[wplug] Hardware RAID tuning

Martin James Gehrke martin at teamgehrke.com
Tue Jun 14 14:22:02 EDT 2011

Matt Z.,

Could you be more specific about your backup mechanism? Are you doing a full
backup? Over the network? Using NFS/SCP/RSYNC/RDIFF?

1. any indiciation why the drop from 40MB/s to 2MB/s
2. is the backup online? are jobs writing while you are reading?

Sequential read should get good performance on a raid5, if you are writing
and reading at the same time, one will suffer (usually writing).

any benchmarking with IOZone?

what is the controller cache size?

Side notes:
why raid5? We've completely phased out raid5 in favor of raid6.

Martin Gehrke

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On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM, Matthew Zwier <mczwier at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm the systems administrator for a relatively small (~20 nodes, ~320
> cores) scientific computing cluster with relatively large (20 TB)
> storage needs.  We have a couple of RAID5 arrays on a Dell PERC/5E
> (aka LSI MegaRAID) controller , both running XFS filesystems, and
> while performance is generally acceptable, it appears I can't get a
> backup in under five days for our 11 TB array.  That leads me to a
> couple of questions:
> 1)  That translates to about a 40 MB/s sustained read, with frequent
> lengthy drops to around 2 MB/s (this using xfsdump into /dev/null, for
> the moment).  For those of you with more experience than I...is that
> typical performance for a filesystem dump?  Pleasantly fast?
> Unacceptably slow?
> 2)  Does anyone know of documentation about how to go about tuning an
> on-line hardware RAID array in Linux, specifically for file service?
> About all I can find are discussions about how to optimize MySQL
> performance, or tips on what parameters in /sys to tweak while piping
> zeros directly to /dev/sdb using dd, and the like.  I can't find any
> documentation on how various hardware/kernel/filesystem parameters
> interact.  The three-way optimization problem among RAID controller
> settings (i.e. read-ahead), disk- and controller-specific kernel
> settings (TCQ depth, read-ahead), and I/O-scheduler-specific settings
> (noop vs. deadline vs. cfq, queue size, etc) is just killing me.
> Matt Z.
> _______________________________________________
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> wplug at wplug.org
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