I dont know how to tell how fast my RAID 5 is able to record data but currently I can copy 50GB of data from one machine to another over GIG-e in 30minutes. I want to know if it is possible to use the dual NICs on my server board to double my bandwidth and do the same job in 15 minutes. I know Raid 5 is more about redundancy than performance. Im just trying to squeeze every last drop out of my machines.
Suggestions to increase write performance?
2 identical machines:
32bit Windows XP PRO
Mobo: SuperMICRO X7DWA-N
Dual Xeon Quad core 2.80 GHz procs
3ware 9550SXU-8LP Raid Controller
8-1TB Seagate HDD
Radeon 2900XT graphics
Both machines are hooked to a Cysco Systems Catalyst 3750 switch
Yes you can "Team" your nics. Only certain NICs support teaming (I believe Intel and broadcom ones can, the newer ones), and only certain switches support teaming - so check your CISCO switch before trying out the teaming.
It may not actually double your transfer - as thats dependent on your RAID controller as well as the limitations of your HDD's.
Suggestion to increase write performance? Change to SSD's. HDD's top out around 150MB/s burst rate, whereas an SATA 2 3Gb SSD (a good model of course) can do 300MB/sec.
Unfortunately, I have asked my company to uprade to SSD, Windows 7 64bit for increased memory and to bypass partition size limitations and they turned me down. So I have to make due with what I have.
Also, my RAID arrays are almost full at 6TB a piece. So I would need large SSD at an astronomical price.
My nic cards do support teaming but I didnt know if enabling it would benefit me at all. I have no way of knowing if am hitting my theoretical limit of write speed across a 8 drive raid 5 setup. How can I tell where my bottleneck is?
Simple test: Write a program that generates random data and writes to your target array. Write 50 GB of random data and time it. If it takes 30 minutes, you are limited by the array write speed. If it takes less, re-post in the networking section.
I remember doing these tests at home, for fun, years ago. I actually bought two fibre NICs and put one in my machine and one in my wife's, then annoyed her by bringing my machine downstairs and tying hers up in testing. Nowadays, I can move data at the same speed over my Cat5 LAN.
Well I wouldn't try installing anything for benchmarking if this is a live server.
What you could try is - during non-working hours is teaming the NICS, it shouldn't have any adverse affects - unless you switch doesn't support it. You will also have to enable load balancing (if your nic drivers support it). After teaming the NICS, try a file transfer test and see how long it takes.