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PERC 5/i RAID Card: Tips and Benchmarks - Page 253

post #2521 of 7150
hi

could anybody please tell me - why I can't expand/grow my RAID 5 (managed by PERC 5/i with LSI firmware 7.0.1-0066 and build from 4x 36GB 15krpm SAS Seagate drives) by adding up to 4 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hitachi drives ?

when I'm trying to run RECONSTRUCTION WIZARD - ADD DRIVE option is grayed out only REMOVE DRIVE and CHANGE RAID LEVEL are selectable - and I can change raid level to RAID 0 only ...

is there problem in different drives type - SAS vs. SATA ? or RPM - 15k vs. 7200 ? or size - 36GB vs. 160GB ? or something else ?
post #2522 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobiNet View Post
hi
is there problem in different drives type - SAS vs. SATA ? or RPM - 15k vs. 7200 ? or size - 36GB vs. 160GB ? or something else ?
i believe all 3 of those would be the issue.. "hardware raid" doesn't support this from what i know, JBOD does, (or at least the size part it does not sure about interface/rpm)


edit: on another note.. i am working on a little switch on my drive config.. i theorize that moving my OS off of the SAS 15ks in raid0 to a single drive, and putting a max "allocation size" when creating the partition, and say a 256 block size would benefit zone changes etc?

win7 shows the max partition allocate size to be 64KB what is default? im guessing around 512 "bytes" ?

i have tested with that "extended task manager" and only peaked at around 190MB/s on loading the game.. i max with a high block size in hdtune is like 370MB/s...

note: this game is quite large.. almost 29GB most of it is like texture type data i would assume.. around 25 1GB files worth.. this is what prob takes so long to load. im guessing the larger allocation size and stripe size will help?

any opinions? (i only load 1-2s faster than most people currently...)
Edited by uberjon - 5/31/09 at 6:28pm
    
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post #2523 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobiNet View Post
hi

could anybody please tell me - why I can't expand/grow my RAID 5 (managed by PERC 5/i with LSI firmware 7.0.1-0066 and build from 4x 36GB 15krpm SAS Seagate drives) by adding up to 4 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hitachi drives ?

when I'm trying to run RECONSTRUCTION WIZARD - ADD DRIVE option is grayed out only REMOVE DRIVE and CHANGE RAID LEVEL are selectable - and I can change raid level to RAID 0 only ...

is there problem in different drives type - SAS vs. SATA ? or RPM - 15k vs. 7200 ? or size - 36GB vs. 160GB ? or something else ?
If I'm not mistaken, I believe that the PERC 5/I is a native SAS controller and all SAS controllers should be able to support SATA-II. But, the way SATA is supported is via an encapsulation protocol called STP (SATA Tunneling Protocol) which is not compatible with SSP (Serial SCSI Protocol). I believe the controller can only talk one of the protocols at a time, hence mixing SATA and SAS drives on a SAS controller will usually result in strange behavior.

As far as the other factors are concerned, I think it should be okay to mix drive sizes, as long as what you are carving out is the greatest common denominator, e.g., 36GB slices out of 36GB,160GB drives is fine, but 100GB slices off a 36GB drive obviously can't happen.

I don't think it would be wise to mix 15K and 7.2K RPM drives. It *might* work, but one drive in the array might respond too slowly and the controller might decide the drive should fall out of the array. But I think this type of problem would manifest during operation, not when you're trying to expand the RAID5.

I think the biggest problem here is the mixing of SAS and SATA devices. When the controller is talking SSP, it can't talk STP at the same time.
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post #2524 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobiNet View Post
hi

could anybody please tell me - why I can't expand/grow my RAID 5 (managed by PERC 5/i with LSI firmware 7.0.1-0066 and build from 4x 36GB 15krpm SAS Seagate drives) by adding up to 4 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hitachi drives ?

when I'm trying to run RECONSTRUCTION WIZARD - ADD DRIVE option is grayed out only REMOVE DRIVE and CHANGE RAID LEVEL are selectable - and I can change raid level to RAID 0 only ...

is there problem in different drives type - SAS vs. SATA ? or RPM - 15k vs. 7200 ? or size - 36GB vs. 160GB ? or something else ?
SAS & SATA disks can't be mixed in the same virtual drive. You will need a separate RAID5 set for the SATA disks.
post #2525 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobiNet View Post
could anybody please tell me - why I can't expand/grow my RAID 5 (managed by PERC 5/i with LSI firmware 7.0.1-0066 and build from 4x 36GB 15krpm SAS Seagate drives) by adding up to 4 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hitachi drives ?

