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SubjectMulti disk performance (8 disks), limit 230 MB/s
Hi all,

I have been doing some benchmarking experiments on kernel 2.4.19 with 8
IDE disks. Due to poor performance of 2 disks at 1 IDE channels we have
bought 4 Promise Ultra 100 TX2 (32-bit 66 Mhz) controllers and to avoid
bus saturation Supermicro P4PDE motherboard with multiple PCI buses
(64-bit 66 Mhz) and 2-Xeons. I submitted already PCI slot placing
problems to the mailing list. But theoretically I can live with the
current IDE condrollers->PCI slots assighnment.

The assignment is the following: 3 IDE controllers are connected to the
one PCI 64-bit Hub with bandwidth 1 GByte/s and 4th controller is on
another hub with the same characteristics.

Theoretically with 6 IBM disks (47 MB/s from the first cylinders) I
should achieve a number about 266 MB/s (32 bit X 66 Mhz) < 6*47. AND
2*47 = 94 MB/s < 266 MB/s from the last two disks. Thus the rate should
be 94 + 266 = 360 MB/s.

BUT no matter from which set of the disks I read or write I have got the

following parallel read/write rates (raw access):


write (MB/s) read (MB/s) systime (top) real/user/sys(time) (s)

1 disk : 48 45 3 % 3.0 / 0.1 / 0.4
2 disks: 83 94 10 % 3.5 / 0.1 / 0.6
4 disks: 131 189 21 % 4.3 / 0.4 / 2.8
5 disks: 172 233 4.5 / 0.5 / 4.5
6 disks: 197 234 ? 30 % 5.2 / 0.6 / 6.6
7 disks: 209 ? 230 ? 5.9 / 0.6 / 8.8
8 disks: 214 ? 229 ? 40 % 6.7 / 0.8 /10.8

The method of the measurement:
1. Prespawn thread for every disk
2. signal threads to start write of 64 Mb of data
3. wait until all threads finished, measure time
4. signal threads to start read of 64 Mb of data
5. wait until all threads finished, measure time

All disks are in UDMA 100 mode

Has anyone else seen similar problems?
What limits the performance: IDE disk driver, bottleneck in the kernel
I/O subsystem?
How to improve?


Roman

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