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Old 10-19-06, 03:55 PM   #1
fhj52
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 135
Default What is the NVRAID stripe size?

Hi:

I searched here but found no answer. The NVRAID BIOS does not show detailed parameters about the RAID array.
Q1: What is the stripe size that Media Shield uses(i.e., for ''optimal'' ..., is it always 64k?)

I have looked for some document that explains the suggested method for setup to allow cross-platform usage(MS OS & Linux) as well as just basic steps but have not found such.
Q2: Is there such a doc from Nvidia?

I suppose the most outstanding issue of the Media Shield has been that it is oriented towards benefitting MS OS users because the utilities only run in MS OS.
Q3: Has anything been done to make them Linux friendly? ( i.e., get emails for failed disk and identify the failed disk.)

Thanks!


---------
[Edit]
That's it but I do have some more questions if Q2 answer is no. These are the (more) immediate ones.
For NVRAID:
is it possible to change the stripe size for setup of the array?

is it possible to migrate from 0+1 to another RAID or vice-versa? (Linux or MS OS)

I.e., I need input. ...looking for proper setup & formatting of disks.
E.g., ... is low-level format required if migrating from/to another type of RAID?
Do the raw/new disks need to be partitioned before NVRAID can use them?
Should the partitions be formatted before the RAID array is setup or is the NVRAID going to undo that anyway?

What filesystem, if any specific one, should be used to set the partition type and for formatting before NVRAID is used to set the RAID array type? I.e., does it need to be the same as what will be used on the array or does it matter?

I ask because I have some odd, ithink, output from fdisk and do not know if it is my config and/or setup or something else.
These are (4) 80GB SATA disks that were individually partitioned and formatted before using NVRAID 0+1 BIOS setup. Currently, after using dmraid and having active array, fdisk has some, apparently, unreal info.
fdisk -l -u:
Code:
Disk /dev/sdc: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders, total 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1   *          63   310006304   155003121   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdd: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders, total 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

Disk /dev/sdd doesn't contain a valid partition table

Disk /dev/sde: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders, total 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

Disk /dev/sde doesn't contain a valid partition table

Disk /dev/sdf: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders, total 156301488 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdf1   *          63   310006304   155003121   83  Linux
I don't know why it shows that sdd & sde don't have valid partitons but sdc and sdf do and that troubles me.
The NVRAID array is formatted with one partition as 158723.23MB( 310006305 sectors) and ~1324.28MB of ''free space''(unpartitioned) according to cfdisk. The fdisk -l does not list it at all.
... short version is that, at least, fdisk s/b saying none of the (4) devices have valid partition tables. Question is, is it fdisk or me/NVRAID-setup?

Then dmraid was used to find and activate the RAID. Currently:
#> dmraid -s -s -ccc
Code:
nvidia_bdagicca:312602880:128:raid10:ok:2:4:0
nvidia_bdagicca-0:312602880:128:stripe:ok:0:2:0
/dev/sdf:nvidia:nvidia_bdagicca-0:stripe:ok:156301486:0
/dev/sdd:nvidia:nvidia_bdagicca-0:stripe:ok:156301486:0
nvidia_bdagicca-1:312602880:128:stripe:ok:0:2:0
/dev/sdc:nvidia:nvidia_bdagicca-1:stripe:ok:156301486:0
/dev/sde:nvidia:nvidia_bdagicca-1:stripe:ok:156301486:0
I don't know why d-f and c-e are together rather than c-d and e-f or if makes any difference.

The /dev/mapper/nvidia_bdagicca was partitioned with cfdisk; rebooted and then formatted.
I have been running some filesystem tests so the filesystem has been changed a few times. Hence why I ask for proper procedures.

Although I don't have specific issues/problems at this time with data loss, etc., I surely do not want any later on when the fs is nearly full of data.

If Media Shield RAID utilities are still MS OS bound, what Linux methods are available to get similar functions?
__________________
When two people meet and exchange gifts, each has one object.
When two people meet and exchange ideas, each has two ideas.
... Open Source. Just do it.

---------------------------------
System: BFG GTX260^2 graphics but has ** TERRIBLE BLINKING OS **
SuperMicro H8DCi+AMI BIOS;dual Opt'285;8GB;LSI 320-2x w/ 6xU320 Fuji' MAXs in RAID 10; 4xSATAII on LSI 3041E for backup. Multi-boot Mandriva Linux, openSUSE, WinXPx64 & Win2k-AS; Creative Audigy2-Digital audio.
Gigabyte GA-2CEWH & NVRAID are GONE ... Finally!!

