More not super scientific benchmarking....All test were on an HP ML350 G5, dual quad core, SmartArray P400 w/ 512mb ram, dual nics in multipathing mode, running VMware ESXi 5.1.
Two 146gb drives in RAID 1
Six 600gb drives in RAID 5
These next three are all going to a Western Digital Sentinel RX4100; the two nics are bonded using LACP.
Raw Disk Mapping
Normal Windows File Share
There are subtle differences in the three WD Sentinel tests; do be fair I only ran the test once, so the differences COULD be statistical noise.
This last one is running the benchmark directly one the Sentinel itself. Notice how much performance is being lost over the network. I would be curious to find out if this a result of how the network is configured, the NICs in the Sentinel, or just what can be expected with network traffic. By looking at these results, one could conclude that the 5400rpm drives in this machine are NOT the bottleneck.
It has two SD card slots, and the machines "BIOS" kind of sort of is located on the SD card, there is one blank partition on it, if one chooses to load an OS on it. The 2nd SD slot is for having a mirror copy.
Nearly all of the machine is configured via a web page. Including RAID card settings. I could not find the "silence alarm" button.
The machine has on board SATA/SAS controller, which is very limited. There is an option to upgrade it to a "mezzanine" card. The mezzanine card will only allow the use of 8 drives and is not supposed to be used with any other RAID cards. This particular customer changed their mind on the purpose of the machine to where it needs more drives. So Cisco UCS-9266 (made by LSI Logic) was ordered. For whatever reason Cisco was rather specific in that if it is in a 2 CPU system the card goes in slot 4, and slot 3 in a single CPU system.
This UCS-9266 card has two ports on it, the backplane has four ports on it. It will not recognize any drives beyond 12. There is other cables offered by Cisco a UCSC-6, UCSC-4, and UCSC-2; I was unable to discover what the differences between the cables is, nor find a picture. I am also unsure what the machine came with. Apparently Cisco ships these machines with one of two different back planes for the hard drives, and to use the UCS-9266 we needed the other one. Supposedly the UCS-9271 will work as it has 8 ports.
Another point of interest: when ordering, keep in mind if one is getting a 16 drive capable system or a 24 drive system. On the 16 drive system, the last 8 slots for hard drives do not have SAS/SATA connectors, despite there being drive blanks there. Cisco will not sell the parts to convert a 16 drive system into a 24 drive.
The big brother to the RX4000. This one comes with 4gb of ram has the same processor. I didn't study it real closely but it appears to have the same motherboard as the DX4000, except this one has an actual VGA port, which the RX4000 lacks. It appears to have a propriety power supply, and the motherboard slot looks like a PCI-E card where the SATA connector board plugs into on both models.