Articles: Storage

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Testbed and Methods

The tested was configured as follows:

  • Intel SC5200 system case;
  • Intel SHG2 mainboard;
  • 2 Intel Xeon 2.8MHz CPUs (400FSB);
  • 2x512MB PC2100 ECC Registered DDR SDRAM;
  • IBM DTLA 307015 HDD;
  • Onboard ATI Rage XL graphics;
  • Windows 2000 Pro SP4.

We tested the controller in WinBench 99 2.0 and IOMeter 2003.02.15.

We created one logical partition for the whole storage capacity of the array in WinBench 99. We ran each of the WinBench tests seven times and took the best result for further analysis.

For Intel IOMeter, we used FileServer and WebServer patterns.

These patterns are intended to measure the disk subsystem performance under workloads typical of file- and web-servers.

WorkStation pattern for Intel IOMeter was developed by Sergey Romanov aka GReY basing on the disk requesting statistics in different applications StorageReview provided for Office, High-End and Bootup work modes in NTFS5 file system and mentioned in Testbed3 description.

This pattern helps to estimate the performance of the RAID arrays in typical Windows applications.

After that, we checked the ability of the controller to process sequential read/write requests of variable size in the DataBase pattern that was sending SQL-like requests to the disk subsystem.

We flashed the firmware version 7.6.3 and used the controller with the drivers from the same suite (7.6.3). The 3DM Disk Management utility helped us control the status of RAID arrays and synchronize them. The controller was installed into a PCI-X (133MHz) expansion slot (although it only supports the 64-bit PCI bus working at 33MHz).

We created RAID arrays on channels 1-4 of the controller to imitate the operation of Escalade 8500-4 controller. There are two AccelerATA chips, each of which is responsible for four drives, so when we filled up channels 1-4 we actually employed only one of the chips. If we were to use two channels of each chip, the controller would work faster, but that wouldn’t be correct, as we are testing a “four-channel” controller (Regrettably, we couldn’t find 8 Raptors for our today’s testing session).

WD360GD (Raptor) drives were installed into the standard bays of the SC5200 case and were fastened with four screws at the bottom.

When performing the basic testing program, we enabled lazy write for the drives, the driver’s request caching mode (WriteBack or WriteThrough) was changed when necessary.

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