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OCZ Z-Drive R4 Installation and Performance

In a previous post I mentioned how we had purchased 11 300GB OCZ Z-Drive R4 PCIe-SSD cards. (Please note that this was a special case purchase--the cards didn't meet any specific requirements we had other than that they were easily available, PCIe-SSD, and low profile.)

We bought the low profile version because these drives are going into the Supermicro SC847E16-R1400LPB chassis (the subject of future posts), which have room for seven low profile cards. I believe the full height zdrive R4s are faster, so this is a compromise.

Installation

Each of our servers is going to get one zdrive. I placed them in a x8 slot.

Once the OS is up and installed (these cards are not bootable, ie. the OS can't be installed onto the cards) the proprietary kernel module needs to be loaded.

There is an installation guide.

I'm running Centos 6.2 on these servers.

# cat /etc/redhat-release 
CentOS release 6.2 (Final)
# uname -a
Linux ocz_server 2.6.32-220.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Tue Dec 6 19:48:22 GMT 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


I'm using the:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x, CentOS 6.x 64-bit   1.0.0.1480  Mar 2, 2012

version of the driver.

When that tar file is downloaded and unzipped all there is inside is the ocz10xx.ko kernel module.

# wget http://www.oczenterprise.com/files/drivers/OCZ%20RHEL-Centos_6.x_64-Bit_r1480.tar.gz 
--2012-05-08 21:40:23--  http://www.oczenterprise.com/files/drivers/OCZ%20RHEL-Centos_6.x_64-Bit_r1480.tar.gz
Resolving www.oczenterprise.com... 74.52.187.58
Connecting to www.oczenterprise.com|74.52.187.58|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 4072553 (3.9M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: “OCZ RHEL-Centos_6.x_64-Bit_r1480.tar.gz”

100%[======================================>] 4,072,553   1.03M/s   in 4.0s    

2012-05-08 21:40:27 (991 KB/s) - “OCZ RHEL-Centos_6.x_64-Bit_r1480.tar.gz” saved [4072553/4072553]

# tar zxvf OCZ\ RHEL-Centos_6.x_64-Bit_r1480.tar.gz 
ocz10xx.ko

which can be loaded by:

# insmod ocz10xx.ko
# lsmod | grep ocz
ocz10xx               479350  1 

When that module is loaded the following is reported to dmesg:

ocz10xx: module license 'Proprietary' taints kernel.
Disabling lock debugging due to kernel taint
ocz10xx module is older than RHEL 6.2 ... applying fixups
  alloc irq_desc for 26 on node -1
  alloc kstat_irqs on node -1
ocz10xx 0000:07:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 26 (level, low) -> IRQ 26
ocz10xx 0000:07:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
OCZ Storage Controller is found, using IRQ 26, driver version 2.0.0.1480.
OCZ Linux driver ocz10xx, driver version 2.0.0.1480.
OCZ DRIVE LEVEL=OCZ_FAST, STATE=ONLINE
scsi5 : OCZ Storage Controller
scsi 5:0:126:0: Direct-Access     ATA      OCZ Z-DRIVE R4 C 2.15 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
sd 5:0:126:0: Attached scsi generic sg8 type 0
sd 5:0:126:0: [sdg] 586135549 512-byte logical blocks: (300 GB/279 GiB)
sd 5:0:126:0: [sdg] Write Protect is off
sd 5:0:126:0: [sdg] Mode Sense: 41 00 00 00
sd 5:0:126:0: [sdg] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
 sdg: unknown partition table
sd 5:0:126:0: [sdg] Attached SCSI disk

and I now have a /dev/sdg to use.

Loading the kernel module at boot

First, let me say that I don't have a lot of experience with kernel modules. I'm hoping that if I've made a mistake that someone will alert me in the comments. Or perhaps I missed where this is documented by OCZ.

Running insmod is great for the first time one tries out the zdrive, but what happens after a reboot?

