We have a poor man's SAN setup in a 1U Ubuntu server running iSCSI-Target with two 300GB drives in RAID-0. We then are using it for block level storage for virtual machines. The hypervisor is connected to the SAN via gigabit on a dedicated VLAN and interfaces.
We only have a single virtual machine setup and doing some benchmarks. If we run
hdparm -t /dev/sda1 from the virtual machine, we get 'ok' performance of 75MB/s from the virtual machine to the SAN. Then we basically compile a package with
make. Things start ok, but then all the sudden the load average on the SAN grows to 7+ and things slow down to a crawl. When we SSH into the SAN and run top, sure the load is 7+, but the CPU usage is basically nothing, also the server has 1.5GB of memory available. When we kill the compile on the virtual machine, slowly the LOAD on the SAN goes back to sub 1 figures.
What in the world is causing this? How can we diagnosis this further?
Here are two screenshot from the SAN during high load.
1> Output of iotop on the SAN:
2> Output of top on the SAN: