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73 GB 10K SAS Drive RAID 10 Benchmark SuperMicro Server

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 by Paul White

If you are anything like me, that means you try to find used goods on ebay rather than buying new hardware from Dell or HP.  So I think I scored pretty nicely with my $425 SuperMicro Server.  It sports 4 x 73GB 10K SAS drives, of which I have configured in RAID 10 using the Zero Raid add on card.  So two drives striped while the other mirror.  I was hoping for some fast transfers and I came to be strongly disappointed

Server Specs

SuperMicro SuperServer 6014H-32
4 x 3.5 SAS / SATA drive bays
2 x Dual Core 3.6 Ghz Intel Xeon
500 watt Power Supply
Intel E7250 Chipset ( Lindenhurst )

Setup Details

4 x 73GB Maxtor Atlas 10K V SAS Drives
SuperMicro All-In-One-ZCR Card AOC-SOZCR1 ( 64MB RAM )
Configuration RAID 10 ( Striping + Mirroring )

73GB 10K SAS in RAID 10 on SuperMicro Server Benchmark

The Stats

Min 46.4 MB/sec
Max 63.5 MB/sec
Avg 59.6 MB/sec
Access Time 7.8ms

Now I will admit that on my workstation I am running RAID 0 with 2 x 146 GB 15K SAS drives.  So drives with twice the density and 50% faster spin rate.  But still I wouldn't expect to get such poor performance from RAID 10 from a few 10K SAS drives.  Also for the record I setup the Stripe Size to 64KB.  The above test was testing a 64KB block size.

So I decided to change the block size and try again this time with a 128KB block size

73GB 10K SAS in RAID 10 on SuperMicro Server Benchmark

As you can see increasing the block size to 128KB increased the performance a bit, Better but still nowhere close to the 180 MB/ sec I get from my workstation

I am starting to wonder if I have some features enabled ( shadow caching ) that could potentially affect the system's performance. 

I am also now looking for some 146GB 15K SAS drives to replace the 73GB 10K ones.  I will need the extra storage but more importantly I need the faster speed for the server. I will be running a few websites, ( some of which are MySQL intensive ). 

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