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Old 02-26-2013, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question RAID 5 Speeds & Slow Boot Times

Hopefully I can get a little advice here about a few things. I appreciate the support I had a few weeks back regarding the PSU for these computers. First, I'll start with the specifications of the servers. We have 3 servers identical to the specs below.

Motherboard: SUPERMICRO MBD-H8DCL-IF-O ATX Server Motherboard Dual 1207-pin Socket C32 AMD SR5690 DDR3 1600/1333/1066 - Newegg.com
3 Hard drives: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD5000HHTZ - Newegg.com
Raid Card: HighPoint RocketRAID 640 Controller Card - Newegg.com
Two Heatsinks: Noctua NH-U9DO A3 AMD Opteron, 4 Dual Heat-pipe SSO Bearing Quiet CPU Cooler - Newegg.com
32GB of Ram: Kingston Server Memory Model KVR1333D3D4R9SK2/16G - Newegg.com
2 AMD Opteron 4280: AMD Opteron 4280 Valencia 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache Socket C32 95W 8-Core Server Processor OS4280WLU8KGGUWOF - Newegg.com[/QUOTE]
Case: Athena Power RM-4U4038B48 Black Server Case - Newegg.com
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Newegg.com

Now to some of my concerns. First, we're running RAID 5 with 3 WD VelociRaptors. Of course RAID 5 isn't for speed but it should offer improvements. BTW the RAID card we chose was a bad pick and may be the issue to both of our problems. On all 3 servers we average write speeds of about 175MB and read speeds of about 340MB. That's a decent improvement on read speeds but no gain in write speeds. (Factory specs are about 175MB Read & Write) Shouldn't the write speeds have gone up as well? Any ideas as to what might cause slower speeds?

The other issue we've had that has made the installation of software a major pain is the boot time. All 3 servers have about a 15 minute boot time. The BIOS & RAID card both post but after a black screen appears for about 10 minutes. The windows logo then appears but sits there for another 5 minutes before it boots. Once booted, it runs just fine. We're running Windows Server 2012 and all we can imagine is that it's a device driver that's not working right. All devices are accounted for in the device manager. We've gone as far as to pulling everything but the Mobo, RAM, CPU, Drives, and RAID card to see if it was one of the other cards but no luck. I've tried a countless # of searches to find an answer but nothing matches up. Any ideas?
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: RAID 5 Speeds & Slow Boot Times

175 is sequential. I don't think a single VRaptor can sustain read/write at 175MB so if you are getting 175 sustained write on HDDs without 0 then IMO you are doing good.
Storagereview and AnandTech both put the VRaptor around average read/write speeds for a HDD. Faster RPMs really only help with latency.

Are these servers meant to stay on, or do they get shut down at night?
If they get shut down every night I would suggest just getting a small boot SSD for each machine if you can't figure out exactly what is causing the boot hangs. I think you're right that it is a conflict with the RAID card but unfortunately for that I have no idea how to help.

Having an SSD for boot on the board would actually eliminate the need for a painful install process as well as greatly reducing boot times and system access latency.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: RAID 5 Speeds & Slow Boot Times

Quote:
Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
175 is sequential. I don't think a single VRaptor can sustain read/write at 175MB so if you are getting 175 sustained write on HDDs without 0 then IMO you are doing good.
Storagereview and AnandTech both put the VRaptor around average read/write speeds for a HDD. Faster RPMs really only help with latency.

Are these servers meant to stay on, or do they get shut down at night?
If they get shut down every night I would suggest just getting a small boot SSD for each machine if you can't figure out exactly what is causing the boot hangs. I think you're right that it is a conflict with the RAID card but unfortunately for that I have no idea how to help.

Having an SSD for boot on the board would actually eliminate the need for a painful install process as well as greatly reducing boot times and system access latency.
Thank you for the quick response. I've attached an image of the speeds. I used ATTO Benchmark which displays sequential speeds right?

The servers stay on 24/7 so we haven't worried too much. It's mostly been the installation of Hyper-V and clustering that has required many restarts. I'll continue trying to resolve the hang and make a recommendation for a boot drive. Thanks.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: RAID 5 Speeds & Slow Boot Times

Those speeds look about right to me for RAID raptors.
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