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PERC 5/i RAID Card: Tips and Benchmarks - Page 575

post #5741 of 7149
Quote:
"With LSI firmware you can create bigger stripes"

To explain simply the larger the stripe the better the RAID perfromance, expecially with LARGE files. Having a large Stipe will make your Raid array ineffecient when you have many small files (any file size less then your stripe size, but if you have many large files your RAID will perform much faster. With today's large capacity hard drives this usually is not a big issue.... in the old days when we had 2GIG drives (or less) and paradox / access / foxpro databases adding many small writes, this was a concern.

Recommend a Large Stripe Size for your RAID ie: 1024
Quote:
I read somewhere that arrays over 5TB will be corrupted using the LSI firmware. Is this correct?

I currently have 5 x 1.5TB in RAID5 (6TB usable), created 500GB boot Volume and 5.5TB media Volume. No problems for me.

PERC 5/E
Bios Version: MT33
Firmware Version: 1.12.310-1112
Firmware Package Version: 7.0.1-0081
Edited by Chris Valentine - 12/9/11 at 9:15am
post #5742 of 7149
Does anyone have experience with WD20EARS drives in RAID-5 or RAID-6 on the Dell PERC 6/i or 5/i?
I am especially curious about what happens when there is a faulty or dying drive in the array, and when you have to rebuild a (6TB+) array.


I am in need of more storage space, and I can probably buy between 4 and 8 of these for a not-so-terrible price, second hand.

I have Googled and I have searched this topic, and have seen people say that they should not be used in hardware RAID, but they usually had very little experience or actual information to back it up. Only that it has no TLER.

I see people use them without problems, but I believe that as long all the drives work well and have no defects, TLER should not even come into the equation yet. Except when a drive is starting to have problems. And that is when I do not want to lose all my data tongue.gif.

I would be thankful for any answers, so maybe I can act on this second hand deal smile.gif.
post #5743 of 7149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Valentine View Post

Quote:
"With LSI firmware you can create bigger stripes"
To explain simply the larger the stripe the better the RAID perfromance, expecially with LARGE files. Having a large Stipe will make your Raid array ineffecient when you have many small files (any file size less then your stripe size, but if you have many large files your RAID will perform much faster. With today's large capacity hard drives this usually is not a big issue.... in the old days when we had 2GIG drives (or less) and paradox / access / foxpro databases adding many small writes, this was a concern.

Well, I know you qualified that statement with "explain simply", but the actual situation isn't as simple. Even for large file sizes (let's say, files that are larger than the stripe size), the larger the stripe size does NOT always result in faster performance. The "simple rule" you suggest is true up to a point, and that point is where the parity calculating performance isn't able to keep up with calculating the parity bits for the larger stripe. The larger the stripe size, more load is put on the parity generating hardware and if that hardware isn't fast enough to keep up, you see a "peak" (sort of a bell curve) in the sequential I/O performance vs. stripe size relationship. As an example, when I was doing some I/O performance tuning on some Dell servers with PERC6/I, and we were tuning for a file server handling files that were between 512MB-1TB in size, the 512KB stripe size was faster than the 1024KB stripe size by a significant factor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwa View Post

Does anyone have experience with WD20EARS drives in RAID-5 or RAID-6 on the Dell PERC 6/i or 5/i?
I am especially curious about what happens when there is a faulty or dying drive in the array, and when you have to rebuild a (6TB+) array.
I am in need of more storage space, and I can probably buy between 4 and 8 of these for a not-so-terrible price, second hand.
I have Googled and I have searched this topic, and have seen people say that they should not be used in hardware RAID, but they usually had very little experience or actual information to back it up. Only that it has no TLER.
I see people use them without problems, but I believe that as long all the drives work well and have no defects, TLER should not even come into the equation yet. Except when a drive is starting to have problems. And that is when I do not want to lose all my data tongue.gif.
I would be thankful for any answers, so maybe I can act on this second hand deal smile.gif.