is there problem in different drives type - SAS vs. SATA ? or RPM - 15k vs. 7200 ? or size - 36GB vs. 160GB ? or something else ?
thanks guys I have two more the same 36GB SAS 15k drives so I can end up with 6x 36GB RAID 5

I have made 3 tests using IOZONE:
1) PERC 5/i, RAID 5 - 4x 36GB SAS 15k
2) PERC 5/i, RAID 5 - 4x 160GB SATA 7200
3) ICH10R, RAID 5 - 4x 160GB SATA 7200
but I need to finish charts

below - HD Tune, ATTO, CDM and HD Tach for 1) and 2):
SAS on left and SATA on right















Edited by RobiNet - 6/1/09 at 6:43am
post #2526 of 7150
Those graphs really show off the difference between SAS drives and bog standard SATA. I would guess that the 2 sets of drives are of roughly equal age (although the SAS drives may be 1 generation newer), and the difference is marked. Look at the difference in access times and IOPS!

I would imagine you will see best real-world performance if you run 2 SAS RAID0 sets, with OS on 1 and apps on the other (or 1 for OS & apps, the other for program data or scratch if you are performing disk intensive operations).

If you put 6 drives in RAID0 you will probably see an increase in sequential transfer rate, but won't gain on the access time (you may even lose out a bit). If the drive sets are independent your access times will stay low & the disk system should cope better with multiple read requests from different programs.
post #2527 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
Those graphs really show off the difference between SAS drives and bog standard SATA. I would guess that the 2 sets of drives are of roughly equal age (although the SAS drives may be 1 generation newer), and the difference is marked. Look at the difference in access times and IOPS!
yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
I would imagine you will see best real-world performance if you run 2 SAS RAID0 sets, with OS on 1 and apps on the other (or 1 for OS & apps, the other for program data or scratch if you are performing disk intensive operations).

If you put 6 drives in RAID0 you will probably see an increase in sequential transfer rate, but won't gain on the access time (you may even lose out a bit). If the drive sets are independent your access times will stay low & the disk system should cope better with multiple read requests from different programs.
I need speed AND protection I don't need space so RAID 5 is only one option ... or mirrored RAID 0 3x SAS will have the same throughput ? but I'm keeping these two SAS drives as spares and because now I know that I can't mix SAS and SATA drives - I can't use all SAS drives ...

or ... can I build RAID 50 - from 4xSAS and 4xSATA ?
post #2528 of 7150
I hadn't even noticed the graphs were RAID5 not RAID0 - I was too busy looking at the low access time!

You won't be able to run RAID50 either with SAS/SATA mixed - it still counts as 1 virtual drive. So you are stuck with keeping the 2 arrays separate.

I would go for 4xSAS drives on the PERC in RAID5, but with 1 hotspare. Keep the 6th drive as a spare. No real point in RAID with a single parity drive if you don't have that drive backed with a hotspare. Especially if you already have the drive sitting there.

As the ICH10R is still not the best performing for RAID5 (not true hardware RAID), I would probably try RAID10 with your SATA disks. Lower capacity but I imagine it will be much faster and still keeping redundancy.
post #2529 of 7150
Total noob question coming...
I'd like to build a RAID with 7-8 drives, what is the safest RAID configuration? FWIW, I plan on using 1TB-2TB WD drives.

Also, where can you buy these cards? The links on the first page don't seem to work.
    
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post #2530 of 7150
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowFox19 View Post
Total noob question coming...
I'd like to build a RAID with 7-8 drives, what is the safest RAID configuration? FWIW, I plan on using 1TB-2TB WD drives.

Also, where can you buy these cards? The links on the first page don't seem to work.
"safest" RAID level on the PERC 5/I card would probably be RAID10, and you would need an even number of drives. before you buy your hard drives, i would do a little more research about what drives are supported by this card. AFAIK, they will support up to 1TB drives, but the official word from Dell was that they weren't going to support anything larger on this generation of hardware. That doesn't mean it won't work, could mean that Dell isn't going to bother certifying the newer larger drives on one generation old hardware platform.

As for sourcing these cards, your best bet is ebay. There are at least 10+ of them on ebay right now. To give you a point of reference, I got mine for $139 shipped, and that included two SAS-4SATA cables, BBU + cable, PCI bracket + screws, and the PERC 5/i w/ 256MB cache itself came in an anti-static bag of its own mounted on the internal mounting bracket for a Dell server.
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