4x X25-V Striped Alignment

Strmtrper6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
129
Alright, here is my situation.

I have four Intel X25-V's hooked up to a PCI-X raid card (Koutech PSA421 w/ Silicon Image sil3124raid chip). I know it isn't but best card but I was on a budget and would like to squeeze whatever performance I can out of this setup.

I am running Windows Server 2003, and shutting it down or rebooting is usually not an option.

I am looking for the best way to align the drives if they were made into a striped set.

Also, am I correct in thinking that I am better off doing a Windows software raid instead of a hardware raid, as the onboard chip really doesn't handle any processing and it would be easier to recover a Windows raid in the event of a controller failure?

Thanks,
Aaron
 

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
I've never aligned a SSD for Server 2003 so I may let another jump in on that.

I am assuming via your title that you are looking at doing raid 0.

Personally, given that particular card, I would probably do Windows raid 0 over the silicon image raid 0. I've never had much luck with silicon image raid. Also... if you use Windows raid 0 you can probably move the cards off of the PCI-X card. That Koutech card looks like it is based off the 3124-2 chip which is PCI-X 133MHz for just over 1GB/s of performance. My sense is that your card probably won't do 1GB/s which is close to your maximum sequential raid 0 read of those four drives.
 

Strmtrper6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
129
Thanks for the info so far.

I would move it off that card if it was an option. ;)

The server only has SCSI connections available on the motherboard. I am trying to offload one of our databases to these SSDs. I know I won't get all the performance but my first test with it misaligned was pretty poor.

http://i.imgur.com/ix0Vm.png
 

Strmtrper6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
129
Thanks, I never saw that calculator before.

What would be best to use to align it in 2003? I know you just said OS doesn't matter but I tried to rip the diskpart from my vista recovery disk and it won't run.
 

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
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10,462
Well for starters if you want to run windows software RAID you cannot boot from it.
So you will have to install on separate disk.
Then in the disk management create your RAID array and then run diskpart from the cmd line
 

sub.mesa

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
2,508
Why don't you use one SSD as system (boot) disk and stripe the other three ones using Software RAID.

You may want to manually create a partition using another utility, as i suspect Windows Server 2003 is more like XP under the hood; thus creating partitions the wrong way. When done on RAID0 this will hit extra hard.
 

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
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10,462
Why don't you use one SSD as system (boot) disk and stripe the other three ones using Software RAID.

You may want to manually create a partition using another utility, as i suspect Windows Server 2003 is more like XP under the hood; thus creating partitions the wrong way. When done on RAID0 this will hit extra hard.

Not if you use diskpart and do it from the command line ;)
Just use a 1024kb offset and as long as your stripe size is smaller, which IIRC in windows it cant be larger than 1024, then you are good to go on any stripe size, and should be good to go with any NTFS cluster size (max: 64k) :D
 

Strmtrper6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
129
It is just like XP. Diskpart sounds great, but I think the version of diskpart from 2003 is just as bad as XP where it can't handle alignment. I have to check into it though.

When I try to run the diskpart.exe that I ripped off the Vista recovery disk, I get a message that it isn't a valid win32 application, which seems weird since the recovery disk was from a 32-bit install.

The reason I'm not using one for boot is that this server currently handles our exchange store, CMMS system, and some other things. It would be too risky to tear done our SCSI array for minimal improvements. I say minimal because no one is using the server for anything other than serving files, the only thing this would really help is boot time. Plus this controller it pretty cheap. I don't mind running the database off it, but I can't trust it with system files.

I can't even take the server offline till next week, but I will post my results and might have a couple more questions at that time.

Thanks for everyone's help.
 

Strmtrper6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
129
It isn't accessible from the recovery disk unless you actually boot off it. I don't have a legit full Vista install on hand.

I finally was able to take the server down for a couple minutes to install the drives. Performance is a joke. Anyone know what could be wrong? I set it up exactly like I did the first time. Used diskpart to create the array, 20gb per disk.

http://i.imgur.com/gXFHv.jpg
 
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