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novell current disk requests constantly 1 slows whole network

Posted on 2007-11-17
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We run a novell 4.1 mirrored servers which i know nothing about the guy that used to fix any problems i had has vanished.
Everything was working fine untill all of a sudden even when they are the only machines turned on the "Current disk requests" is permanently on 1 and the CPU is madly fluctuating betwen 30 to 70 % utilization and then the whole network grinds to a halt.
I have tried to find a pattern but haven't as yet.
If i restart the the servers it can be okay for a while but not sure what triggers it.
What confuses me is what would the constant 1 "Current Disk Request" be
Also the hard drives lights on both the pairs are flahing away madly but what are they doing ?
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Question by:dataclub
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by:maques
ID: 20307351
To check:
1) type "mirror status" to see it it is mirrorring. If it does, it displays the percentage. It should finish eventually then.
2) in monitor (load monitor), check "disk information" / select disk / press "tab" - to see "redirected blocks" (note: no "redirect-ION but redirect-ED". If it is not zero, then the disk has bad blocks and need to be replaced. You should have at least 2 harddisk at disk information menu, check all harddisk devices for this (eg.: exclude cdrom, dat, etc.)
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by:dataclub
ID: 20307461
I checked both disks and both of their "Redirected blocks" was zero.
I carried on trying things last night and i changed the "Minimum directory cache buffers" from 2500 to 500 and all seems to be working fine now the network is really fast again and there is no permanent "Current disk request" and the CPU Utilization is anywhere from 4% upwards basically just jumping about instead of being permanetly high.
Could this mean that with high directory cache buffers the machine is struggling for memory?
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by:maques
ID: 20307699
There are several other memory/disk related settings also.
Buffers just means that disk requests are delayed a bit until they are filled.
If you have some "bad" sitiuation, they fill up eventually and you're at the same situation again.
We might need more information, such as:
Memory, harddsiks (scsi/ata) and drivers.
Also what was the "mirroring" state?
Maybe it was mirroring, and now it is finished - that's why it is so much better. You can check sys:system/sys$log.err for mirroring related entries. The time between the start and the finish and the size of your harddisk might give us more information on this (if related to it).
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