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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:25 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Australia
Nekochaners & Mac'ers,

as I have been slowly moving all my work from SGI Octane2 to Mac Pro, I got my 2GB Fibre Channel Array switched over so it is now running off Mac Pro.

I was interested to see what kind of through-put I got relative to my Octane2.
The disks and basic configuration I have is the same as per Octane2:

16 JBOD 2GB Fibre Channel Array, connected via IBM/Brocode FC Switch, with:
4 SEAGATE FATA, 500GB, 7200 RPM, 1GB FC Disks (Backup) & 12 HITACHI 300GB, 10K RPM, 2GB FC Disks (Online)

On my Mac Pro I have Apple RAID SATA/SAS Controller with 4 1TB 7200 RPM SATA II Disks & 1 Apple Dual Channel 4GB Fibre Channel Adaptor.

To do some initial testing i just used XBench, as it was simple.

I did comparative tests of Apple Hardware RAID with SATA II, Striped RAID 0 via Fibre Channel & Striped/Mirror RAID 0+1 .

Here are the results:

Code:
4 Striped (RAID 0), 300GB, 10K RPM, 2GB via Apple PCIe Dual Channel FC Adaptor (Software RAID)
Disk Test   109.03   
   Sequential   90.58   
      Uncached Write   385.31   236.58 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Write   65.55   37.09 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Uncached Read   42.94   12.57 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Read   331.04   166.38 MB/sec [256K blocks]
   Random   136.93   
      Uncached Write   79.72   8.44 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Write   226.89   72.64 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Uncached Read   136.61   0.97 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Read   202.42   37.56 MB/sec [256K blocks]

8 Striped/Mirror (RAID 0+1) (4 Stripes/Mirrored Pairs), 300GB, 10K RPM, 2GB via Apple PCIe Dual Channel FC Adaptor (Software RAID)
Disk Test   63.89   
   Sequential   42.39   
      Uncached Write   255.50   156.87 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Write   160.74   90.95 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Uncached Read   12.91   3.78 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Read   148.36   74.57 MB/sec [256K blocks]
   Random   129.65   
      Uncached Write   73.88   7.82 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Write   200.56   64.21 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Uncached Read   138.51   0.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Read   195.67   36.31 MB/sec [256K blocks]

4 Disk RAID 5, 1TB, 7200 RPM, SATA II via Apple RAID Controller
Disk Test   129.78   
   Sequential   261.12   
      Uncached Write   354.79   217.84 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Write   300.19   169.85 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Uncached Read   138.08   40.41 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Read   519.11   260.90 MB/sec [256K blocks]
   Random   86.35   
      Uncached Write   43.44   4.60 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Write   56.43   18.06 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Uncached Read   369.94   2.62 MB/sec [4K blocks]
      Uncached Read   347.60   64.50 MB/sec [256K blocks]


So result show that Mac is getting better max sequential (166/236 MB/Sec vs 142/152 MB/Sec) than Octane2, but significantly worse max random (37/72 MB/Sec vs 142/112 MB/Sec).

But more interesting is overhead of going from software RAID 1 (Striped) to redundant RAID 1+0 (Striped/Mirror) where sequential goes from 166 -> 74 MB/Sec Read and 236 -> 156 MB/Sec Write.

On the hardware RAID front with Apple RAID controller configured for RAID 5 across 4 SATA disk difference between Sequential is not that big (260/217 vs. 166/236), but Random RW on Apple RAID is very slow... (37/72 vs. 18/64) so in general Apple performs poorly on the Random benchmark, which make you wonder about the benchmark itself..

So playing it safe via Software RAID 1+0 will have significant performance impact and it looks like hardware RAID with SATA is better option that Fibre Channel.

For straight throughput Software RAID 1 on Apple looks ok.

Cheers from Oz.

_________________
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