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Paul Joy
troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 5, 2012 at 4:50:35 pm

There seems to be a lot of knowledgeable people here so I wondered if somebody could help me figure out if I'm getting the best out of my RAID array. My setup is as follows...

Mac Pro 12 core (48 GB RAM / SSD Boot drive / Mountain Lion)
Areca 1882x SAS Card ( X8 lane )
Two SAS cables running to an Enhance-Tech E800MS 8 Bay Array fitted with 8 Hitachi 7K3000 (3TB) drives
I have a single RAID 6 volume setup (18 of 24TB usable).

The issue I'm having is that although my write speeds are averaging around 950MB/s my read speeds are a lot slower, averaging around 300 MB/s for a large file. The biggest issue is that although write speeds kick in at full tilt immediately the read speeds build very slowly, starting at around 150 MB/s for a second or so then jumping up in steps over 4 - 5 seconds rather than smoothly and quickly.

One thing I've noticed is that if I disable the volume read ahead settings then speeds built slightly faster and settle around 3 seconds in with a large file.

There's a lot of options for the card, and I've experimented with pretty much everything without increasing the read performance at all. Many options will degrade it further but the default settings seem to work best, other than the volume read ahead as stated.

Should I be seeing better read performance? From everything I've seen I expected reads and writes to be a lot closer. If there's something I should be looking out for then any tips would be very much appreciated.

Regards

Paul.


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Jon Schilling
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 6, 2012 at 4:45:58 pm

Paul,

That card is not yet compatible with Mountain Lion. I would check with Areca to see when support will be available for it.

Jonathan Schilling
Vertical Sales Manager
Proavio
12221 Florence Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Dir: 562-777-3498
Main: 562-777-3488 X106
Fax: 562-777-3499
Email: jon@proavio.com

See our forum: http://forums.creativecow.net/proavio






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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 6, 2012 at 5:00:39 pm

Hi Jonathan.

According to the Areca website mountain lion includes drivers for their cards and it was certainly recognised without me having to installing anything so it seems that's true. Of course, that doesn't mean to say that the drivers are not to blame!

http://www.areca.com.tw/news/2012/n0726_2012.html

Other than the slow build up of read speeds it seems to be reliable and working well. I'll see if I can move it over to another machine with Lion to compare the read performance.

Many thanks

Paul.


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John Davidson
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 7, 2012 at 1:03:40 am

Hi Jon!

I'm using a ProAvio 800MS with Areca 1882x in a Sonnet Echo Express on Mountain Lion with no problem. In fact, it's feeding out to 4 rooms over ethernet using a Small Tree 6 port ethernet card. If any system should be kicking up errors, it's mine!

Life on the bleeding edge....


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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 20, 2012 at 6:32:08 pm

So after having the kit for a couple of days Enhance-Tech have come up with a configuration that seems to do the trick with this set up. I've posted a full description on my blog along with the settings that solved the problem.

http://www.pauljoy.com/2012/08/mac-pro-raid-setup/

Thanks for all the help provided

Paul



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 20, 2012 at 7:30:20 pm

Paul,

Great write-up, and congrats on making it work.

The one thing I'd add to it, is for potential purchasers to consider an expander unit vs. a "dumb" box. Your current setup is "closed", no room to add more storage unless you add another RAID controller. Getting an expander unit (about $600 more) will free up one MiniSAS port on the controller, and add two more in the back of the storage box - to which additional enclosures can be daisy-chained.

To some, this may be useful as few people ever have enough storage - with the additional benefit of getting more speed.

(While I don't believe Enhance/ProAvio make an 8-bay 6G SAS tower expander box, the IS316JS is a 16-bay rackmount version of it, an excellent product. Other vendors do make 8-bay 6G expander boxes.)

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Integrator
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 6, 2012 at 10:39:09 pm

This is strange, usually writes are slower - especially with RAID6.

Areca has decent support - tried contacting them?

Have you tried benching individual drives? Sometimes a single rogue drive brings down the array's performance - sometimes in unusual ways.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Integrator
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 7, 2012 at 7:49:24 am

Yes I've sent them an email, no response as yet.

How would you go about testing the individual drive performance when they are part of a RAID in an enclosure?

Thanks


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 7, 2012 at 8:00:55 am

[Paul Joy] "How would you go about testing the individual drive performance when they are part of a RAID in an enclosure?"

