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Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

Software RAID information and help
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mauro23
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Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#1

Post by mauro23 »

Hello all,

i am sorry if the subject has been already discussed in another topic, i already googled a lot to find this information, without real success. I have parts of answer, but not exactly what i am searching for. This is the server i am using for my NAS system :

- Asus A8N SLI Premium
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
- 4GB of RAM
- Gigabit Ethernet Nvidia
- 4 HDD 1TB Western Digital Green SATA
- 1 HDD 160GB for Nas4Free

I am coming from Openfiler, which i was using for a long time. I saw Nas4free on a forum, i tested with my Virtual Machine, and i liked directly the concept, especially bittorent embedded as i am having a separate server for that. So the goal would be to put everything on one server directly, to save some money about electricity :).
I did a lot of test with Nas4Free, ZFS on 4 HDD, Software Raid 5 from the menu "Raid 5" alone and also Software Raid 5 from the menu "Raid 0/1/5". To be honnest, i am a bit confused. I am transferring a big 4GB file from my classic computer with SSD drive and Gigabit interface too to do my bandwidth tests. With ZFS i am able to transfer in between 40 and 60MB/sec (Megabytes, not Megabits :) ) going up and down (not linear). Then i tested Software Raid 5 from the menu "Raid 5", i had in between 60 and 75MB/s which is better and also more linear (the bandwidth is not going up and down). With Software Raid 5 from the menu "Raid 0/1/5", i wasn't able to transfer any file at all even if i see the share. I don't know why ? Anyway, my CPU load is almost the same in between ZFS and Software Raid 5 with even a bit more load for software raid (i thought it was the opposite, strange). Memory load stays around 30% for both.

I wanted to know you opinion about these results and what would you choose in between Software Raid and ZFS. what i need is especially Windows share with Bittorent functionnality and something easy to maintain in case of Hard disk failure. REgarding motherboard, it is not an issue, i have one spare.

Thanks for your input, don't hesitate if some information are missing :) I am more used to videosurveillance usually ...

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ChriZathens
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#2

Post by ChriZathens »

ZFS does not care about the motherboard. If you create a raidz you should have no problem transferring your drives to a different system and importing the pool/s
As for performance, you should use zfskerneltune and tune the system for your amount of ram.
FWIW I had softraid5 arrays but all the good stuff I read about zfs convinced me to switch to raidz arrays...
And I have not regretted it not a bit...
My Nas
  1. Case: Fractal Design Define R2
  2. M/B: Supermicro x9scl-f
  3. CPU: Intel Celeron G1620
  4. RAM: 16GB DDR3 ECC (2 x Kingston KVR1333D3E9S/8G)
  5. PSU: Chieftec 850w 80+ modular
  6. Storage: 8x2TB HDDs in a RaidZ2 array ~ 10.1 TB usable disk space
  7. O/S: XigmaNAS 11.2.0.4.6625 -amd64 embedded
  8. Extra H/W: Dell Perc H310 SAS controller, crosflashed to LSI 9211-8i IT mode, 8GB Innodisk D150SV SATADOM for O/S

Backup Nas: U-NAS NSC-400, Gigabyte MB10-DS4 (4x4TB Seagate Exos disks in RaidZ configuration - 32GB RAM)

mauro23
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#3

Post by mauro23 »

Thanks for your answer chrizathens. I will check that out and also give a look to zfskerneltune.

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shakky4711
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#4

Post by shakky4711 »

Hello,

Please do not forget that ZFS generates additional checksums for the data to allow data integrity checkups. This additional feature to locate and repair silent data corruption is much more worth in storage environment than faster transfer speeds :idea:

Casual raid5 is the steam machine, ZFS is the space center :D

Shakky

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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#5

Post by ChriZathens »

Another BIG plus of ZFS is the fact that in case of drive replacement it does not rebuild the whole disk, but only the actual data. This essentially means that rebuilding (resilvering) takes a lot less time and stresses the disk a lot less than traditional raid 5.
I remember a couple of years ago, when I only had about 1TB of data in my big softraid5 array, a disk started generating smart errors. The seller replaced the disk and I started rebuilding the array with the new disk. It took about 28 hours.
A week ago, I changed a disk in my backup NAS (HP n40L) The data was about 200GB. It took about 15 minutes to finish resilvering. Boy, I was impressed..!!
My Nas
  1. Case: Fractal Design Define R2
  2. M/B: Supermicro x9scl-f
  3. CPU: Intel Celeron G1620
  4. RAM: 16GB DDR3 ECC (2 x Kingston KVR1333D3E9S/8G)
  5. PSU: Chieftec 850w 80+ modular
  6. Storage: 8x2TB HDDs in a RaidZ2 array ~ 10.1 TB usable disk space
  7. O/S: XigmaNAS 11.2.0.4.6625 -amd64 embedded
  8. Extra H/W: Dell Perc H310 SAS controller, crosflashed to LSI 9211-8i IT mode, 8GB Innodisk D150SV SATADOM for O/S

Backup Nas: U-NAS NSC-400, Gigabyte MB10-DS4 (4x4TB Seagate Exos disks in RaidZ configuration - 32GB RAM)

mauro23
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#6

Post by mauro23 »

Ok guys, thanks for all this feedback.

I am still under investigation of which solution i want to use, but your comments are much appreciated :).

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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#7

Post by al562 »

Hi Mauro23,

The difference between:
mauro23 wrote:Software Raid 5 from the menu "Raid 5"
AND
mauro23 wrote:Software Raid 5 from the menu "Raid 0/1/5"
is the former uses GEOM RAID5, the latter GEOM VINUM. These are different ways of creating RAID and VINUM has never really left the experimental stage. We do not recommend VINUM for mission critical applications and now that ZFS is more mature there is little reason to use it.

Regards,
Al

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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#8

Post by mauro23 »

Hello all again :).

There is still something strange for me about ZFS. So i created a RaidZ1 of 4 1TB Hard drives. I setup my Samba with the following settings :

Image

I also tried without the async IO, it only decrease a bit the performance, but the behavior is the same as i have better performance writing on the NAS than read from the NAS. I don't really understand how this is possible but that is the result i have :

- From NAS to computer :
Image

- From computer to NAS :
Image

I have SSD on the computer, but i also tried on the RAID 0 of 2 500GB i have and the performance are the same.

Any idea how this can be possible ?

BeNooL
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#9

Post by BeNooL »

My backup NAS has almost the same configuration (Athlon X2, ZFS of 5 1Tb drives) and I also have a SSD and raid0 of 2 500Gb in my desktop computer!
I'll try to run some speed tests with Samba (as it is only used for backup, I only used the SSH service).

salut copain.

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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#10

Post by al562 »

Thank you BeNool.
I miss your avatar form the old forum ;).
Regards,
Al

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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#11

Post by BeNooL »

You mean this one ? ;-)

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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#12

Post by al562 »

Ahhaa :lol: ! That is indeed the one sir! Nice to see you again.

BeNooL
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#13

Post by BeNooL »

So I made some tests, activating SMB service with pretty much default options and I'm getting about 60-70MB/s reads. As the Raidz1 array is almost full, write performance is abysmal.

Nas hardware is an Opteron 170 with 2gb ram and 5x 7200RPM 1Tb disks. Copy was made to an SSD on a Windows 7 host.

mauro23
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Re: Software Raid 5 against ZFS performance

#14

Post by mauro23 »

Thanks for the test beNooL, obviously you get better performance than me in reading mode, and this sounds strange to me as we have almost the same hardware and my writing performance are also better than read (and more or less equal to you read performance). The only difference i see is that you use 5 HDDs and i only use 4. Could that explain the behavior ?

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