I haven't used any so-called "regular" / "non-RAID" drives in a PERC6 or PERC5. But as I understand it, without TLER, the chances of a drive being marked as "failed" is higher. The problem that you risk is running into this probability during a rebuild when you are without parity; in such scenario, the entire array will go offline and get marked as "failed". Although I've recovered from such scenarios many times, for the novice, and if you have data that you really didn't want to lose, you might **** in your pants. So, can you run the non-RAID drives in a RAID array? Yes, I would think so, especially when all the drives are perfectly healthy. But do you increase your chances of having a RAID-5/6 array go offline: "yes". So, if you're ok with that and willing to wash your soiled pants when that day arrives, then go right ahead. Even if you use the RAID Edition drives, you still have a chance you'll lose the entire array (those are the scenarios I've had to recover from many times)... so it just depends on how much you like to gamble. If you take good backups regularly, it might be worth the risk vs. extra cost of RAID edition drives. I would certainly consider it after weighing the risks.
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post #5744 of 7149
So what stripe size is actually the best to choose for a storage server? It will contain movie and music library as well as pictures and documents. It is only used for storage, download from torrent and streaming to my home network.

And will there be any advantages choosing one firmware over the other apart from strip size?

Also, is there any settings that is recommended to use? I am totally new to hardward raid, so I just want to make sure I do i right the first time I set it up.
post #5745 of 7149
Quote:
Originally Posted by svortevik View Post

So what stripe size is actually the best to choose for a storage server? It will contain movie and music library as well as pictures and documents. It is only used for storage, download from torrent and streaming to my home network.
And will there be any advantages choosing one firmware over the other apart from strip size?
Also, is there any settings that is recommended to use? I am totally new to hardward raid, so I just want to make sure I do i right the first time I set it up.

since you'll be handling both large (movies) and small (pictures, music) files, I would pic a stripe size that is some where in the middle. For example, 256K.

however, it may or may not even matter... if you're streaming this stuff over a single gigabit ethernet, the most you'll ever need to pull from the RAID array is about 120MB/sec. so long as your RAID array can handle that type of I/O throughput (any RAID-5 with 3 or more 7200RPM disks, properly tuned, should be able to do this with PERC5 or PERC6), anything faster than 120MB/sec has no benefit with regards to sharing it over your network. If you have a multi-gigabit setup or 10GBase-T, then it would be more worthwhile to squeeze more performance out of the RAID array.

As for firmware, honestly, I just use Dell's firmware for the PERC cards. I personally have no interest in flashing it to the generic LSI firmware.

As for settings in your RAID controller:

1. stripe size = see above comment
2. set read cache policy to read-ahead or adaptive read-ahead if you're not on Linux. If you're on Linux, use "no read-ahead" and adjust your read-ahead cache in the OS instead (make it 8192 or larger in the OS with the "blockdev" command)
3 .set the write cache policy to write-back for most cases. in some cases write-through can be faster.
4. enable disk caching (there is a risk of data loss for fresh writes that have not flushed out of the disk cache if you lose power unexpectedly)
5. everything else being equal (drive RPM speed, disk controller performance, disk cache size), the more spindles in the array, the faster your performance will be up to about 8 disks. Beyond 8 disks, sometimes the controller can't keep up with parity calculations.
6. if you're going to use 1TB or larger drives, I HIGHLY recommend using RAID-6 for extra protection... the larger the drive, the higher the probability of running into URE problems. I've had to recover many, many RAID-5 arrays because of URE problems that showed their ugly heads during a rebuild/recovery.

hardware settings aside, if you're using Linux or some Unix (Solaris?), it might be worth trying a faster file system and tuning it appropriately. in the Windows world, I don't think you have many options other than NTFS and I don't know much about NTFS tuning.
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post #5746 of 7149
One more problem here.

I use the newest Dell firmware and MegaRAID Storage Manager. The software says BBU: Present NO. First I thought my battery for Perc 5i was dead, so I replaced it but it gives me the same message.

Do I have to activate it somehow or is the dell firmware not compatibel with MegaRAID Storage Manager? If so, is there any other software I can use to manage my raid array?

