Severe Reliability & Performance Problems with a PE4600

Mark Cuss mcuss at
Mon May 17 17:03:01 CDT 2004

Hmmm  - while we're at it - can someone recommend a good gigabit switch?
Right now I have a 8 port Linksys EF3508.  I'll likely need more ports in
the next few months, so if I buy a new bigger one I'd like it to be the
right one...  If anyone has any good or bad luck with a particular make or
model, I'd appreciate your input.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Seth Mos" <seth.mos at>
To: <mcuss at>
Cc: <linux-poweredge at>
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 1:35 PM
Subject: Re: Severe Reliability & Performance Problems with a PE4600

> Mark Cuss wrote:
> > Hi All
> >
> > I'm running a PE4600 as the main Linux applications server for our small
> > software company (about 30 users).  Over the past few weeks this
> > very reliable machine has been giving trouble.  It becomes very
> > to network pings (a response can take up to a second or two instead of
> > microseconds) or even a direct console login - it takes a minute or two
> > to get a prompt after logging in a root to the console (not in X, just
> > old runlevel 3).
> Sounds a bit like something is stuck in disk I/O.
> > Hardware and Software details:  PE4600 with dual 2.2 GHz Xeons & 2 GB
> > one 18 gig hard drive and one HP DLT SCSI tape drive running off a 29160
> > SCSI Card (on board one disabled).  Using a DLink DGE-550T gigabit
> > card - I've disabled the onboard one.  OS is RH8 with a custom build
> > 2.4.25.
> I'd replace the D-link card with a Intel Pro 1000MT, server or desktop.
> Pick one. The server card if you have the cash. The server has decent
> 64bit pci slots. Definite advantage there.
> > 1)  Process listing:
> > The following is the first few lines listed from top:
> >
> > 11:29am  up 2 days, 22:35, 38 users,  load average: 36.10, 32.19, 25.71
> 36! Something is very stuck indeed. How much data actually comes of the
> NFS server, as in, are parts of the OS itself mounted NFS partitions.
> And can you show us the fstab entry?
> > This system accesses all of its data from another server (our file
> > via NFS (called "hal") in the log below.  Both of these machines are
> > connected to each other via a gigabit switch.  The file server is a
> > single 3.06 GHz CPU connected to a PV220 disk array.  An excerpt from
> > PE4600 log file:
> What Raid controller and raid configuration are you using on the 2650?
> If you have a Perc3/DC or QC you can get a Perc4, although for a hefty
> price.
> > May 17 11:19:05 locutus kernel: nfs: server hal not responding, still
> >
> > May 17 11:19:06 locutus kernel: nfs: server hal OK
> I see the NFS server is having performance problem. Better check if the
> 2650 has enough IO bandwidth. You are prfobably killing of the 2650 with
> gigabit. It's not that the 2650 can't handle, rather the raid controller
> that can not handle that much load. The perc3/DC series are not exactly
> know for their stellar performance.
> I bet that if you go to 100Mbit ethernet the stability problems will
> dissapear.
> Cheers
> Seth

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