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Slow Hard drives with Dell Poweredge 2500 & 2600

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March 21, 2008 7:42:26 PM

I have 2 servers here, a Dell Poweredge 2500 and 2600. Each of them has the following configurations for hardware

2500;
Dell Perc 3/di onboard Raid controller connected to the backplane
5 drives connected to the backplane
all are Quantum Atlas 10K III Ultra3(U160)

I created a new configuration for these, 2 drives in a RAID 0 & 3 drives in a raid 5

Performance is less than what i expected w/ sustained read/write at about 25 mb/s or less.

2600;
Dell Perc 4/di onboard Raid controller connected to the backplane
5 drives connected to the backplane
all drives are Maxtor Atlas 10k III Ultra 320

(all of the drives are 36 gb for both models of poweredge)

again this one i created a new configuration for these and set it up the same, 2 in raid 0 - 3 in raid 5

Performance is better on the raid 0, but still crappy at about 60 mb/s
The raid 5 was dismal, with only about 30 mb/s

Both are running on Server 2003, I have tried w/ Service pack 2, without service pack 2, base drivers, and Dell drivers for both.

I used HDtach for the benchs.

Help Please! I wanted to use these servers to test different software and configurations for my organization but the performance is just not there. Any help is much appreciated and TYIA.
March 21, 2008 8:15:10 PM

this is a shot in the dark, but have you tried running them with only 1 type of array? (ie, 5 drives in RAID0 or 5 drives in RAID5)
March 21, 2008 8:19:09 PM

The Perc controllers should have no problem at all with multiple RAID types. How are you setting them up? And Dell is funny like this... but make sure that you have the most recent BIOS revision. It's been a while but they are on at least A14 if not higher. Also are your RAID drivers new? you can get those off Dell's website, they have all the Perc controllers listed if you type in your servers serial number and look in the download section. One last thing, have you looked at your disks health with the open manage console? I used to hate that utility but it does have some nice features.
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March 21, 2008 9:45:06 PM

I know that the 2500 has the most recent System bios, but I am not sure about the Card itself. I will check on that and I will try to use the Openmanage software, could you give me some insight about how to use that?

I did get the drivers for 2003 straight off the dell website after keying in my service tag for the 2500.

I did check all of the drives for health with HDtune and it was green all the way.
March 22, 2008 8:44:16 AM

Ya I wouldn't suspect your drives to be bad. I would first make sure that you have the most recent BIOS revision as that is easy to update with Dell's .exe format. But most likely your culpret is an incorrect Perc controller for your card. I would check and double check that you have right version and the most up to date release of that version. It can be a pain, but I'm used to rack mounted 2550's and 2650's and you have to look at what Perc card version is installed, we usually use the system configuration page or the actually shipping document then we go out and download the most recent Perc controller for that card number, I think nowadays they can range anywhere from 2 or 3, to 6 or so depending on your motherboard and riser card type. Dell openmanage is real easy, just look for the disk that has it on there, usually the driver disk I think, and install it. It's not very complicated and you won't damage anything by poking around in there, most of it is informational.
March 26, 2008 1:11:18 PM

I have installed/updated the System bios to the latest, the ESM and backplane to the latest firmware, and the Raid card itself to the latest firmware, also I have the latest drivers loaded in windows for the perc 3/di controller.
August 31, 2009 8:09:19 PM

aeridyne said:
I have installed/updated the System bios to the latest, the ESM and backplane to the latest firmware, and the Raid card itself to the latest firmware, also I have the latest drivers loaded in windows for the perc 3/di controller.

Any solution? I have this problem, one RAID 5 with 3x36GB that result 50 MB/s and other RAID 5 with 3x72GB that result 20 MB/s ...
!