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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

VMFS IO problems with ESX3.0.1 on SunFire X4600's internal SAS disks

I have two X4600 with ESX3.0.1 and four internal SAS disks, two of which I want to use for VMFS datastore for VMs. The problem is that copying the initial VM image from NAS onto the VMFS datastore takes 2.5 hours for a 12G VM. It is not the network, because copying to internal ext3 is no problem. It is writing to the VMFS, which can be confirmed.

Is anybody successfully using the internal SAS disks for a VMFS datastore under ESX3.0.1 on a X4600?

What is the LSI RAID configuration used?

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13 Replies
waynegrow
Expert
Expert

What version of firmware are you running on your LSI Controller? For 3.0.1 it should be 2.06.34.13. Also, what is the model of the controller?

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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

LSI Logic Corp. MPT SAS BIOS

MPTBIOS-6.10.00.00 (2006.09.07)

Copyright 2000-2006 LSI Logic Corp.

\* LSI Logic Config Utility v6.10.00.00 (2006.09.07) *

\* Adapter Properties -- SAS1064 *

\* *

\* Adapter SAS1064 *

\* PCI Slot 00 *

\* PCI Address(Bus/Dev/Func) 07:04:00 *

\* MPT Firmware Revision 1.16.00.00-IR *

\* SAS Address 50003BA0:000003BA *

\* NVDATA Version 25.08 *

\* Status Enabled *

\* Boot Order 0 *

\* Boot Support \[Enabled BIOS & OS] *

\* *

\* RAID Properties *

\* *

\* SAS Topology *

\* *

\* Advanced Adapter Properties *

\* *

\* *

\* *

\* Esc = Exit Menu F1/Shift+1 = Help *

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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

Sorry, missed some

AMIBIOS(C)2004 American Megatrends, Inc.

BIOS Build Version : 0ABIT050 Date: 04/19/07 16:35:58 Core: 08.00.12

CPU : Dual-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 8218

Speed : 2.60 GHz Count : 16

DRAM Clocking CPU0 Core0/1 = 667 MHz, CPU1 Core0/1 = 667 MHz,

CPU2 Core0/1 = 667 MHz, CPU3 Core0/1 = 667 MHz,

CPU4 Core0/1 = 667 MHz, CPU5 Core0/1 = 667 MHz,

CPU6 Core0/1 = 667 MHz, CPU7 Core0/1 = 667 MHz

Sun Fire X4600 M2, 8 AMD North Bridges, Rev F2

1 AMD 8132 PCI-X 2.0 Controller, Rev B2

1 NVidia CK8-04 PRO SB, 1 NVidia IO-4 Slave Bridge(s)

Board Serial Number : 1762TH1-0711000142

BMC Firmware Revision : 1.1.8, CPLD Revision : 8.0

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waynegrow
Expert
Expert

Try updating your LSI1064 driver to the latest firmware release

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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

will do and report back

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

In addition, be aware that ESX v3 will throttle any writes/reads to the /vmfs filesystem from the SC. Eitherway you will not get top performance with that type of write.

Best regards,

Edward

--
Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2023,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

what is the latest version, do you know?

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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

Understood. But I need to get the image onto the vmfs to begin with, and the current rate of ~8G per hour I am sure can be improved on ... I will upgrade my LSI firmware and check back.

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Jan_Hendrik
Contributor
Contributor

OK, I updated the firmware to what is recommended on sun.com http://www.sun.com/servers/x64/x4600/downloads.jsp

Copying 1 Gigbyte over GigE onto the local vmfs on SAS disks

\[root@truelab10 vmfs1]# time cp /zpool1/1GB.dat .

real 8m28.641s

user 0m0.000s

sys 0m1.170s

nothing has changed. This does not look very good

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jlarson
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Jan,

Not sure if you've made any progress on this or not, but here is some additional things to consider. The Sun x4600's LSI RAID controller is not a very good design for the x4600 considering the performance of the rest of the box. It does not have any write cache on the controller. We have also noticed very poor performance writing to the internal drives running native Windows 2003 (not under VMware). There is currently not a caching RAID controller that is supported by Sun.

Jim

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MikeTedescucci
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello,

I own 4 of these x4600's and I experienced similar issues. The best thing I did was purchase the 'external' (non-motherboard) version of that LSI controller that allowed me to do RAID10 on those internal disks which GREATLY improves performance of those internal disks. So much so, that I have my vCB proxy on those internal disks on a VMFS volume for those 4 hosts.

Mike

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jlarson
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi MIke. What is the model number of the plug in LSI controller? Has Sun told you they will give you support on your hardware with this card installed?

Thanks, JIm

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MikeTedescucci
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hey Jim,

It is the MegaRAID SAS 8408E controller, and they fully support it. (At least, I hope so. They sold it to me! :smileyshocked:) Knock on wood, but I have had these systems ever since the M2 line came out, and they really have been rock solid. Of course, Murphy being who he is, I would say he'd be knocking on my door pretty soon.

Mike

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