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Re: What's the best hardver for PostgreSQL 8.1?

From: Alex Turner <armtuk(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: David Lang <dlang(at)invendra(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: What's the best hardver for PostgreSQL 8.1?
Date: 2005-12-26 23:04:40
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-performance
Yes, but those blocks in RAID 10 are largely irrelevant as they are to
independant disks.  In RAID 5 you have to write parity to an 'active'
drive that is part of the stripe.  (They are irrelevant unless of
course you are maxing out your SCSI bus - yet another reason why SATA
can be faster than SCSI, particularly in RAID 10, every channel is

Sorry - my math for RAID 5 was a bit off - I don't know why I was
considering only a three dirve situation - which is the worst.  It's
n+1 you are right.  still, for small arrays thats a big penalty. 
Still, there is definately a penatly contrary to the assertion of the
orignal poster.

I agree totally that the read+parity-calc+write in the worst case is
totaly bad, which is why I alway recommend people should _never ever_
use RAID 5.   In this day and age of large capacity chassis, and large
capacity SATA drives, RAID 5 is totally inapropriate IMHO for _any_
application least of all databases.

In reality I have yet to benchmark a system where RAID 5 on the same
number of drives with 8 drives or less in a single array beat a RAID
10 with the same number of drives.  I would definately be interested
in a SCSI card that could actualy achieve the theoretical performance
of RAID 5 especially under Linux.

With RAID 5 you get to watch you system crumble and fail when a drive
fails and the array goes into a failed state.  It's just not worth it.


On 12/26/05, David Lang <dlang(at)invendra(dot)net> wrote:
> On Mon, 26 Dec 2005, Alex Turner wrote:
> > It's irrelavent what controller, you still have to actualy write the
> > parity blocks, which slows down your write speed because you have to
> > write n+n/2 blocks. instead of just n blocks making the system write
> > 50% more data.
> >
> > RAID 5 must write 50% more data to disk therefore it will always be slower.
> raid5 writes n+1 blocks not n+n/2 (unless n=2 for a 3-disk raid). you can
> have a 15+1 disk raid5 array for example
> however raid1 (and raid10) have to write 2*n blocks to disk. so if you are
> talking about pure I/O needed raid5 wins hands down. (the same 16 drives
> would be a 8+8 array)
> what slows down raid 5 is that to modify a block you have to read blocks
> from all your drives to re-calculate the parity. this interleaving of
> reads and writes when all you are logicly doing is writes can really hurt.
> (this is why I asked the question that got us off on this tangent, when
> doing new writes to an array you don't have to read the blocks as they are
> blank, assuming your cacheing is enough so that you can write blocksize*n
> before the system starts actually writing the data)
> David Lang
> > Alex.
> >
> > On 12/25/05, Michael Stone <mstone+postgres(at)mathom(dot)us> wrote:
> >> On Sat, Dec 24, 2005 at 05:45:20PM -0500, Ron wrote:
> >>> Caches help, and the bigger the cache the better, but once you are
> >>> doing enough writes fast enough (and that doesn't take much even with
> >>> a few GBs of cache) the recalculate-checksums-and-write-new-ones
> >>> overhead will decrease the write speed of real data.  Bear in mind
> >>> that the HD's _raw_ write speed hasn't been decreased.  Those HD's
> >>> are pounding away as fast as they can for you.  Your _effective_ or
> >>> _data level_ write speed is what decreases due to overhead.
> >>
> >> You're overgeneralizing. Assuming a large cache and a sequential write,
> >> there's need be no penalty for raid 5. (For random writes you may
> >> need to read unrelated blocks in order to calculate parity, but for
> >> large sequential writes the parity blocks should all be read from
> >> cache.) A modern cpu can calculate parity for raid 5 on the order of
> >> gigabytes per second, and even crummy embedded processors can do
> >> hundreds of megabytes per second. You may have run into some lousy
> >> implementations, but you should be much more specific about what
> >> hardware you're talking about instead of making sweeping
> >> generalizations.
> >>
> >>> Side Note: people often forget the other big reason to use RAID 10
> >>> over RAID 5.  RAID 5 is always only 2 HD failures from data
> >>> loss.  RAID 10 can lose up to 1/2 the HD's in the array w/o data loss
> >>> unless you get unlucky and lose both members of a RAID 1 set.
> >>
> >> IOW, your RAID 10 is only 2 HD failures from data loss also. If that's
> >> an issue you need to go with RAID 6 or add another disk to each mirror.
> >>
> >> Mike Stone
> >>
> >> ---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
> >> TIP 6: explain analyze is your friend
> >>
> >
> > ---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
> > TIP 4: Have you searched our list archives?
> >
> >     
> >

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