[Samba] Very slow write performance to RAID

Kevin Taylor groucho.64738 at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 25 12:16:10 MDT 2011

This system is a hardware RAID 6 with I believe 256k strip size set up on it, but a default xfs filesystem on it (mounted with nobarrier, noatime, nodiratime). We do have write-caching enabled on the RAID controller.

> From: cweiss at gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 12:45:02 -0500
> To: samba at lists.samba.org
> Subject: Re: [Samba] Very slow write performance to RAID
> On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:06 PM, Kevin Taylor
> <groucho.64738 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > We have a RAID set up as our main fileserver (running samba 3.0.33 on linux, CentOS 5). The main disk area is an XFS partition of about 8TB. I'm using iostat to monitor disk I/O since we've gotten complaints about speed and I'm noticing that when I write something to the samba share, the write speed is horrible. For a 15GB file it is reporting to finish in about 20 minutes.
> >
> > With the command:   dd if=/dev/zero of=/data/testfile bs=1024k count=10000
> >
> > I saw the 10GB write with a speed of 270MB/s, which is decent, so I'm not thinking there's anything wrong with the disk or raid controller.
> >
> dd isn't really a great test since it's heavily uses caches, and it's
> about as sequential as you can get, where samba access is more likely
> to be highly random.  iometer with dynamo  can get you a more "real
> workload" type benchmark.
> That said, to me this sounds like a block size and alignment plus
> write-back type of issue.  Here's some background and examples with
> xfs+lvm+mdadm, the base concept apply to hardware raid too
> http://www.linux.sgi.com/archives/xfs/2007-06/msg00411.html .  Even if
> you are getting acceptable perf local, you may be able to get better
> if you aren't doing these things, and anything remote will amplify any
> latency greatly.
> Next toss in windows wanting to flush at 4k or 64k, which should pass
> on through to the disk, causing a 128K stripe to flush again with
> every 4K, and multiple 128K stripes if things aren't aligned just
> right.  Then add in the read+modify+write+hash+write operation that
> raid5 does and you can start to see where performance can fail.
> Hardware raid with battery backed write cache can alleviate this since
> it won't wait for the disk spindles.
> Possibly Samba can be tweaked to match your stripe size, I don't know
> how off-hand.
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