Non-destructively (read-only), on a different system. In my shop, I have a system with 3 different types of eSATA ports and an eSATA dock. Plug the drive in, test it with HD_Speed (allows to bench a physical drive vs. a drive letter).

Another HD_Speed's nifty feature (that neither WinSAT disk not BMD Disk Speed can do) is the ability to dial in the offset, e.g. "test at 99% capacity" which shows how the speed decreases towards the end of the drive.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Integrator
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Bob Zelin
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 7, 2012 at 7:37:44 pm

Hi Paul -
the Areca 1882x card has the driver native in the MAC OS X 10.8 operating system. It is driver 1.3.5. If you download the Areca stuff from http://www.areca.com.tw, and don't UNCHECK the driver, when you want to intall MRAID, you will overwrite the 1.3.5 driver, and install the older 1.3.4 driver which is for Lion. The OS X 10.8 V1.3.5 driver is NOT on the Areca website, and I have no idea of how you get it back if you accidently overwrite it with V1.3.4 from the Areca website, other than to reinstall 10.8.

You do not need TWO cables with the Areca 1882x and a modern 6g chassis - you only need one cable. I have recently seen a ProAvio sheet on tuning the Areca 1882x. They should post the link for this on this forum.

If you have continued troubles, you can email me at maxavid@cfl.rr.com

Bob Zelin



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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 7, 2012 at 8:49:14 pm

Hi Bob, thanks.

I thought that might be the case when installing the software so I only ticked the arcHttp and CLI installers, the original driver that came with ML is still in use.

I was told by the supplier that each cable controls four drives in the enclosure, is that not normally the case?

Regards

Paul


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Bob Zelin
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 8, 2012 at 12:08:34 am

different chassis have different configurations. You must contact the manufacturer of the drive chassis to ask them how to hook it up. Most NEW (2010 - present) RAID chassis only use a single cable to a host adaptor card. The early chassis, that worked with products like the Areca 1221x required both cables. You can find out very quickly, by just hooking up one cable, and see how many drives show up in the MRAID utility. But call the company that makes the chassis - do not rely on these forums for your information.

Bob Zelin



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 8, 2012 at 12:18:25 am

Enclosures with MiniSAS connectivity and without a SAS expander built in, require a standard 4-lane MiniSAS connector for each 4 drives. So two cables are required for your Enhance 8-bay E800MS box as long as you have more than 4 drives in it.

Enclosures with a SAS expander built-in (most of the boxes with more than 8 bays; some 8-bay boxes) require only one cable.

(On a side note: some advanced expanders can still use two cables to create a so called "wide" port for increased throughput.)

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Integrator
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Aug 9, 2012 at 3:52:40 pm

Just to keep this updated incase anybody else is reading with the same issues, here's where I'm at now.

After testing a second 1882x adapter and moving to an OS10.7 based Mac Pro the issue persisted. We then deleted the RAID 6 volume and created two four disk RAID 5 arrays, both were slow reads.

We then deleted the RAID 5's and created individual pass through disks and tested each drive individually within the Enclosure and average read speeds remained much lower than expected, around 50% of the write speeds. We also tried a WD Cavair drive and that performed the same.

Upon closer inspection of the read data what was actually happening was that all the drives were constantly fluctuating between very low reads below 10 MB/s and then higher speed reads around 130MB/s resulting in the average speeds of around 60 MB/s.

The supplier of the kit has asked me to return it for further investigation, I'll keep you updated as to what happens.

Paul.


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Jeremiah Belt
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 5, 2012 at 7:42:10 pm

Would love to hear any updates on this issue. I have a new 1882i PCIE3 on a PC. In a RAID 5 config with currently 7 WD Black Caviar 1TB 7200rpm SATA 6Gb drives (waiting an RMA on the 8th drive) attached to the card internally. I'm getting great write speeds but sporadic read speeds. The writes usually hover around 800-1000MB's but the reads are strange....they have a slow ramp up to speed in multiple stages over a few seconds....then at speed I get readings of 650MBs or 400MBs average depending on what benchmark is used. If you look at the details its' wildly all over the place, 2000,MBs to 3000MBs on one read then the very next reading is 140MBs or 450MBs. Sometimes dropping under the 100MBs mark. Every reading is this way ping ponging to thousands of MBs and then low hundreds every other read. Not consistant at all. Tried every setting and am at a loss. Each drive passed the WD extended Surface scan and is on the same firmware. Any help or suggestions would be great.


