The question for today is – does Linux md-RAID scale to 10 Gbit/s?
I wanted to build a proof of concept for a scalable, highly available, fault tolerant, distributed block storage, which utilizes commodity hardware, runs on a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, and uses well-tested open-source technologies. This is a simplified version of Ceph. The only single point of failure in this cluster is the client itself, which is inevitable in any solution.
My test lab is hosted on AWS:
- 3x “c4.8xlarge” storage servers
- each of them has 5x 50 GB General Purpose (SSD) EBS attached volumes which provide up to 160 MiB/s and 3000 IOPS for extended periods of time; practical tests shown 100 MB/s sustained sequential read/write performance per volume
- each EBS volume is managed via LVM and there is one logical volume with size 15 GB
- each 15 GB logical volume is being exported by iSCSI to the client machine
- 1x “c4.8xlarge” client machine
- the client machine initiates an iSCSI connection to each single 15 GB logical volume, and thus has 15 identical iSCSI block devices (3 storage servers x 5 block devices = 15 block devices)
- to achieve a 3x replication factor, the block devices from each storage server are grouped into 5x mdadm software RAID-1 (mirror) devices; each RAID-1 device “md1″ to “md5″ contains three disks from a different storage server, so that if one or two of the storage servers fail, this won’t affect the operation of the whole RAID-1 device
- all RAID-1 devices “md1″ to “md5″ are grouped into a single RAID-0 (stripe), in order to utilize the full bandwidth of all devices into a single block device, namely the “md99″ RAID-0 device, which also combines the size capacity of all “md1″ to “md5″ devices and it equals to 75 GB
- 10 Gigabit network in a VPC using Jumbo frames
- the storage servers and the client machine were limited on boot to 4 CPUs and 2 GB RAM, in order to minimize the effect of the Linux disk cache
- only sequential and random reading were benchmarked
- Linux md RAID-1 (mirror) does not read from all underlying disks by default, so I had to create a RAID-1E (mirror) configuration; more info here and here; the “mdadm create” options follow:
--level=10 --raid-devices=3 --layout=o3 Continue reading