[tech] Dead disk in Molmol

Bob Adamson bob at ucc.asn.au
Sun Mar 3 15:21:02 AWST 2019

Hi All,

I think we should look for something a bit more enterprisey for this task,
since it is such a critical component - this machine hosts a lot of club and
member VM storage, as well as clubroom desktop home directories. Given the
issues we seem to be having with speeds, I don't think we should skimp on
disks this time around.

This page, though from 2014, details how we might check the performance of
SSD's as a Ceph journaling device, which (aiui) uses synchronous writes
similar to the requirements of NFS on ZFS:
-suitable-as-a-journal-device/ . The results are somewhat scant, but what is
apparent is the order of magnitude in speed difference between consumer and
enterprise SSDs for this use.

Despite having many bays on the front, molmol only supports 8 SAS disks, 2
SATA3 disks, and 4 SATA2 disks. The 8 SAS ports are taken up by spinning
disks at the moment, and the 2 SATA3 ports are used by the system/SLOG
disks. There's really no point in using the SATA2 ports due to their speed.
The mobo is a supermicro x9srh-7tf , so it has 1xPCIe 3.0 x16 slot and
1xPCIe 3.0 x8 slot. Given that the mobo has 10G ethernet onboard, I think
both of those slots should be free. The case itself is 2RU, so we could
support 2 low profile PCIe SSD cards. 

Anyway, what I'm thinking is to replace the failing system disk with another
similar SSD, then chuck a single, fast, PCIe SSD in it for the SLOG and
L2ARC only. If it fails, aiui we don't have a corrupt file system, we just
lose the last 5 seconds of data (correct me if I'm wrong here?). This is
based on a few google results, like

$409 plus delivery for an Intel Optane 900P:

Plus $90 to replace the failed system disk with a 250GB 860EVO:

$15 delivery
$514 total


I'm happy to order it, just approve it at a committee meeting (or outside of
one via circular) and let me know.

Thanks, Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: tech-bounces+bob=ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au at ucc.asn.au
<tech-bounces+bob=ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au at ucc.asn.au> On Behalf Of David Adam
Sent: Saturday, 2 March 2019 9:27 PM
To: tech at ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
Subject: [tech] Dead disk in Molmol

Hi all,

Molmol has dropped one of its SSDs:

Feb 26 14:15:10 molmol kernel: ahcich1: Timeout on slot 25 port 0 Feb 26
14:15:10 molmol kernel: ahcich1: is 00000000 cs 02000000 ss 00000000 rs
02000000 tfd c0 serr 00000000 cmd 0004d917 Feb 26 14:15:10 molmol kernel:
(ada1:ahcich1:0:0:0): FLUSHCACHE48. ACB: ea 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00
Feb 26 14:30:34 molmol kernel: (ada1:ahcich1:0:0:0): CAM status: Command
timeout Feb 26 14:30:34 molmol kernel: (ada1:ahcich1:0:0:0): Retrying
command Feb 26 14:30:34 molmol kernel: ahcich1: AHCI reset: device not ready
after 31000ms (tfd = 00000080)

It's detached from the bus and won't reattach.

The device is a Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series DXM05B0Q (s/n S1ATNSAD864731A)
- note that there are two of these in the machine! I'm not sure whether it
is hotpluggable or not.

This SSD was providing one half of the SLOG mirror [1] and a RAID partition
for the root filesystem. The other half is provided by the other Samsung 840

zfs pool status:

	NAME                             STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
	  mirror-4                       DEGRADED     0     0     0
	    5535644740799039914          REMOVED      0     0     0  was
	    gpt/molmol-slog0             ONLINE       0     0     0

Checking status of gmirror(8) devices:
           Name    Status  Components
mirror/gmirror0  DEGRADED  ada0p2 (ACTIVE)

If one has gone, I suspect the other is not far behind (SLOG devices do a
lot of writing), so it is probably worth replacing at least one and possibly

This may be part of why performance has tanked recently (although I have no
evidence to support this statement).

They don't need to be big - we're currently using 80 GB of the 256 GB disk
- but they do need to be reliable and fast. I have zero idea what the best
part to pick is; any thoughts?

David Adam
UCC Wheel Member


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