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rob curley
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 23, 2012 at 1:19:51 pm

I have exactly the same issue. Installed the 1882x in a 2009 MacPro/Lion and an iStoragePro 8Bay miniSAS with 3TB Ultrastars.
The Config. is RAID 6.
I get a fast spike write at 1000 MBs and read flounders a 500MBs. I've emailed Areca, waiting for a reply.
There seems to be alot of ppl with this issue


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 24, 2012 at 2:16:24 am

The latest update is that Areca was able to replicate the issue; it's the firmware thing; they need to figure out what's causing the problem and then roll out an update.

Not time frame yet.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 29, 2012 at 8:39:37 pm

I posted a resolution to my problem but it's in the wrong place in the reply list, check my blog post and see if that helps you at all.

http://www.pauljoy.com/2012/08/mac-pro-raid-setup/


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Roberto Munoz
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 29, 2012 at 11:54:41 pm

Hi guys,

I also have an Areca 1882x, Proavio Editbox 8 and 3 WD caviar black 2 TB disks. I run AJA, and the system peaks at 360 MB/s, but it's intermittent and ca go down to 250 MB/s. I updated the firmware, followed Paul Joy's advices, but still no solution to the problem.

I'm using the WD caviar black as a test, but then I would like to fill the entire rack. Should I buy another set of drives?

Thanks in advance.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 30, 2012 at 12:34:23 am

[Roberto Munoz] "I'm using the WD caviar black as a test, but then I would like to fill the entire rack. Should I buy another set of drives?"

Certainly, except not the Black Caviars - they're not qualified for parity RAIDs. I'd look at HGST 7K4000 or 7K3000. The enterprise class versions (Ultrastars) are the only drives out there with both a 2m hrs MTBF and a 5-year warranty.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 30, 2012 at 12:25:09 am

[Paul Joy] "I posted a resolution to my problem but it's in the wrong place in the reply list, check my blog post and see if that helps you at all."

Paul,

The solution was to return the array, have the vendor tinker with it and return back to you fixed? I couldn't find anything else resembling a solution on your page.


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Paul Joy
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 30, 2012 at 7:57:02 am

The solution for me was simply the settings provided by Areca and I have attached screenshots of every page from the admin at the bottom of the page on my blog. Of course if your using different hardware it might not work for you.

http://www.pauljoy.com/2012/08/mac-pro-raid-setup/


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Sep 30, 2012 at 8:02:45 am

Thanks Paul, found it.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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John Roesli
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Oct 6, 2012 at 3:52:07 am

FWIW, so setting up a scratch RAID 0 with Areca 1882X and external CineRAID Enclosure ( 6 x 2TB). Installed the 1882X in PCIe Slot 3
of Mac Pro 5,1, running 4x at 5.0 GT/s got some outrageous read numbers like 4.5 GBytes per second and write number
around .9 to 1.2 GBytes per second. Then read that the 1882X is an 8 lane card so move it to Slot 2 and it comes up as
2.5 GT/s x8 set up same RAID 0 and numbers were average 800 - 900 MBytes per second for both read and write, with write
maybe just a bit slower. Firmware and BOOT ROM are version 1.51 date August 8th, 2012. Moved the card back to Slot 3 and
building a RAID 50 overnight tonight, will see how it goes.


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John Roesli
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Oct 6, 2012 at 5:07:59 pm

Okay so RAID 50 running AJA with disk cache disabled averaging 500 to 600 MB for write and
300 to 400 for read, without disk cache disabled writes are about the same, but read goes
up to 4.3 GBps Running Blackmagic matches the AJA benchmark with cache disabled except
read speeds are a bit slower.


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John Roesli
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Oct 8, 2012 at 6:10:24 pm

Update: Rebuilt a RAID 5 and matched Paul Joy settings. Verified using the 1.3.5 driver from ML. Using
V1.51 Firmware and Boot ROM dated 2012-08-08. Only difference I could see is an option for PCIe 3.0, which I disabled and moved the card back to slot 2 voila, x8 at 5.0 GT/s, not sure that is what did it, but
it's there now. Verified the CineRAID uses 2 x 4 drive channels. Using 6 x 2TB Seagate for the RAID 5. Here is the result from AJA system test.
<a href='http://images.creativecow.net/244410/screen-capture.png'><img src='//i1.creativecow.net/u/244410/screen-capture.png' border='0' /></a>


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rob curley
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Oct 11, 2012 at 11:34:20 am

Well thank you Paul Joy. I now have my 8bay Istorage pro screaming with Raid 6 and 850MBs/900MBs read/write


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rob curley
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Jan 24, 2013 at 6:10:56 am

This card may be screaming but getting it to work with any low latency needs is ....well I haven't


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Vincent Robinson
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Feb 14, 2013 at 7:04:01 am

This will be a wordy post, but this thread, and this forum, seem by far the most apropos for my situation of any source I've found in scouring the web. Thanks in advance if you make it all the way through.

