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boomish
Contributor
Contributor

Network or Disk Throughput ESXi

Hi there. I'm kind of new to the whole vmware community thing. I've been reading allot over the past 4 weeks and i've deployed a few vm's with out many problems.

At the moment I'm working on a project of my own.

I have a Server i built for home and i wish to keep my work and personal s partioned systems from one another.

This machine is a Dual CPU 3.2 Ghz xeon with 4 gig ram

It's running on a Intel Se7501 series board and has a Adaptec AM2820 Raid Card This is a 8 port SATA Raid card supporting raid 0 through 60. I have 2 hard drives in mirrored configuration for the ESX Hypervisor and 6 hard drives in raid 6 for redundancy and storage.

Anyway i've loaded a Freebsd 7.0 VM and configured VMWARE-TOOLS with vmxnet network card driver. I've also tried the vlance and em1000 with no change.

The Virtual Machine is configuered with 1 gig ram and unlimited CPU

I've tweaked the shares to high and as near as i can tell have the VM performing at it's best.

here is the problem

The drive aray is raid 6 and is 2 Terabytes.

I've mounted the Array using UFS under BSD.

I've created a Test file for my performance testing using /dev/random

cat /dev/random >> testfile

Resulting file is 1 gigabyte

Using Midnight Commander i copy this file from one directory to another.

The maximum performance is approx 20Mb's

Performing the same test on my freebsd workstation with a 120 gb sata hd results in speeds over 75Mb's And frequently higher.

After creating a samba share on my server approx write performance over the network is 10 to 20 Mb's

Same test on workstation results on 75+ Mb's

I've tweaked the write cache setting on the hd's in the sata raid.

The drive array's are fully inited and marked clean in the raid controller bios.

don't misunderstand i expect some overhead because of the raid but this isn't just overhead.

BTW my network switch is Gigabit and the port i'm using on the server is gigabit not that it matters as the drive performance problem can be replicated at the console using file copy to the same local hd.

Anyway i would greatly appreciate any input on this.

Thanks

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8 Replies
Trystam
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

First of all,

FreeBSD 7 is not anywhere among the certified Guest Operating Systems for ESX (http://pubs.vmware.com/guestnotes/wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/html/wwhelp.htm?context=guestnotes&file=GuestOS_install.3.3.html), so as you can expect support isnt going to help.

You've dumped a lot of info and at the end of the post i still dont get if your problem is the network speeds or the disk transfers.

Can you please be a bit more clear ?

Francisco Cardoso, Logica PT - VCP
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boomish
Contributor
Contributor

to clarify the problem appears to be disk transfers.

I've installed redhat's most recent distro as well and am expieriencing the same problems with disk performance.

The only thing i havn't tried is installing a linux distro without vmware and testing the system performance.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Can you elaborate on what you did to tweak the write cache settings?

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boomish
Contributor
Contributor

I just tried turning it on and off.

it didn't make a big difference either way performance wise

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Trystam
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Just to get a creepy feeling out of my head.....

What SATA Controller are you using for the RAID6 config ? Brand ? Model ? Memory ?

Francisco Cardoso, Logica PT - VCP
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boomish
Contributor
Contributor

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Trystam
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I've been noticing in the past times that some controllers that have what i consider little memory, tend to be a lot slower in some configurations.

RAID6 you have dual parity, and that is overhead on the controller and i've had very bad experience with controllers such as the E200 and P400 from HP with limited memory.

Transfer rates are very low on these.

Do you have other servers running the same config ?

Do you really need RAID6 ?

Francisco Cardoso, Logica PT - VCP

Francisco Cardoso, Logica PT - VCP
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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

Moved to ESXi Forum.


Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator

====

Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.

CIO Virtualization Blog: http://www.cio.com/blog/index/topic/168354

As well as the Virtualization Wiki at http://www.astroarch.com/wiki/index.php/Virtualization

--
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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