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HP Smart Array  421i: Better I/O Performance

Posted on 2013-01-05
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Last Modified: 2013-01-07
Infrastructure:
HP DL380p G8
Smart Array P420i Controller with 512MB FBWC
vmWare ESXi 5.1,  SBS 2011

1. Issue
Up and running a Array RAID 5 with 3 x 600GB 10k SAS.
Now we add  3 x 600GB 10k.
How will we have better Perfomance?
a) Add these 3 Disks to the existing Array
b) A new Array RAID 5
c) Other solution

2. Issue
Installation of  2GB FBWC Option for P420i Controller.
That these bring Perfomance?
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Question by:perolin
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 38746917
The answer ... it depends.   What is ratio of reads vs. writes vs. random vs. sequential?    Are you married to RAID5?  RAID10 will outperform RAID5 on every benchmark except for a few contrived I/O tests that pretty much never happen in the real world.
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Assisted Solution

by:mvirnoche
mvirnoche earned 200 total points
ID: 38746945
If you can lose all the data you could go for a RAID10 setup although I've seen RAID5 perform faster in my personal setups. You could either stripe the initial RAID5 onto a new RAID5 making it a RAID50; you could just re-initialize the whole thing into one large RAID5 which is what I have done before.
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andyalder earned 300 total points
ID: 38747097
RAID 10 would certainly be faster for writes and you can convert from RAID 5 to RAID 10 on the fly after adding the disks. Depending on your version of VMware you may need to reboot to the ACU to kick off the array expansion but you can re-start VMware before the expansion has completed. If you do not know the I/O profile then it's generally best to just have one array with everything running on it, if you were to split it up so Exchange for example got its own disks then when Exchange was quiet the other VMs couldn't benefit from the extra IOPS those dedicated disks would give.
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by:perolin
ID: 38750590
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