RAID Creation, Test Setup, And Throughput
Since the two RAID controllers had different capabilities and features, we decided to take different approaches for each.
In the case of the fully-featured MegaRAID 9260-8i, as well as the Adaptec RAID 5805 we used before, we created RAID 0 arrays with eight SSDs on each of the controllers. Then we used Windows Vista’s RAID capabilities to build a software-based RAID 0 array using the two RAID 0 volumes. This way we’d be utilizing eight SSDs on each controller and on each PCI Express 2.0 link.
For the MegaRAID 9210-8i, we found that the easiest (and best-performing) solution was one huge RAID 0 array managed by Windows Vista. So, we went into the Storage Manager and created a software RAID 0 array using all 16 available Intel X25-E flash SSDs.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-920 (45 nm, 2.66 GHz, 8 MB L2 Cache)|
|Motherboard (Socket 1366)||Supermicro X8SAX Revision: 1.0 Chipset Intel X58 + ICH10R BIOS: 1.0B|
|RAM||2GB DDR3-1333 Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX|
|System HDD||Seagate NL35 400 GB ST3400832NS 7,200 RPM, SATA/150, 8 MB|
|Controller I||2 x Adaptec RAID 5805 8 Port SAS Controller 512 MB Cache|
|Controller II||2 x LSI MegaRAID 9210-8i (aka Intel RS2BL080) 8 Port SAS HBA|
|Controller III||2 x LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i 8 Port SAS Controller 512 MB Cache|
|Power Supply||OCZ EliteXstream 800W OCZ800EXS-EU|
|I/O Performance||IOMeter 2006.07.27Fileserver-BenchmarkWebserver-BenchmarkDatabase-BenchmarkWorkstation-BenchmarksStreaming readsStreaming Writes.|
|System Software & Drivers|
|Operating System||Windows Vista Ultimate SP1|
|AMD Graphics||Radeon 8.12|
|Intel Storage Drivers||Matrix Storage Drivers 220.127.116.117|
You will find very detailed information on our storage reference test system in the article Tom’s Storage Charts 2009: A New Test Environment.
These are really great results. Both LSI controllers take our RAID arrays, using the 16 Intel X25-E flash SSDs, to a whole new level of throughput as they jump over the 3 GB/s level! The 3,005 MB/s average throughput is excellent for a RAID controller, which typically is better at I/O than at high throughput. LSI’s new 6 Gb/s HBA, the 9210-8i, managed to reach more than 14% better throughput, hitting 3,432 MB/s average read throughput across all drives.
The write throughput wasn’t really different than the read results on the LSI MegaRAID 9210-8i, but the 9260-8i RAID card incurred a slight impact. Still, that’s nothing to worry about—this array on those two controllers is probably faster than anything most of you (or us) have ever seen in the storage arena.