Solaris Volume Manager Administration Guide

Random I/O and Sequential I/O Optimization

This section explains strategies for optimizing your configuration.

If you do not know if sequential I/O or random I/O predominates on the Solaris Volume Manager volumes you are creating, do not implement these performance tuning tips. These tips can degrade performance if the tips are improperly implemented.

The following optimization suggestions assume that you are optimizing a RAID-0 volume. In general, you would want to optimize a RAID-0 volume, then mirror that volume to provide both optimal performance and data redundancy.

Random I/O

In a random I/O environment, such as an environment used for databases and general-purpose file servers, all disks should spend equal amounts of time servicing I/O requests.

For example, assume that you have 40 Gbytes of storage for a database application. If you stripe across four 10 Gbyte disk spindles, and if the I/O is random and evenly dispersed across the volume, then each of the disks will be equally busy, which generally improves performance.

The target for maximum random I/O performance on a disk is 35 percent or lower usage, as reported by the iostat command. Disk use in excess of 65 percent on a typical basis is a problem. Disk use in excess of 90 percent is a significant problem. The solution to having disk use values that are too high is to create a new RAID-0 volume with more disks (spindles).

Note –

Simply attaching additional disks to an existing volume cannot improve performance. You must create a new volume with the ideal parameters to optimize performance.

The interlace size of the stripe does not matter because you just want to spread the data across all the disks. Any interlace value greater than the typical I/O request will suffice.

Sequential Access I/O

You can optimize the performance of your configuration in a sequential I/O environment, such as DBMS servers that are dominated by full table scans and NFS servers in very data-intensive environments. To take advantage of a sequential I/O environment, set the interlace value low relative to the size of the typical I/O request.

For example, assume a typical I/O request size of 256 Kbytes and striping across 4 spindles. A good choice for the stripe unit size in this example would be:

256 Kbytes / 4 = 64 Kbytes, or smaller

This strategy ensures that the typical I/O request is spread across multiple disk spindles, thus increasing the sequential bandwidth.

Note –

Seek time and rotation time are practically zero in the sequential I/O environment. When you optimize sequential I/O, the internal transfer rate of a disk is most important.

In sequential applications, the typical I/O size is usually large, meaning more than 128 Kbytes or even more than 1 Mbyte. Assume an application with a typical I/O request size of 2 Mbytes and assume striping across 4 disk spindles, thus:

2048 Kbytes / 4 = 512 Kbytes

So, a good choice for the interlace size would be 256–512 Kbytes.