Last edited by fhj52; 10-22-06 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 10-20-06, 05:29 PM   #2
fhj52
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 135
Default Re: What is the NVRAID stripe size?

Hi:

I (re)found the NVRAID users guide but v1.1 is for Microsoft. There is no help in it for Linux. I have not found a version that has Linux info in it. So, Help, please!

There are READ issues with large files and I cannot determine what/why unless I can get some input from documentation or something else.

Specifically, when READing large files of 4GB or 8GB, I get huge loss of transfer rates(like dropping from > 100MB/s to 20-25MB/s) for record sizes that are equal to or larger than 128kB. (using self-compiled iozone to test fs)
It appears to be independent of filesystem as both ext3 and JFS exhibit the same problem.

It could be NVRAID ...or the setup/config ...or something else. I need to determine what.
__________________
When two people meet and exchange gifts, each has one object.
When two people meet and exchange ideas, each has two ideas.
... Open Source. Just do it.

---------------------------------
System: BFG GTX260^2 graphics but has ** TERRIBLE BLINKING OS **
SuperMicro H8DCi+AMI BIOS;dual Opt'285;8GB;LSI 320-2x w/ 6xU320 Fuji' MAXs in RAID 10; 4xSATAII on LSI 3041E for backup. Multi-boot Mandriva Linux, openSUSE, WinXPx64 & Win2k-AS; Creative Audigy2-Digital audio.
Gigabyte GA-2CEWH & NVRAID are GONE ... Finally!!
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Old 10-22-06, 06:42 AM   #3
fhj52
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Posts: 135
Default Re: What is the NVRAID stripe size?

I ran some more tests and the huge dropoffs do not occur with other non-raided disks. Tested ATA and SCSI.
I know(well, suspect...) that the performance starts decreasing around 2GB because that is the size of the memory available to each CPU and by 4GB or more, the I/O is going to be the raw disk and fs speed.
However these addtional very large drops do not correlate to anything that I can find except the NVRAID. The disks are capable of up to 150MB/s. With no cache available they won't get that high, of course, but 20-25MB/s is much, much, MUCH too low for READ.

Does the controller cause it?
How can I fix it so that record sizes >128kB won't have that effect with large files?
__________________
When two people meet and exchange gifts, each has one object.
When two people meet and exchange ideas, each has two ideas.
... Open Source. Just do it.

---------------------------------
System: BFG GTX260^2 graphics but has ** TERRIBLE BLINKING OS **
SuperMicro H8DCi+AMI BIOS;dual Opt'285;8GB;LSI 320-2x w/ 6xU320 Fuji' MAXs in RAID 10; 4xSATAII on LSI 3041E for backup. Multi-boot Mandriva Linux, openSUSE, WinXPx64 & Win2k-AS; Creative Audigy2-Digital audio.
Gigabyte GA-2CEWH & NVRAID are GONE ... Finally!!
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Old 10-22-06, 10:05 PM   #4
fhj52
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Posts: 135
Default Re: What is the NVRAID stripe size?

So this is what I am talking about:
Code:
iozone -a -i0 -i1 -s 8G -r 128 -r 256 -r512 -Rb /tmp/iozone-NVRAID_JFS=8Gfile_test.xls

        Run began: Sun Oct 22 18:46:49 2006

              KB  reclen   write rewrite    read    reread    
         8388608     128  134176  142128    27766    95556
         8388608     256  138216  143879    28421   105634
         8388608     512  136698  133830    29007   110574

iozone test complete.
Prior tests all show the same thing: for 8GB file, the bottom drops out of the READ as soon as record size hits 128kB. The reread has never been more than 10% higher and, typically, for large files is about the same as the READ since there is not much cache to use.
Smaller record sizes READ at > 112MB/s for the 8GB file. Also, smaller files don't have the dropoff AND it appears to be only for the READ.
Here's a snippet of the data from the full test showing just the READ:
( The top row is records sizes, the left column is file sizes )
Code:
	4	8	16	32	64	128	256	512	1024	2048	4096	8192	16384
1048576	1795491	1857415	2328637	2141122	2387256	2429762	1690177	1383961	988808	1111140	1027648	1115923	911462
2097152	1960697	1960180	1885432	1864134	2303706	2265836	2247662	1547866	1195035	1190274	1142225	1126850	1116831
4194304	135713	215898	201045	193421	165662	148444	188800	96383	70322	117336	119855	155411	132248
8388608	115405	115447	115406	115429	115366	26721	27894	28764	28264	28563	28467	28552	28344

