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Re: SCSI/RAID cards on a sparc64

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On Jan 30, 2010, at 3:50 PM, Chris Ross wrote:

Following slightly behind the conversations about disk and network performance, I'm realizing that the disk I/O setup in my quad U-II server is just too low-end.

I have an Ultra E420, with four U-II @ 450 Mhz. Not a very fast machine, but respectable. However, I'm using the two SCSI drive bays for a pair of disks that I'm running RAIDframe on. And, the disk performance is awful.

Better find out why:
- - what kind of disks do you use? U have two 18GB Seagate running as stripe set in my U60, performance is quite nice.
- - what stripe size do you use? Might need something bigger.
- - do you use softdeps, WAPBL or anything?

I have a i386 Dell PE2650, and I have just extracted half a dozen (well, 7) sets of a netbsd-5 build (base, comp, games, man, misc, text, xbase) onto that machine in less than 5 minutes. Where-as the same zcat|pax operations took nearly 30 minutes on my afore- mentioned Ultra-sparc.

My U60 ( 2x 450MHz US-II and 2GB RAM ) extracts a full set of -current in about a minute, maybe less, with only one CPU being really busy ( not exactly surprising... )

Some of this is surely processing power, but too much of it IMHO is the raidframe duplication of I/O onto two 40MB/s SCSI disks. Does anyone have a recommendation for an U-160 card that I can put into my E420, or better-yet a NetBSD-configurable/control-able/[monitor- able?]

Watch disk and raid throughput in systat vmstat - I seriously doubt you're getting anywhere near using up 40MB/s if performance is as bad as your story indicates - an U160 controller would buy you nothing and probably wouldn't be bootable.

RAID card that I could use. There's already a two-disk SCA cage in the machine, so SCSI would be easier from a hardware point of view, but other options could be considered, especially for cost reasons.

It's always good practice to check your cables, connectors and terminators. Either one of them is quite likely to mess with performance.

have fun

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