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RAID-10 + ESXi 5.5 + DL380E G8 (B320i controller) low performance

Posted on 2014-02-03
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Last Modified: 2014-02-04
Hello Everyone,

We just built a DL380E G8 with an integrated B320i controller. Added 8x3TB SATA Seagate 7200RPM 6Gbps in one RAID-10 array, and made 8 logical drives with 1.7TB each one.

We have installed ESXi 5.5 and we have presented all the datastores to the host.

Created a CentOS machine to test and we are having low write performance while we should have a much better one as we are using a RAID that gives us lots of performance. Please look,

[root@localhost ~]# dd bs=1M count=256 if=/dev/zero of=test conv=fdatasync
256+0 records in
256+0 records out
268435456 bytes (268 MB) copied, 4.22077 s, 63.6 MB/s
[root@localhost ~]#

I can see that virtual machines clones, very small ones (around 20GB) are taking around 2 hours to complete.

Am I missing something ?

Thank you.
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Question by:maxihost
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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did you enable the cache of the Smart Array Controller, as 25 % Read and 75% Write
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by:maxihost
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Hello Andrew,

Thanks for the help.

On the controller UI, I just see the option to enable the write-cache. Should I see an option to specify 25% read and 75% write ?

Can you give me instructions on doing so ?
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by:maxihost
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I am reading at the HP documentation that I need something called BBWC enabled to do that. Doesnt the DL380E G8 comes with it ? Should I buy it separetely ?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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If you did not purchase the performance model, Battery Backup Write Cache (BBWC) is optional!

You cannot configure the cache if you do jot have it!
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by:maxihost
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I just purchased the standard DL380E with HP.
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by:maxihost
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And I see that the controller I am using is the B320i. Should I buy another controller ? What is the best one for DL380E ?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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BBWC have always been optional, as far as I'm aware, unless you purchase the performance models.
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by:paulsolov
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I agree with Andrew, the internal controllers are not adequate, I'm not even sure they're on the HCL.  You need a SmartArray controller with BBWC, we've had several customers with issues due to IOPs and latency that went away once BBWC was installed.
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by:maxihost
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Ok, thank you.

And what is the correct SmartArray controller that I should buy for the HP DL380E G8 ?

Thank you !
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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Performance and Storage Models ship with the HP Smart Array P420/1GB FBWC Controller (RAID 0/1/1+0/5/5+0/6/6+0)

either 1G or 2GB cache.
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by:paulsolov
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The P420 with 1GB cache would do the trick.  You should also review latency and IOPs, the 3TB drives are really slow and and at 80 IO each you'll have about 640 IOPs total but the cache will help with that especially with 75% write 25% read settings
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by:maxihost
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Ok, thank you very much !
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by:maxihost
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Guys,

The 2GB cache controller is much better ?

What is the real difference between that and the 1GB one, considering that I will use 8 x 3TB disks on RAID-10 ?

Also, do you recommend creating two arrays of RAID-10 using 4 disks each, or one big using 8 disks ?

Thanks.
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