files) in 1688 seconds with rate 11 MB/sec

That gives an average file size of about 110k. The smaller the average file size, the more overhead there is in the backup app opening/closing each file. The fast the drive, the more this becomes a limiter.

Also, how fragmented is the disk drive(s)?

> Tapestore Backup
> Effective Throughput : 6.3 Mbytes/Second
: 380 Mbytes/Minute

What tape blocksize are you using in the backup app? 64K or better is recommended.

You might also want to see if there are any tape/disk buffer sizes within the backup app that can be tuned.

This white paper provides some info in optimizing performance, if you haven't seen it:
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/5982-9971EN.pdf

There's also this support document:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=110&prodSeriesId=443365&prodTypeId=12169&objectID=lpg50460

Lastly, the 6i raid controller is not supported, so it's good that you've changed. From www.hp.com/go/connect, the supported adapters in the DL380G4 are:
This tape drive can be connected to this server by one of the following adapters:

Embedded SCSI channel (if available, External tape drives only)
268351-B21 - Dual-Channel Ultra320 SCSI HBA
374654-B21 - Single-Channel Ultra320 SCSI HBA G2
284688-B21 - Dual-Channel Ultra3 SCSI HBA *


The journey IS the reward.
Bruce Ireland
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

According to the Documentation, blocksize is not a factor for the Ultrium 960 drive.

It recommends leaving it at 2048 to be able to use the disaster recovery feature. Though I did try it at 65536, with no improvement.

"The HP Ultrium tape drive manages SCSI blocks in hardware so there is no overhead per block. For these tape drives, the block size does not affect performance."

The drive is defragmented, and currently is not being used as it hasn't been put into production.

Is the 24 MB/sec (with virus scan disabled) about as good as it will get for the server and drives we have?

Here are some specifics on the server, controller and drives.

DL380 D4 using Windows Server 2003
2 Intel Xeon 3.20GHz/1MB processors
4 GB PC2-3200 (2 X 2BG) Ram
4 300GB Ultra320 SCSI 10,000 RPM drives. (1 hot spare)

Controller Smart Array 6i Controller
Bus Interface 64-Bit PCI
Controller Location Embedded

Array A
Array Type Parallel SCSI
Number of Logical Drives 1

Logical Drive 1
Size 572195 MB
Fault Tolerance RAID 5
Heads 255
Sectors per Track 63
Cylinders 65535
Stripe Size 64 KB
Status OK
Failed Physical Drives None
Array Accelerator Enabled

Physical Drives Attached to Port 2
SCSI ID 0, 300 GB (Parallel SCSI)
SCSI ID 1, 300 GB (Parallel SCSI)
SCSI ID 2, 300 GB (Parallel SCSI)

Online Spare Drive(s) Port 2 : SCSI ID 3, 300 GB (Parallel SCSI)

RAID 6 (ADG) status Disabled
Hardware Revision B
Firmware Version 2.58
Rebuild Priority Low
Expand Priority Low
Current Surface Scan Delay 15 sec
Number of Arrays 1
Number of Logical Drives 1
Number of Physical Drives 4

All Physical Drives Assigned Yes

Array Accelerator
Present Yes
Cache Status Enabled
Accelerator Ratio 100% Read /0% Write
Total Memory on Controller 64 MB
Battery Pack Count 0
TotalAdmin
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

Hi Bruce.

You mentioned having the Tape drive dissapearing problem. (As soon as you run L&TT)

How did you fix this? I currentlly have this problem. I am using a Smartarray 6404 controller. So the Library is on its own controller.
Jaclyn Rothe
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

Tape drives are not compatible on the smart array cards. Tape drives can not be directly connected to RAID controllers.Becasue RAID is intended for hard drives, and hard drives are in constant motion this usually causes tape unit to fall off the bus. To correct this the work around is to install a PCI card. Recommended is the Ultra 320 card from adpatec 29320, or LSI logic U 320.
See:
Smart Array card advisory:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=PSD_EX020516_CW01

Raid Controller Advisory:
http://seer.support.veritas.com/docs/191488.htm


Recommended HBA's:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=lpg50063
Jaclyn Rothe
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 960 and ISA 6i Controller issues.

Tape drives are not compatible on the smart array cards. Tape drives can not be directly connected to RAID controllers.Becasue RAID is intended for hard drives, and hard drives are in constant motion this usually causes tape unit to fall off the bus. To correct this the work around is to install a PCI card. Recommended is the Ultra 320 card from adpatec 29320, or LSI logic U 320.
See:
Smart Array card advisory:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=PSD_EX020516_CW01

Raid Controller Advisory:
http://seer.support.veritas.com/docs/191488.htm


Recommended HBA's:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=lpg50063

Ultrium 960 white pages are good for in depth config questions for maximum performance:
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/5983-0148EN.pdf