Rankin, Kent RankinK at
Tue Apr 25 08:03:10 CDT 2006

Expect terrible performance, and even worse support.

My organization is nine weeks into a support call regarding performance problems on a pair of CX300's.  When we initiate a snapshot, we can't get more than 4-5MBps of sustained write performance out of a 3-tray CX300.  When everything is just dandy, our processors max out when any combination of LUN's is writing ~55MBps.

The support situation has been an absolute nightmare, as Dell's sales and support staff have been doing their best to discredit anything that we say, rather than to address the problem at hand.  For instance, we bought one tray of SATA disks for a Windows fileserver, and can't get more than 28MBps of sustained write to 14 500GB disks in RAID 5 configuration.  They sold it for a Windows fileserver, yet claim that Windows file copies are not an appropriate way to claim whether or not it functions to spec.  *sigh*  I won't even get into the fact that they claim that another tray of SATA disks are performing excellently for a pre tape (2x LTO3 tape drive) disk backup solution, even though they can't break 30MBps.

In my experience, so far, the best systems to look at are the Engenio devices sold by Storagetek, IBM, Sun, SGI, etc.  Netapp also has devices that will grossly outperform these.  These CX300's have nice management software, but are absolutely the worst performing devices that I've ever seen.

Not to mention that they sell them with 2GB of cache, and then use about 1100MB of that to run Windows XP Embedded on the controllers.  So you wind up with a giant, gaping security hole (unpatched Windows), plus under half of the cache that they advertise. 

Kent Rankin
UNIX Systems Administrator
Information Systems Department
Oak Ridge Associated Universities

From: linux-poweredge-bounces at [mailto:linux-poweredge-bounces at] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 4:50 AM
To: linux-poweredge at
Subject: DELL|EMC CX300 + PowerEdge 2850 + RHEL ES 3.0 U7 + REDHAT CLUSTERMANAGER SUITE 3.0

Hello here DELL people,
Good day!
I just want to ask if there is any white paper or maybe a link on DELL that has implemented this configuration. I wish to setup a 2 DELL PowerEdge 2850 on a HA linux cluster using Redhat Cluster Manager Suite 3.0 that I can use as a reference.
Please help

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