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The best place to put a swap file with RAIDed HDD's

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September 27, 2006 5:07:48 PM

I have the following equipment and need info on the best place to put the swap file.

Adaptec U320 SCSI Controller 2 channel (A & B) 64MB Cache

Drives for OS - mirrored Channel A
2 - U160 18 gig SCSI HDD's Seagate ST318406lw

Drives for the programs and data Channel B
4-5 U320 18gig SCSI HDD's Fujitsu MAS3184NC I have 6 but will keep at least 1 for spare. (stripe & mirror/using 4 drives OR RAID 5)

Possible swap drives
1 U160 18gig SCSI HDD Seagate ST318452lw
1 ATA 80 gig Western Digital WD800BB
1 SATA 60gig Maxtor Diamond 9


The use of this computer is for trading stocks/currency on the internet. I have heard different arguments on swapfile placement but none of them involved SCSI or a controller with Cache. Since the programs and data will be on striped drives that raises another issue of increased inherent speed. under these conditions is a swapfile on a different drive even needed. I am looking for speed because when I change from one bank of screeds to another bank I need it to happen yesterday. (It is not speed that kills, but the lack of it) in what I do. This is a single program that this computer is built around

My main concern is where to put the swap file.
1. with 64 Meg of cache is a seperate HDD needed for increased performance.

2. with RAID (stripe & mirror OR RAID 5) if the swapfile is put on the program and data drive would it slow down performance so one could notice it.

3 If I used a SCSI drive for the swapfile should it be on channel A because there would be less traffic on that channel

4. Should I forget about the ATA or SATA drives even though they are on a different bus? OR will being on a different bus be better.

5. Last question if put on one of the RAIDed drives (OS or Programs & Data) would partitioning assist or hinder overall performance

Thanks for any input here
September 27, 2006 5:30:43 PM

You could optimize you SCSI drive in different ways, but what Adaptec card are you using exactly? Most u320 controllers run on a PCI-X bus, but have PCI compatibility.

You could move you pagefile anywhere you'd like, but if you have SCSI drive, why not just utilize them.

I would however recommend using the u320 drives in a raid 0 OS config, even though your on a slower bus(not pci-x) you'll have a higher ceiling. You can have your larger raid 5 the remaining four disks, and create another raid 0 with the u160s for pagefile. Having a hot spare is nice, but your raid will still work with redundancy, shamelessly without one.
If your card supports it, I would also change to a raid 10 or 1+0. Your looking for speed, and raid 5 takes some of that away.

I wouldn't see any need to partition the drives.
September 27, 2006 8:01:35 PM

PC,


I don't mean to be rude but you are answering these post without reading them. At the very top I listed the Adaptec U320 SCSI Controller 2 channel (A & B) 64MB Cache

I also listed which drives were being used for the OS and which ones were being used for data & programs AND the different ways I am looking at RAIDing them.

I then gave a description of the use of this computer. Yes the MB has PCI-X slots 2 of them

Then I listed 5 question that would be of service to me in helping me determine what I need to make my decisions.

CPU Magazine has some articles on RAID and RAID 5 did not take anything away -(at least if you are using a min of 4 drives like they did and I have)-


In the other post you responded to, you were answering questions that were not asked. I enjoy the feedback but I am looking for very specific answers to narrow questions. I am looking to finetune this machine for optimal speed, redundancy, & reliability (cooling). I have been building machines for 20 years so I am not new at it. Just taking it up to another level.

Any light you can give directly on the questions posed will be appreciated.

Thanks
Related resources
September 27, 2006 8:37:47 PM

Quote:
PC,

I don't mean to be rude but you are answering these post without reading them. At the very top I listed the Adaptec U320 SCSI Controller 2 channel (A & B) 64MB Cache

Are kidding me? What model, that like saying you drive a Ford Sedan. There should be a model number like ANAXXXlpr or something like that.
Quote:

I also listed which drives were being used for the OS and which ones were being used for data & programs AND the different ways I am looking at RAIDing them.

It's advice. Take it or leave it.
Quote:

I then gave a description of the use of this computer. Yes the MB has PCI-X slots 2 of them

Where? In your sig? The A8N-SLI doesn't have PCI-X Support.

Quote:

Then I listed 5 question that would be of service to me in helping me determine what I need to make my decisions.

CPU Magazine has some articles on RAID and RAID 5 did not take anything away -(at least if you are using a min of 4 drives like they did and I have)-

Raid 5 does have overhead, define what you mean by take anything away.
Quote:


In the other post you responded to, you were answering questions that were not asked.


