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RAID 10 performance on PE2900 w/ 8 - 300GB SAS 10k drives / Perc 5i

Posted on 2012-03-28
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
We recently set up a vmware esxi free edition 3.5 host for our Exchange server an SQL server.

The disk performance seemed slow so I posted this question a week or so ago.  An expert suggested that i upgrade to the latest version of esxi.  I upgraded to 4.1 dell build and the performance is even worse now.  I have attached both the HDtach from the 3.5 installation and the 4.1 installation.

What are my next steps for troubleshooting?

Below is my configuration, let me know if you need any more info.

- Dell Poweredge 2900
- ESXi 3.5
- Dual Quad core processors
- 20 GB memory
- Perc 5i
- Adaptive read ahead
- Write back
- RAID 10 with 8 drives
- 300GB 10K SAS (Varying manufacturers)

-Two clients
-      Windows Server 2003 (800GB total)
o      Exchange
o      File Shares
-      Windows Server 2003 (200GB total)
o      SQL Server


Stripe size is 64kb, I did not change from default.
esxi 3.5esxi 4.1
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Question by:SynsorIT
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Expert Comment

by:smyers051972
ID: 37778250
How much physical memory does your host have?

-- never mind I saw 20gb ram.

This should be enough, exchange needs about 8gb ram to run really good for a decent server, then the sql server should run fine on 8gb ram as well, I've seen casino systems running a slot floor of over 1000 machines on 8gb ram running SQL 2000 of all things.
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Author Comment

by:SynsorIT
ID: 37778306
These are both x32 bit VMs so only using 4gb.  Both were running on seperate servers before i P2Ved them to this host.  The vms run fine but the disk usage is much worse than when I had the exchange server installed on this host as a physical machine.
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smyers051972 earned 500 total points
ID: 37784608
Did you check the firmware level of the drives? the controller? I run the same configuration i.e. raid 10 but am running VMW 5 instead of 4.1, I wouldn't recommend 5 right now unless you really have an understanding of it because its quite complicated (well for me it was) especially if you use a blade center like I did.
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Author Comment

by:SynsorIT
ID: 37784626
I have updated the firmware on the controller to the latest version from dell.

I have never updated firware on drives.  
How is this done?  Through a windows vm on the host?

Is it destructive?
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Author Closing Comment

by:SynsorIT
ID: 39022140
I upgraded the firmware on all drives as well as the controller card.  Same performance issues.  We installed new hardware and decommisioned the old host.
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