I'm using a similar setup to folks here, but am a little further back in process due to a very strange issue. The setup is a Mac Pro 1,1 with a pristine install of 10.6.8, an ARC-1882x and a 24-bay SAS-expander enclosure. The enclosure is powered by an ARC-8026, with 6 internal connections to each of the 6 rows of 4 disks apiece. Populated the enclosure with brand new WDC Red drives (2TB, 3 yr warranty -- not desktop, but not entirely enterprise either; best I could do on a non-profit budget). Connection from host is with a single mini-SAS cable, as you'd expect.

First spinup, all drives seen by the host card. Initialized a test array (RAID 5) using all 24 disks. After perhaps 5 minutes of an unresponsive interface (the Areca web interface everyone's familiar with), found the raid set created, but controller had marked 6 drives as "failed." Seemed incredible that fully 1/6th of a batch of newly minted drives could truly be bad. Tried swapping drives to different bay positions, marked everything as "unfailed," power cycled, etc. and got the same result. After several variations with the same outcome, noticed a bizarre pattern: failures were always at same position: the left-most drive of each row (enclosure has 4 columns, 6 rows) would always "fail." Could, in the end, successfully create an 18 drive RAID 5 volume if I avoided the 1st column of drives (1 per row -- also 1 per backplane subcontroller). Filled that volume to the brim with test data without any issues. Tried setting the recalcitrant 6 as pass-throughs, each still failed out.

I've been talking with Areca, an Areca distributor, and the enclosure manufacturer, all of whom have been reasonably responsive -- but no one has had a clear answer. I've tried a second ARC-1882x with the same results. I'm now in the midst of trying to bypass the enclosure's ARC-8026 (sas-expander controller) and connect the ARC-1882x directly to each backplane sets (4 drives each), one at a time. So far (2 tests of 6 available rows of drives), it's working (i.e., can intialize and read & write to the resulting RAID 5 volumes). If that pattern persists, it points to the ARC-8026 in the enclosure.

But -- has anyone come across anything remotely like this? It's strange -- and as you can imagine, been frustrating and incredibly time consuming.

thanks,

Vincent


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Feb 14, 2013 at 7:21:19 pm

[Vincent Robinson] "But -- has anyone come across anything remotely like this? It's strange -- and as you can imagine, been frustrating and incredibly time consuming."

Not me - and yes, I can only imagine. Congrats on pinpointing the culprit (expander).


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Vincent Robinson
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:04:28 pm

As it stands, I *hope* it's the expander controller, though I can't see that it's anything else at this point. It's just such a strange -- and consistent -- pattern that I'm worried it's a very obscure incompatibility rather than a bad board. But if so, I'd be pretty surprised, since were talking about (essentially), an Areca-to-Areca communication. It does underscore that these systems are not off-the-shelf combinations, and hence the role of folks who do higher-end configuration regularly. The cost in my time, unfortunately, would have paid for the difference. Couldn't have known that, though -- felt I'd done due diligence, in terms of research.

Thank you for the response. I'll update this when I have a more definitive conclusion.

Vincent


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:08:06 pm

[Vincent Robinson] "It's just such a strange -- and consistent -- pattern that I'm worried it's a very obscure incompatibility rather than a bad board."

My client uses ARC-1882x, CR-16E (which uses your expander) and 12 WD Reds in RAID6 - for about three weeks now. Tested the hell out of them too - was worried about WD Reds not being certified for sets larger than five drives. So far so good.

These controllers and expanders are in a lot of arrays all over the place so if this was a consistent problem, we'd have heard of it.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Vincent Robinson
Re: troubles with Areca 1882x and RAID array
on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:56:04 am

Thank you, Alex. Yes, I'd have hoped to have run across this issue if it were common to this combination, so it's heartening to hear of at least one specific instance where they're working well (and your client's setup is indeed *very* similar to mine -- only real difference would seem to be the backplane, but I think I've established that's not the issue in my case).

Vincent


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