Usually kernel modules go in /lib/modules/uname -r but this module doesn't seem to be tied to a particular kernel version. While I could put it in that directory, each time I get a new kernel I'd have to move it. This would not be good for maintainability. Assuming the module works with all 6.x kernels--which is what the OCZ drivers page suggests--it should be Ok to put this module in a more permanent location.

What I did was build and RPM with three files:

# rpm -qf /etc/depmod.d/ocz-zdrive-r4.conf 
ocz-zdrive-r4-r1480-2.el6.x86_64
# rpm -qf /etc/modprobe.d/ocz-zdrive-r4.conf 
ocz-zdrive-r4-r1480-2.el6.x86_64
# rpm -qf /usr/share/ocz-zdrive-r4/module/ocz10xx.ko 
ocz-zdrive-r4-r1480-2.el6.x86_64

The .conf files contain:

# cat /etc/depmod.d/ocz-zdrive-r4.conf 
search /usr/share/ocz-zdrive-r4/module
# cat /etc/modprobe.d/ocz-zdrive-r4.conf 
alias ocz10xx ocz

which will ensure that the ocz10xx.ko module is loaded with all the other kernel modules, so that you can put file systems on the zdrive into fstab and have them mounted at boot:

# uptime
 23:05:24 up 15 min,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.02, 0.00
# lsmod | grep ocz
ocz10xx               479350  1 
# mount | grep ocz
/dev/mapper/ocz-test on /mnt/ocz-xfs-test type xfs (rw)
# cat /etc/fstab | grep ocz
/dev/mapper/ocz-test /mnt/ocz-xfs-test          xfs    defaults        1

Please let me know if there is something wrong with the methodology. :)

Performance testing

As I've said before, good performance testing is hard to do. All I can really do at this point is run the same tests that FusionIO (GAH! Behind a support login now! Bad FusionIO, bad!) suggests running on their drives.

%{color:red}WARNING:% The write tests will destroy data on the drive!

%{color:blue}NOTE:% A little bird told me that you need to run the write tests first, otherwise the flash drive--if it's empty--may (depending on the vendor, perhaps) know it's empty and return zeroes and you'll be testing RAM instead of the card.

Write bandwidth test

# fio --filename=/dev/sdg --direct=1 --rw=randwrite --bs=1m \
--size=5G --numjobs=4 --runtime=10 --group_reporting --name=file1
file1: (g=0): rw=randwrite, bs=1M-1M/1M-1M, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
...
file1: (g=0): rw=randwrite, bs=1M-1M/1M-1M, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
fio 2.0.7
Starting 4 processes
Jobs: 4 (f=4): [wwww] [100.0% done] [0K/1021M /s] [0 /974  iops] [eta 00m:00s]
file1: (groupid=0, jobs=4): err= 0: pid=2444
  write: io=9281.0MB, bw=948572KB/s, iops=926 , runt= 10019msec
    clat (usec): min=679 , max=81086 , avg=4111.26, stdev=4974.85
     lat (usec): min=848 , max=81251 , avg=4313.21, stdev=4974.67
    clat percentiles (usec):
     |  1.00th=[ 1704],  5.00th=[ 1928], 10.00th=[ 2064], 20.00th=[ 2672],
     | 30.00th=[ 2736], 40.00th=[ 2800], 50.00th=[ 2960], 60.00th=[ 3408],
     | 70.00th=[ 3568], 80.00th=[ 3760], 90.00th=[ 4960], 95.00th=[ 9664],
     | 99.00th=[35584], 99.50th=[36608], 99.90th=[38144], 99.95th=[38656],
     | 99.99th=[81408]
    bw (KB/s)  : min=139912, max=273338, per=25.14%, avg=238498.74, stdev=28729.62
    lat (usec) : 750=0.09%, 1000=0.03%
    lat (msec) : 2=8.60%, 4=76.87%, 10=9.69%, 20=2.80%, 50=1.90%
    lat (msec) : 100=0.03%
  cpu          : usr=4.53%, sys=2.98%, ctx=9287, majf=0, minf=120
  IO depths    : 1=100.0%, 2=0.0%, 4=0.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     submit    : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     complete  : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     issued    : total=r=0/w=9281/d=0, short=r=0/w=0/d=0