Edit: Never mind. After a reboot it now says charging:-)
Edited by svortevik - 12/19/11 at 4:26pm
post #5747 of 7149
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimidatabase View Post

The answer is no, it's not a Win 7 specific issue. I'm pretty sure you would have the same problem on 2008 Server R2, but not under Ubuntu wink.gif
In addition not a driver issue as well: the default driver loaded under Windows 7 will manage the PERC pretty nicely.
See below...
Hello guys,
Especially haphun and Carlitos714,
Hope the following will help you...
I just received my new CPU + MB + RAM last saturday, to upgrade my quite old S775 platform rolleyes.gif
My new config is the following (the MB part is what will interest you the most I guess) :
CPU : Core i7 970
MB : X58 EVGA Classified 3 E770
RAM : Corsair 3 x 4 Go DDR3 2000Mhz CAS10 (CMZ12GX3M3A2000C10)
Mounting it went quite smoothly, but the problem began when I first tried to install Windows 7 (x64 SP1) on my RAID array.
In fact, the PERC's volumes didn't show on the HDD selection screen of the Win 7 installer.
I have 4 x 73 GB Seagate Savvio 15k1 connected to my PERC 5/i.
On my old rig, I had 2 RAID0 array configured, each with two disks.
On the first was installed Win 7 and on the second some VM and games.
What was bothering/misleading me, was being able to see/access/read/write my old volumes and partitions of the PERC from a Ubuntu live CD.
So I concluded that it was definitely not a compatibility problem with my new hardware.
Later, I understood that the problem was only existing with Windows 7 and Windows Vista installers/OS (probably due to their way to manage shared IRQ).
I managed to install Windows 7 SP1 x64 on another (SATA) HDD, to then discover the card under Contrôleur RAID intégré DELL PERC 5/i (yes I'm french biggrin.gif) in device manager with a nice :
Long story short, after a big amount of hours spent in tests and web searches, I finally found a topic on the EVGA forum where a guy (many thanks to him) had an issue of the same kind but nothing relative to the PERC 5/i...
Briefly, a BIOS parameter has to be enabled: in BIOS, under "PnP/PCI Configurations" is "Reserved RC for Bridge".
When you load default settings for your BIOS, this parameter is set to "Disabled".
I had to enable it to make my PERC 5/i functioning again under Win 7 on my X58 EVGA Classified 3 E770 drum.gif

Quite happy when finally got my PERC running under this Win 7 tongue.gif
Then I directly launched a new Win 7 installation just to confirm that the disks of the PERC were well recognized this time. They were! thumb.gif
So I stopped the installation and I boot back on my SATA Win 7 installation to run:
  • a flash of the PERC to the last LSI package: 7.0.1-0083 (APP-1.12.330-1300)
  • some benchs of my disks (didn't do it for a long time) biggrin.gif
Though, I still have a problem to install Win 7 on disks managed by the card.
I rearranged my disks (1 alone for system, RAID0 with the 3 others for test VM + games), and launched a new Win 7 SP1 x64 installation.
I was able to select my alone disk from the PERC from the HDD selection screen, then the installation began, but when the computer reboots, it is not able to boot back to continue the installation, I have a nice
Yes my PERC is the first one HDD in BIOS selected to boot from and all my other HDD are unplugged...
Any idea what this might be from?
Maybe I have to flash back to a dell firmware?
Hope the solution that helped me will help some others wink.gif

Thank you very much for your post. I have not tried to put a perc 5i in an evga x58 mobo but when I do I will come back here.

Thank you!
post #5748 of 7149
I've been following this thread and have even posted a few time in the past but I've come across another question. If i have two Perc 5/i's (as i do do the firmwares have to match? I'm looking to switch from the dell firmware to the LSI firmware as well and if i do this i want to do this at once.

Also i currently have a raid 5 consisting of 3 2TB hard drives, i just picked up a 4th and i would like to add it as a hot spare to this array, but the only thing it will allow me to do currently is add it as a global hot spare.

I also have my OS running on two 1TB hard drive running in a soft raid mirror off my motherboard, what would be the easiest way for me to get this onto my perc 5. I've read a few people report that it will just be detected. Is that true. Also i picked up a set of Seagate Constellation ES ST31000424SS that i's like to switch my raid over to. If i were to get the soft raid switched to the perc5 is there a way for me to add the two SAS drives to the Mirrored OS and then remove the two SATA drives safely.
 
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post #5749 of 7149
So I put in my perc 5/i in my home server, the disks have not been formatted at all, when the computer starts up it goes by the boot picture then it gets stuck with a _ blinking, what do I do
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post #5750 of 7149
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightSpeedIII View Post

So I put in my perc 5/i in my home server, the disks have not been formatted at all, when the computer starts up it goes by the boot picture then it gets stuck with a _ blinking, what do I do

Create a virtual disk at boot up by using the "CTRL+R" when it prompts during post.
 
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