Your right, and I'm sorry for that. I would put that on the top of the drive. The metal cover acts as a heat spreader, you have a more average temperature reading there than on any PCB or Chip that has high operation temps.
Quote:


I enjoy the feedback but I am looking for very specific answers to narrow questions. I am looking to finetune this machine for optimal speed, redundancy, & reliability (cooling). I have been building machines for 20 years so I am not new at it. Just taking it up to another level.

Any light you can give directly on the questions posed will be appreciated.

Thanks


1. No, but it will down further on access time to the drive.
2. Depending on the the program, but No.
3. Yes
4. Partitioning on Raid is
5. Yes, you can partition a RAID array just like any drive


Did I pass the test?
[/quote]
September 27, 2006 8:43:08 PM

I had looked at them but I here new stuff is coming soon. The program I am using is small and it would fit on say a 8 gig without anyproblems and all the data and stuff to run it efficiently. The big problem I was having was switchnig from one bamk of monitors to show different stuff. The transsition would take upto 45 seconds on a P4 2.8Ghz computer. Just by changing to PCI-Express I went down to 7 seconds. I think it should get down to 2 seconds when I am done. BTW I am running 6 monitors.

So in the future I will be looking at the iRAM setup.

thanks
September 27, 2006 9:58:56 PM

Quote:
1. with 64 Meg of cache is a seperate HDD needed for increased performance.

Putting your swap file on a separate spindle will always make a difference, but how much depends on how much swap is actually used - if you stuff your machine full of memory it probably won't be noticeable

Quote:
2. with RAID (stripe & mirror OR RAID 5) if the swapfile is put on the program and data drive would it slow down performance so one could notice it.

As above

Quote:
3 If I used a SCSI drive for the swapfile should it be on channel A because there would be less traffic on that channel

If you put program and data on B and swapfile on A then yes, the swap access would have it's own channel. Whether that would make any difference depends on how much data is being accessed and how many disks are on the other channel. Separate spindles are usually more important for speed than separate channels as the channel can handle a number of disks at once before it gets saturated.[/quote]

Quote:
4. Should I forget about the ATA or SATA drives even though they are on a different bus? OR will being on a different bus be better.

SCSI > SATA > ATA

Quote:
5. Last question if put on one of the RAIDed drives (OS or Programs & Data) would partitioning assist or hinder overall performance

Partitioning only helps with tidiness and maintenance, not speed. Separate disks or disk sets for each is the fastest way to go

Hope that helps you - if it does, just send me a cheque for 10% of next year's profits :) 
September 28, 2006 2:27:51 AM

The controller model is is the Adaptec 2200s/64. All the important specs are there in the posting, I guess I do not see the importance of the model number

My sig say that that is my gaming rig. During the post I said what this computer was to be used for. The motherboard is an ASUS P5WDG2-WS PRO

by taking something away I am talking about performance, these drives have a sustained throughput of about 90MB/sec and peak aboput 115. With 4-5 drives running RAID 5 the bus may be saturated THEREFORE no loss caused by the RAID 5 setup. In 2 seconds all the data I need will be transferred

Thanks
September 28, 2006 3:10:29 AM

Ethel, thanks for replying

This machine will have 2 gigs of memory.

I appreciate your input
September 28, 2006 3:27:27 AM

Quote:
The use of this computer is for trading stocks/currency on the internet.


Then all you need is a Celeron 500A with 256 MB of RAM, Windows 2000 Professional and a 20GB hard drive.

What on earth have you got a bunch of crappy old SCSI drives in RAID5 for??? A single Raptor will spank those senseless.
September 28, 2006 11:33:18 AM

Quote:
The controller model is is the Adaptec 2200s/64. All the important specs are there in the posting, I guess I do not see the importance of the model number

Knowing the model reveals to me that your card only work at 66mhz and is not upgradeable to 128mb of ram. Which would make more sense to do because you want raid 5, which is only useful when you have a LARGE cache to write back to.
Quote:

During the post I said what this computer was to be used for. The motherboard is an ASUS P5WDG2-WS PRO

Really?
Quote:

by taking something away I am talking about performance, these drives have a sustained throughput of about 90MB/sec and peak aboput 115. With 4-5 drives running RAID 5 the bus may be saturated THEREFORE no loss caused by the RAID 5 setup. In 2 seconds all the data I need will be transferred

These drives? The 320 or 160s? Your stats are low even for the 160 drives on that bus. 20 years in the industry, but yet you ask questions and break balls. Why even ask when you don't take suggestions or even read up on what you think you know about SCSI and Raid. Trade away way stock boy, I hope you achive your 2 seconds. You'll have the fasted Bloomberg station on the block.