Run status group 0 (all jobs):
  WRITE: io=9281.0MB, aggrb=948572KB/s, minb=948572KB/s, maxb=948572KB/s, mint=10019msec, maxt=10019msec

Disk stats (read/write):
  sdg: ios=83/18421, merge=578/0, ticks=13/69730, in_queue=69712, util=99.21%

Read IOPS test

# fio --filename=/dev/sdg --direct=1 --rw=randread --bs=4k \
--size=5G --numjobs=64 --runtime=10 --group_reporting --name=file1
file1: (g=0): rw=randread, bs=4K-4K/4K-4K, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
...
file1: (g=0): rw=randread, bs=4K-4K/4K-4K, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
fio 2.0.7
Starting 64 processes
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr]
 [100.0% done] [374.1M/0K /s] [91.4K/0  iops] [eta 00m:00s]
file1: (groupid=0, jobs=64): err= 0: pid=2465
  read : io=3589.4MB, bw=367442KB/s, iops=91860 , runt= 10003msec
    clat (usec): min=100 , max=283036 , avg=693.42, stdev=1539.29
     lat (usec): min=101 , max=283036 , avg=693.61, stdev=1539.29
    clat percentiles (usec):
     |  1.00th=[  262],  5.00th=[  378], 10.00th=[  438], 20.00th=[  506],
     | 30.00th=[  556], 40.00th=[  604], 50.00th=[  652], 60.00th=[  700],
     | 70.00th=[  756], 80.00th=[  828], 90.00th=[  948], 95.00th=[ 1064],
     | 99.00th=[ 1400], 99.50th=[ 1592], 99.90th=[ 2288], 99.95th=[ 2832],
     | 99.99th=[56064]
    bw (KB/s)  : min=  816, max= 7032, per=1.55%, avg=5706.40, stdev=599.67
    lat (usec) : 250=0.81%, 500=17.90%, 750=50.29%, 1000=23.77%
    lat (msec) : 2=7.05%, 4=0.16%, 10=0.01%, 20=0.01%, 50=0.01%
    lat (msec) : 100=0.01%, 250=0.01%, 500=0.01%
  cpu          : usr=0.56%, sys=6.49%, ctx=919527, majf=0, minf=2240
  IO depths    : 1=100.0%, 2=0.0%, 4=0.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     submit    : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     complete  : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     issued    : total=r=918880/w=0/d=0, short=r=0/w=0/d=0

Run status group 0 (all jobs):
   READ: io=3589.4MB, aggrb=367441KB/s, minb=367441KB/s, maxb=367441KB/s, mint=10003msec, maxt=10003msec

Disk stats (read/write):
  sdg: ios=914696/0, merge=0/0, ticks=612829/0, in_queue=607382, util=98.84%

Read bandwidth test

# fio --filename=/dev/sdg --direct=1 --rw=randread --bs=1m --size=5G \
 --numjobs=4 --runtime=10 --group_reporting --name=file1
file1: (g=0): rw=randread, bs=1M-1M/1M-1M, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
...
file1: (g=0): rw=randread, bs=1M-1M/1M-1M, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
fio 2.0.7
Starting 4 processes
Jobs: 4 (f=4): [rrrr] [100.0% done] [1599M/0K /s] [1524 /0  iops] [eta 00m:00s]
file1: (groupid=0, jobs=4): err= 0: pid=2543
  read : io=16475MB, bw=1647.2MB/s, iops=1647 , runt= 10002msec
    clat (usec): min=828 , max=79515 , avg=2423.79, stdev=1154.98
     lat (usec): min=828 , max=79515 , avg=2424.04, stdev=1154.98
    clat percentiles (usec):
     |  1.00th=[ 1528],  5.00th=[ 1768], 10.00th=[ 1912], 20.00th=[ 2064],
     | 30.00th=[ 2160], 40.00th=[ 2256], 50.00th=[ 2320], 60.00th=[ 2416],
     | 70.00th=[ 2544], 80.00th=[ 2736], 90.00th=[ 2992], 95.00th=[ 3280],
     | 99.00th=[ 3856], 99.50th=[ 4128], 99.90th=[ 6176], 99.95th=[13120],
     | 99.99th=[78336]
    bw (KB/s)  : min=369211, max=526336, per=25.10%, avg=423322.49, stdev=33254.52
    lat (usec) : 1000=0.18%
    lat (msec) : 2=14.73%, 4=84.40%, 10=0.63%, 20=0.04%, 100=0.02%
  cpu          : usr=0.19%, sys=5.89%, ctx=16488, majf=0, minf=1151
  IO depths    : 1=100.0%, 2=0.0%, 4=0.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     submit    : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     complete  : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     issued    : total=r=16475/w=0/d=0, short=r=0/w=0/d=0

