Performance/stability problems on PowerEdge 1950

Sturgis, Grant Grant.Sturgis at
Fri Dec 15 10:23:53 CST 2006


We received the below tech note from an ISV that we use that uses the 
1950.  Is it relevant to this particular problem, and does it fix the 
issue?  We don't know the answers to this because we don't have a 1950....


Tech note:

Below please find information on a critical update from Dell that needs 
to be applied immediately to all <ISV> devices that are Dell 1950s.

Package Version - 5.0.2-0003
Firmware Version - 1.00.01-0157
SASBIOS Version - MT23
Ctrl-R Version - 1.02-007
MPT Version -

Addresses potential issue with PERC 5 controllers that may become 
unresponsive on systems with 8GB of memory or more. This fix corrects an 
issue on systems with 8+ GB of memory PERC 5 controllers may become 
unresponsive. If the affected controller is the boot device this would 
cause an OS crash, hang, or bluescreen. If not the boot controller the 
system would experience timeouts (event 129 and 9 in windows, IO aborts 
in Linux). Once the controller is in this state it will not return to 
operation until the system has rebooted, any storage connected to the 
controller will not be accessible until the reboot. This has now been 

Dean Manners wrote:
> Harry,
> 	I have an identical anecdote, coming from 1850 to 1950.  Under high
> disk I/O the machine becomes very laggish and generally performs badly in
> comparison to the SCSI based 1850's.  Running Debian with 2.6.18, moduled
> megaraid_sas, sd_mod, scsi_mod. Also keen to hear of any ideas or
> directions..
> Regards
> __________________________________________ 
> Dean Manners
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: linux-poweredge-bounces at 
>> [mailto:linux-poweredge-bounces at] On Behalf Of Harry Roberts
>> Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2006 11:05 PM
>> To: linux-poweredge at
>> Subject: Performance/stability problems on PowerEdge 1950
>> Hi all,
>>  We recently upgraded from SCSI based Dell 1850s to SAS based 
>> Dell 1950s and found that under the same loads, stresses, 
>> applications & conditions the SAS based 1950 system starts 
>> failing and becoming unresponsive at a much earlier point.
>>  One of the main roles of the servers are to perform 
>> telephone call recording, which in turn means that there are 
>> lots of concurrent writes per second (say 20 per second, per 
>> concurrent call). The SCSI based system was able to easily 
>> handle 60+ calls, while the SAS based system was having 
>> serious problems at around 30.
>>  We also performed the same tests on a SAS HP DL360 g5 
>> (SmartArray RAID controller), which performed even worse and 
>> stopped operating normally at around 7 concurrent calls.
>>  On both we're using Gentoo with the stock 2.6.18.x kernel 
>> and Gentoo's patched 2.6.18.x kernel, we then tested again on 
>> a 1950 server using Redhat EL 4, and none of these problems 
>> occurred. It seems that something in Redhat's heavily 
>> modified 2.6.9 kernel is fixing it - but we can't track down 
>> exactly what.
>>  Has anybody run into similar problems with system load 
>> skyrocketing or application response times increasing 
>> massively when there's high disk load on SAS any of Dell's 
>> SAS based PowerEdge series servers?
>>  Any ideas or possible directions we could go in are appreciated.
>>  Thanks,
>> - Harry Roberts
>> - Software Developer, Telappliant Ltd.
>> - Phone: +44 (0)207 043 3519
>> - Email: harry at
>> --
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