Cheers

[/quote]
Thanks[/quote]..but no thanks, right?
September 28, 2006 4:58:53 PM

PC, I know MY situation and what I an trying to accomplish. I need directed answers to narrow problems


Quote:
hcforde wrote:
The controller model is is the Adaptec 2200s/64. All the important specs are there in the posting, I guess I do not see the importance of the model number

PC's response
Knowing the model reveals to me that your card only work at 66mhz and is not upgradeable to 128mb of ram. Which would make more sense to do because you want raid 5, which is only useful when you have a LARGE cache to write back to.


My clarification
Yes it does work at 66Mhz as does the Matrox(G45X4Quad-BF) 4 port PCI-X 2D accelerated video card. Therefore since they do not make PCI-X video cards that work at 100Mhz or 133 Mhz what would be the purpose of spending more $$$ and getting a faster PCI-X controller when
1. clearly the future is PCI-Express.
2. The speed of the PCI-X bus is dominated by the slowest card on the bus

Had the motherboard had PCI 2.3 specs I could have used the Matrox video card in a regular PCI slot and acheived my same purposes. BTW the PCI 2.3 spec calls for running a regular PCI slot at either 33Mhz or 66 Mhz

I was looking desperately looking for a Gigabyte Quad Royal MB (4 x16 physical (x8 electrical if all are used)pci-express slots)and then found out it would not support C2D anyway. So I bought the best of what was available at the time for my purposes. I am well aware of LSI 320-2E megaraid cards (PCI-Express) and that Adaptec has no offerings in PCI-Express form factor.

ASUS just recently announced the P5W64 a motherboard with 4 PCI-Express slots. I may move to it or something like it in the future. I am sure the next revision of boards will begin to use the PCI 2.3 spec. for workstations. So having 4 PCI-Express and 2 PCI 2.3 or PCI-X is what I am looking for next as a minimum.

Concerning the RAID setup for the programs and data stripe & mirror is my first choice(0,1) and yes let's not go into the difference between 0,1 and 1,0 I am aware of them. Most benchmarks give results for ide/sata software RAID not SCSI hardware RAID Under SCSI RAID 5 looks a lot better according to the people I talk to. This is not a gaming machine. UPTIME is important. It will run 24/6

Quote:
Quote:

During the post I said what this computer was to be used for. The motherboard is an ASUS P5WDG2-WS PRO


Really?


The first sentence was clearly stated in the original post -- the second sentence was to give you more info about the actual MB in the follow-up post.


Quote:
Quote:

by taking something away I am talking about performance, these drives have a sustained throughput of about 90MB/sec and peak aboput 115. With 4-5 drives running RAID 5 the bus may be saturated THEREFORE no loss caused by the RAID 5 setup. In 2 seconds all the data I need will be transferred


These drives? The 320 or 160s? Your stats are low even for the 160 drives on that bus. 20 years in the industry, but yet you ask questions and break balls. Why even ask when you don't take suggestions or even read up on what you think you know about SCSI and Raid. Trade away way stock boy, I hope you achive your 2 seconds. You'll have the fasted Bloomberg station on the block.



Seeing as how moving from a P4 @ 2.8Mhz with a 2 port AGP card and a 4 port PCI Nvidia card with an 80 gig WD800BB HDD to>>> an AMD A64 3000+ with a 2 port PCI express and 4 port 33Mhz/32 bit Nvidia card change my transition times from 45 seconds to 7 seconds...

What will moving to 2-2 port PCI-Express 2D accelerated NVS285 Nvidia cards or 2-2 port PCI-Express ATI Firemv 2200 cards (Yes I currently have 2 of each brand) AND a 4 port 2D accelerated Matrox PCI-X card with 2 RAIDed sets of U320 HDD's in a C2D running at 3.2Ghz change my transition times to.


The July issue of CPU has some decent stuff concerning RAID. For me these articles are a start point. They give me ideas that I can use as a starting point to test out and then to come to my own conclusions.

Same here I am looking for information to certain questions that I have that will refine my base of information. Then I will make my own decision. Your information was good information but it wasn't specific to what I was looking for. I wanted more input Had I simply said thanks probably Ethel would not have chimed in. I am not rejecting you, I have seen the info you and Wusy give others GOOD STUFF. Here it was just not exactly what I was looking for. I apologize for offending you, it was NOT my intent. Being in the markets, the markets reject me constantly by saying no to some of my trades but I go on and continue to trade in it .

LIkewise please feel free to respond to my post in the future. I think we understand each other a bit better and I will be more descriptive in the future when I post. That was an error on my part.n Again please accept my apology.
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