Ubuntu 15.04 - Multipath Problem PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozan Uzun   

Currently I am working on a PLinux/Ubuntu- IBM Flashsystems/820 proof of concept.

I already knew that multipath was broken on version 14.04

I started with Ubuntu v15.04.  Bad decision:)


Power 822L server has 4 FC Adapters installed, and I need to push the system to the limit.

FlashSystem supports max 500K random read iops. I would like to see about ~400K with multipath,LVM and FS overhead.

I need all of the 4 FC paths to achieve my target.



Actually it is a long story but:


My first testbed was Ubuntu 15.04, using the recommended multipath.conf multibus conf. (official documentation)


- Multipath-deamon only uses half of the FC (2 of 4)

If I unplug 2 active FC cables paths-it fails

If I unplug 2 in-active FC cables, multipath uses 1 of 2 (what the!!?)


- I can not set queue_depth value


- Forced multipath over 4 Paths with LVM stripe and mdadm stripe

Seq. read is ok (3.2GB/s limit), random iops is limited at ~200K.

No matter what I tried, I could not get any satisfying results with multipath.


- Created 4 different file systems on 4 LV Volumes, played with LVM conf.

random read iops max ~260K


- Disabled multipath, used 4 different LUNS, over 4 different cables ( 1 LUN access from each cable-4 total)

Not used LVM. Magic happens- 450K read random iops.


Last two options are just for testing, and is not acceptable.



Upgraded to 15.10, relieved:)


- Created a VG, consists 4 disks, 4 way striped LVM (64K),one file system.

Random 4K IOPS ~390K, @0.6 ms - Seq. Read 3.2GB/s


- Now I can set the queue_depth higher (I was hitting the limit), changed the I/O scheduler to deadline.



A quick note or two:


ext4 performs slightly better than the XFS. mount options really helps.


I could not find a sensible way to monitor FC adapter throughput.


The Linux tools such as iostat, sar, etc. are block device based and not scsi address (h:c:t:l) nor storage type nor storage topology aware.



You can check the queues on Linux;*


cat $(echo /proc/scsi/sg/device{_hdr,s}


host chan id lun type opens qdepth busy online
3         0     0 12     0        1       32        5           1










host host number (indexes 'hosts' table, origin 0)

chan channel number of device

id SCSI id of device

lun Logical Unit number of device

type SCSI type (e.g. 0->disk, 5->cdrom, 6->scanner)

opens number of opens (by sd, sr, sr and sg) at this time

depth maximum queue depth supported by device

busy number of commands being processed by host for this device

online 1 indicates device is in normal online state, 0->offline



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