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Terrible Write preformance.

Server Specs:
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
Supermicro p4sci Mobo
1 x 40 gig C drive (system)
6 x 250 gig on 3ware RAID controler in RAID 5 (D drive data drive)
1 x 3ware RAID controler (model 7506-8)
1 gig RAM
2.8 P4 processor

This mobo has 2 gigabit NICs although I am only using 1.
I am pretty sure that the RAID controler is in a 66 MHz PCI slot.

The Problem:
When writeing data to a drive the whole computer takes a preformace hit, so bad infact I cant move the mouse and all my network shares on the server cease to exist, until the write is finished. The problem is more apparent when writeing large amounts of data (obviously because of the prolonged write).
This is also seen while copying files to the server over the network. These are the speeds at which the reads and writes take place.
Copying files from the...
Server to the workstation = 30 MB/s
Workstation to the server = 9 MB/s

All this is over a gigabit connection. When copying to the server the server will slow down so severly that the network share that I am copying to will disappear and the copy will fail. After the server regains its resources the share will be available again.
Although the write speeds are pretty consistant between the RAID 5 Array and the C drive, the preformance hit only occurs when copying to the C drive (I'm sure thats because the system is not accessable because of the demand put on that drive)

Anyway I have contacted both 3ware and Supermicro and niether have been able to help me.

Any help you can provide would be very appriciated.

Thanks
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beatified
Asked:
beatified
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3 Solutions
 
beatifiedAuthor Commented:
Sorry the Speeds are more like this

Copying files from the...
Server to the workstation = 30 MB/s
Workstation to the server = 5 MB/s
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purplepomegraniteCommented:
Your 40Gb system drive... what is it connected to?  Is it IDE?  And what speed?
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WatzmanCommented:

There is something grossly wrong here, systems with straight IDE drives would have none of these problems.  I have to be very suspicious of the RAID controller or it's installation (Server 2003 drivers?), because everything else is more or less "stock".
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
40 gig Drive is strait into the onboard IDE controller. (Primary Master) BTW this drive used to be in my workstation and had no speed issues.

Thanks both of you for your speedy replys.
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
I would agree that there is a problem with the hardware but it is affecting both the array as well as the single drive plugged direct into the onboard IDE controller. I would think that if it were a driver problem then it would only affect the RAID array. If you feel different please let me know. You guys are the experts.

Thanks again for your replys.
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purplepomegraniteCommented:
Have you tried moving the RAID controller to a different PCI slot?  If you say it is locking up the computer during writes, then there has got to be a bus issue or similar (possibly a resource conflict).  It could also be faulty hardware (in this case I would suspect the RAID controller itself).

My question about the system drive was pretty much purely for interest... you've got a huge RAID data drive, and the system drive is on a slow interface (by comparison).  This will reduce the possible performance of the server.  Still, if your main concern is data sharing, which I can only presume it is then this obviously isn't an issue - I am not suggesting it is the reason for the problem you are experiencing!
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purplepomegraniteCommented:
It would be worth checking for driver as well as firmware updates for the RAID card too... Though again, it is rare that older drivers or firmware cause this kind of problem, it sounds more to do with hardware.
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gjohnson99Commented:
Are you taking Mega Byte are Mega Bits

Have you check for current lan drivers? - tried a diffrent Lan Card?

Wht lan card are you using ?
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
purplepomegranite

The next thing I'm going to try is to remove the RAID card altogether and see if the problems still exists on the C drive. If so I think I am going to send the Mobo back and get a new one. If the problem disappears then I will try a different PCI slot maybe a 33 MHz slot. And if that doesn't keep the problem from coming back I'll return the RAID card.

I assume that when you talk about resource conflicts that you are talking about IRQ conflicts. If so can you tell me what devices I might look at to see if there is some sort of conflict.
Thanks for your help so far
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
purplepomegranite

I have the latest Drivers and Firmware as you can imagine that was the first thing Supermicro and 3ware had me do was make sure that I had the latest drivers and firmware.
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gjohnson99Commented:
Even in th 33 PCI slot you should get better than that.

How much ram to you have in the server?
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
gjohnson99

I am talking about MegaBytes my bandwidth monitor mesures in KB per sec and it reads about 5000 KB/s
In other words I meant MB not Mb

Yes I have checked for latest drivers and firmware

The lan is onboard and there are 2 Nics although I am only using 1.

According to Supermicros website...
• 1x Intel® 82547GI CSA Gigabit Ethernet Controller
• 1x Intel® 82541 Gigabit Ethernet Controller

I'm not sure witch one I am using

you can see the details on the mobo at http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/P4/E7210/P4SCi.cfm

Thanks for you help so far.
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
gjohnson99

Yeah thats why I thought I would try a 33 MHz slot.

and I have 1 gig of RAM
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beatifiedAuthor Commented:
Well I removed the RAID card and still had the same terrible write preformance to the C drive (connected directly to the mobo) So it would seem that the mobo is faulty in some way. I am going to get an RMA started on it an hopefully a new mobo will fix it.

Thanks so much for your help guys and I will be giving you guys a split of the points for helping me figure this one out, because each of you helped a little, and some more than others and the points will reflect that.
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gjohnson99Commented:
Have you rebuild the swap disk (virtual Memmory) on the server

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