RAID5 chunksize?

RAID5 chunksize?

Post by Robert L. Harri » Wed, 11 Dec 2002 17:30:16



Ok, say I'm building a 4 disk raid5 array.  Performance is going to be
critical as this system is going to be very IO intensive.  We had to go
RAID5 though due to filesystem requirements.

According to the manufacturer the disks have:

  8Meg DataBuffer
  10K RPM Rotational speed
  SCSI Ultra 160

(Drive is:
http://www.veryComputer.com/)

What is the ideal Chunksize?  

Also it's going to have a lot of pretty decent sized files (100Meg or
so average) so I was going to make it an ext3 with -T largefile and -M 1.

Any other thoughts on how to lay down the disks/filesystem on this
*?

Robert

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RAID5 chunksize?

Post by Jakob Oestergaar » Wed, 11 Dec 2002 17:40:09



> Ok, say I'm building a 4 disk raid5 array.  Performance is going to be
> critical as this system is going to be very IO intensive.  We had to go
> RAID5 though due to filesystem requirements.

> According to the manufacturer the disks have:

>   8Meg DataBuffer
>   10K RPM Rotational speed
>   SCSI Ultra 160

> (Drive is:
> http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/product.asp?L=en&PID=248&INFO=fsp)

> What is the ideal Chunksize?  

Measure.

Try 4k, 32k, 128k, and see which is best.

Please post the results to the list  :)

It is important that you benchmark not with tiotest or bonnie, but with
the actual applications that need to use this server.

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RAID5 chunksize?

Post by Bill Davidse » Thu, 12 Dec 2002 21:00:06



> Ok, say I'm building a 4 disk raid5 array.  Performance is going to be
> critical as this system is going to be very IO intensive.  We had to go
> RAID5 though due to filesystem requirements.

> According to the manufacturer the disks have:

>   8Meg DataBuffer
>   10K RPM Rotational speed
>   SCSI Ultra 160

> (Drive is:
> http://www.veryComputer.com/)

> What is the ideal Chunksize?  

That depends on your definition of ideal, unfortunately.

Quote:> Any other thoughts on how to lay down the disks/filesystem on this
> *?

Yes, I got a chance to spend a LOT of time tuning RAID, and got to see
what various settings actually did.

You have to decide if you want to have maximum transfer rate or minimum
seeks on the drive. Some of the changes impact one at the expense of the
other.

If you want to reduce seeks, make the stripe size larger than most of the
i/o requests, so you access at most two drives. This will reduce your
seeks, a too-small stripe can result in activity to most of the drives for
most i/o operations. Lots of seeks, and bad performance if transfers are
fairly small, a request can't complete until the slowest seek+transfer is
complete.

If the typical write is large, defined as transfer time significantly more
than seek time, you can improve transfer rate by spreading the transfer
over multiple drives, as long as you don't overload your bus. This last
gets important, a few controllers with multiple sets of LVD-160 or faster
drives can start to stress the PCI bus, and enough DMA (or similar bus
master i/o) can actually hit the memory hard enough to measure in the CPU
access time. Clearly these limits are not typical, you idea of high rate
might be idle on some NUMA or cluster. Since this increases the seek rate
on individual drives, you can hurt more than you help with certain loads.

Finally, if you have a very high read rate and much lower write rate, you
can help with RAID-1, so that data on one (busy) drive can be pulled from
a mirror. You *can* have more than two mirrored copies, if your load
justifies it.

Hope some of this helps you answer your own question.

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Doing interesting things with little computers since 1979.

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