Run status group 0 (all jobs):
   READ: io=16475MB, aggrb=1647.2MB/s, minb=1647.2MB/s, maxb=1647.2MB/s, mint=10002msec, maxt=10002msec

Disk stats (read/write):
  sdg: ios=32621/0, merge=0/0, ticks=71360/0, in_queue=71316, util=99.09%

Write IOPS test

# fio --filename=/dev/sdg --direct=1 --rw=randwrite --bs=4k --size=5G \
--numjobs=64 --runtime=10 --group_reporting --name=file
file: (g=0): rw=randwrite, bs=4K-4K/4K-4K, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
...
file: (g=0): rw=randwrite, bs=4K-4K/4K-4K, ioengine=sync, iodepth=1
fio 2.0.7
Starting 64 processes
Jobs: 64 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 
 64 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwJobs: 64
 (f=64): [wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww] 
[100.0% done] [0K/408.8M /s] [0 /99.8K iops] [eta 00m:00s]
file: (groupid=0, jobs=64): err= 0: pid=2556
  write: io=3670.1MB, bw=374777KB/s, iops=93694 , runt= 10030msec
    clat (usec): min=40 , max=302579 , avg=677.08, stdev=1765.33
     lat (usec): min=40 , max=302580 , avg=678.03, stdev=1765.34
    clat percentiles (usec):
     |  1.00th=[  117],  5.00th=[  390], 10.00th=[  450], 20.00th=[  506],
     | 30.00th=[  548], 40.00th=[  580], 50.00th=[  620], 60.00th=[  652],
     | 70.00th=[  692], 80.00th=[  748], 90.00th=[  820], 95.00th=[  892],
     | 99.00th=[ 1064], 99.50th=[ 1144], 99.90th=[31616], 99.95th=[32640],
     | 99.99th=[33536]
    bw (KB/s)  : min= 2208, max= 9448, per=1.56%, avg=5834.54, stdev=562.51
    lat (usec) : 50=0.25%, 100=0.58%, 250=1.49%, 500=16.44%, 750=62.05%
    lat (usec) : 1000=16.98%
    lat (msec) : 2=1.91%, 4=0.06%, 10=0.09%, 20=0.02%, 50=0.11%
    lat (msec) : 100=0.01%, 250=0.01%, 500=0.01%
  cpu          : usr=0.68%, sys=6.54%, ctx=942753, majf=0, minf=2070
  IO depths    : 1=100.0%, 2=0.0%, 4=0.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     submit    : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     complete  : 0=0.0%, 4=100.0%, 8=0.0%, 16=0.0%, 32=0.0%, 64=0.0%, >=64=0.0%
     issued    : total=r=0/w=939753/d=0, short=r=0/w=0/d=0

Run status group 0 (all jobs):
  WRITE: io=3670.1MB, aggrb=374776KB/s, minb=374776KB/s, maxb=374776KB/s, mint=10030msec, maxt=10030msec

Disk stats (read/write):
  sdg: ios=609/926539, merge=2759/0, ticks=337/599297, in_queue=594561, util=99.08%

Conclusion

From a cursory look these drives seem to perform well. At least when they are brand new. :) We'll see how they perform over time.

If anyone would like to see specific tests, please let me know.


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