Increasing server performance

pts.
Tags:
NTFS
RAID
RAID 5
Server Performance
Storage servers
Windows Server 2003
Help reviving servers. Configuration current: 8 300GB disks in Raid 5 10000RPM Each. Total 2TB (70%Full) with an average of 68kb files tottal of 24 million files. The curent read rate is at 8MB/Sec on NTFS windows 2003 Partition. Any suggestions on increasing performance on current configuration. P.S. We are running diskkeeper as difrag utility.

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How did you calculate the read rate. It that via a file copy test or iometer or ?. Network involved? Or is that number via perfmon?

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  • Poppaman2
    IF this is a SCSI array (you do not specify), check the SCSI utilities (available at HBA post at system startup) and make sure that all channels are set to maximum speed (probably 320Mb/Sec). A typical U320 SCSI 10K RPM HDD has a max. sustained throughput rate in the area of 80Mb/sec. Gettin 8MB/sec (64Mb/sec) isn't a bad reading to be sure, and what I would expect to see from an 8 drive RAID 5 array. Also - if there are any other devices on the SCSI bus (provided of course it IS a SCSI array we are discussing), tape drives, tape libraries or VTL arrays, try putting them/it on a separate SCSI card, as they will decrease array performance substantially if attached to the same bus.
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  • Psyklops
    What are your issues with the performance? I'm assuming the complaints aren't coming from 'clients' or end-users? I'm assuming backup here? If backup is the case, then there's typically not much you can do. 24 million files embedded in directories etc. is an issue with Windows/NTFS file system etc. and nothing really to do with SCSI or Fibre Channel performance. Your bottle-neck is the ability or lack-thereof under Windows to get the files fast enough off of the disk. Your best bet is to lessen the impact the services the files are providing by snapshotting the file-system (having 2 copies allows you to maintain service to your end-users and backup the other). You can replicate the data (different to snapshotting) by replicating the changed files to an alternate/offsite area where backups etc. can be processed without the physical need to backup (and potentially shut down the services).
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  • Dimchik
    Help reviving servers. Configuration current: 8 300GB disks in Raid 5 10000RPM Each. Total 2TB (70%Full) with an average of 68kb files tottal of 24 million files. The curent read rate is at 8MB/Sec on NTFS windows 2003 Partition. Any suggestions on increasing performance on current configuration. P.S. We are running diskkeeper as difrag utility. Ok so in this configuration I believe it's a windows limitation problems but. What do you think if I would switch to linux like red hat any suggestions.
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  • Marcola
    You also didn't mention the model of server that is driving the raid. If it is a HP server with the SmartArray controller you need to make sure that you have purchased and installed the Battery Backed Cache for it. This allows you to control read and write speeds of the controller. The same goes for any PERC/i controller.
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  • Brandonbates
    From: brandonbates To: dimchik Date Sent: 08 Sep 2006 Subject: RE: Re: Increasing server performance A few tests to quantify the problem better are: 1. ON THE SERVER ITSELF (not on a client) Copy (not move) a group of 1000 files or so to another folder and watch perfmon. See how long it takes (timed with a watch) as well as your MB/s. If you are talking about a fileserver and large sequences of files are being accessed over CIFS (file sharing) CIFS just doesn't perform real well with lots of small files being requested (at least not by default). 2. If the file copy operation on the server was slow, use iometer to test your maximum transfer rate to the drives by setting up one thread with 64kB all read and 100% sequential. With an 8 drive array SCSI/FC or IDE/SATA for sequential transfer you should be getting well over 100MB/s (closer to 200+ MB/s). However as you deal with small files and random accesses that can drop as low as 1 MB/s in some extreme cases (mainly using SATA drives, 10k/15k drives can keep up much better) From: dimchik To: brandonbates Date Sent: 07 Sep 2006 Subject: RE: Re: Increasing server performance The only way i was able to get readings right now is by perfmon when we transfer small files, I would say its not correct way to evaluate performace of drives but thats the files we work with and I am looking for a solution t increase the speed. I will try to do large file transfer and see if it works fine but small files copy at 8mb/s. I personally think that its hard to search in MFT of 21mil files. What do you think? >>>> One thought I came across/remembered was to disable 8.3 name creation and if it's not necessary, disable lastaccessed as well (huge potential problem there) This is really the sort of thing that needs more quantative analysis, but IF I had to throw something at it, depending if a group of files is accessed more often (or at least the file table) You might try http://www.superspeed.com/servers/supercache.php Though windows pretty efficiently caches stuff. I'm assuming the weakness is in the FS at this point. Come to think of it you might hit the ms kb and look for registry tweaks involving file system caching. Also, though it may sound silly, a defrag of the MFT may be in order (though commercial software is necessary for this). These are a lot of ifs, take them with a grain of salt. I'd rather say test it first (on a single system drive (on a desktop or server) copy your directory structure and all the files, but have the files copy over with no data.) I tend to deal with mostly with large files so my objectives have been different. But I do have those two tweaks mentioned above running. There are a few other tweaks in addition if you're primary purpose is sharing those files in windows.
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  • Brandonbates
    Now, keeping in mind this is all on guesses since I don't have any data to go off of. I figured the question would come around to that. One thing I ran across for NTFS is to divide the files up into as many folders as is reasonable (they probably already are, but I just had to say that) Other than that there are a few Linux file systems I've run across that are tuned (or tunable) for that kind of access. ReiserFS would be the one I'd recommend based on other users experience. I mainly use XFS (and NTFS) because I deal with large files and throughput issues, which XFS handles well. ReiserFS is more suited for webservers with lots of small files. Samba CIFS fileserver can serve this up fairly well with a few tweaks I've heard of (like removing/adding case sensitivity and another one I can't remember right now....) CIFS is not a good protocol for lots of small files though. End all be all, for the utmost performance, that 2TB of data (if it is indeed all small
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