I have a pair of x25-M 160 Intel SSD's in an HP DL360 G5 with a p400i Smart Array running 512 BBWC. The disk performance I am getting on this box and another identical one does not come close to matching the same two drives running through a cheap 3ware RAID card. Any idea?

I have played with the cache settings, but nothing allows me to get the same results. It seems like the Smart Array controller is the bottleneck.

  • Forgot to mention the drives are in a RAID 1 in all cases. – Bidwell Jan 18 '11 at 19:41
  • Any details on what performance you're actually getting? Array configuration? Benchmarking method? – Chris S Jan 18 '11 at 19:46
  • The drives are in a RAID 1 configuration. I use dspspeed.exe - Disk Speed v1.1, which does a good job at measuring random reads, which is my primary concern with these boxes. The 3ware gives me random read of 58 MB/sec, the Smart Array has 41 MB/sec. No doubt this is better than the 5 MB/sec the 10K 146 GB drives provided, but I'd like to get the most out of the SSD's as possible, – Bidwell Jan 18 '11 at 19:54
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    Yes, I updated the firmware. The array controller says everything it working correctly and caching is on. One interesting thing I noticed, when I allocate 100% of the cache to Write vs read, the times got better. Its like the time it took to check the cache was slower than just fetching the info from the disk. Or, more likely I guess the read-ahead was not being used. – Bidwell Jan 18 '11 at 20:43
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    For those wondering, I just tried using an Intel 520 series 240GB SSD with a P400. Works! But does not work with an E200 controller. KR Magnus, Sweden – user112198 Feb 28 '12 at 8:35

You may want to consider using another disk measurement tool. Have The p400 controller and HP SAS disks are very common setups, and if you were only receiving 5MB/s random reads/writes, there may be a larger problem. Can you run your analysis using another disk performance analysis program like Iometer?

For the SSD drives, I'd expect a better random read/write, but it helps to understand exactly what you're testing.

  • 5 MB/s with a really small block size is what I would expect. Are we comparibg apples with pears here? – 3molo Mar 31 '12 at 10:17

The controller doesn't support those drives, I'm surprised it worked at all, HP controllers are famous for only working with HP drives.

  • Before I bought them I contacted HP and they said they would work. Also, it's been over a year. – Bidwell Jan 18 '11 at 19:56
  • Do you think this for SSD in particular or in all drives in general? – ErnieTheGeek Jan 18 '11 at 19:59
  • If they did say they'd work they were speaking out of turn, they're not supported. – Chopper3 Jan 18 '11 at 20:09
  • @Chopper3: works != performs well != supported. I've been told that SA Cards work with a wide variety of drives, but may not perform as well as with HP drive and would not be supported. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that's the case here – Chris S Jan 18 '11 at 20:35
  • Performs well is relative. As I said above it is 720% faster than the expensive HP drives that came in my server. – Bidwell Jan 18 '11 at 20:53

The smartarray P400 controllers only support SATA1 :-( P410 and hight do SATA2. That might be the problem

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    @Chopper3 he's talking about the sata revision, not the raid level. – Patrick Feb 29 '12 at 22:11

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