Same test on a SCSI disk(no RAID) shows no big hit:
Code:
iozone -a -i0 -i1 -s 8G -r 128 -r 256 -r512 -Rb /tmp/iozone-SCSI_15k_ext3=8Gfile_test.xls

        Run began: Sun Oct 22 14:15:33 2006

              KB  reclen   write rewrite    read    reread
         8388608     128   62827   52685    46054    59147
         8388608     256   64989   62218    49573    58292
         8388608     512   64537   49897    52131    57109

iozone test complete.
Smaller and larger records all maintained about the same I/O.

Although, oddly, WRITE still outruns READ on all the tests, the results are pointing directly at NVRAID as the cause of the problem.

It appears to be NVRAID controller but there are other things that could be the cause. Tests on the ATA drive are running ...

Edit: IT APPEARS to have the SAME problem as the 128kB record READ is 23MB/s. That's a clear indication to me that the controller is the problem with, of course, possible contributing factors.

ATA drive exhibits the same problem, although the difference between normal and the drop is not as drastic.
Code:
        Run began: Sun Oct 22 21:51:28 2006

              KB  reclen   write rewrite    read    reread    
         8388608     128   44676   36530    24279    40410
         8388608     256   43235   36132    26239    41244
         8388608     512   44912   33881    27399    38586
I need input to determine what causes this.


And is there anybody out there running NVRAID that can verify the same anomaly? Who knows, maybe it is the controller on this mobo ...

Thanks!
__________________
When two people meet and exchange gifts, each has one object.
When two people meet and exchange ideas, each has two ideas.
... Open Source. Just do it.

---------------------------------
System: BFG GTX260^2 graphics but has ** TERRIBLE BLINKING OS **
SuperMicro H8DCi+AMI BIOS;dual Opt'285;8GB;LSI 320-2x w/ 6xU320 Fuji' MAXs in RAID 10; 4xSATAII on LSI 3041E for backup. Multi-boot Mandriva Linux, openSUSE, WinXPx64 & Win2k-AS; Creative Audigy2-Digital audio.
Gigabyte GA-2CEWH & NVRAID are GONE ... Finally!!

Last edited by fhj52; 10-22-06 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 10-23-06, 01:04 PM   #5
fhj52
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Posts: 135
Default Re: What is the NVRAID stripe size?

I ran the test on 16GB file last night.
iozone -az -i0 -i1 -S 2048 -s 16G -Rb /tmp/iozone-NVRAID_JFS=16Gfile_test.xls

SAME ISSUE!!
snippet:
( As before, the top row is records sizes(kB), the left column is file size(kB) & data is kB/s. )
Code:
              KB  reclen   write rewrite    read    reread
        16777216      64  120538  124312   113072   113078
        16777216     128  120785  124258    26397    86069
        16777216     256  120480  124435    27605     98806
        16777216     512  119004  123088    28583    105943
        16777216    1024  121796  119224    28473    105762
        16777216    2048  118820  124570    28094    105703
        16777216    4096  119912  123650    28241    105788
        16777216    8192  120574  115020    28222    105759
        16777216   16384  120712  120662    28378    105818
So what is going on here to cause that?
Since this is same problem with ATA it must not be stripe size or anything related to NVRAID directly.
And since the SCSI controller does not exhibit such huge dropoff, it appears that the NVIDIA nv2200 controller is the problem.

WHY is it apparently failing?


Thanks!
__________________
When two people meet and exchange gifts, each has one object.
When two people meet and exchange ideas, each has two ideas.
... Open Source. Just do it.

---------------------------------
System: BFG GTX260^2 graphics but has ** TERRIBLE BLINKING OS **
SuperMicro H8DCi+AMI BIOS;dual Opt'285;8GB;LSI 320-2x w/ 6xU320 Fuji' MAXs in RAID 10; 4xSATAII on LSI 3041E for backup. Multi-boot Mandriva Linux, openSUSE, WinXPx64 & Win2k-AS; Creative Audigy2-Digital audio.
Gigabyte GA-2CEWH & NVRAID are GONE ... Finally!!

Last edited by fhj52; 10-23-06 at 01:23 PM.
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