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CUSTOMER ADVISORY: (REVISED) HP Enterprise Virtual Array Transfer Size Tuning Option With Latest HBA Drivers on Windows

SUPPORT COMMUNICATION -

Document ID: c02518189

Version: 5

CUSTOMER ADVISORY: (REVISED) HP Enterprise Virtual Array Transfer Size Tuning Option With Latest HBA Drivers on Windows

Release Date: 2015-03-12

Last Updated: 2015-03-12


DESCRIPTION

Revision Table
Version
Date
Details
5
10 March 2015
A note was added to the Description section regarding operating systems this advisory applies to.
4
21 March 2012
The HP P6000 Enterprise Virtual Array Systems product series was added to the Scope and Hardware or Software Products Affected sections.
3
1 March 2012
The Emulex driver versions were updated.
2
8 April 2011
Added Brocade HBA Driver to “Description” and “Resolutions” sections.
1
20 September 2010
Original release.

HP Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) performance and related host I/O latencies can be affected by complex random and sequential workloads that the HP EVA is processing. SAN performance depends on many factors including workload patterns, application tuning, server and SAN hardware, host bus adapter (HBA) driver settings, switch settings, and storage array capabilities and configuration.

With Windows 2003 and the initial release of Windows 2008 and the related Emulex and QLogic HBAs and drivers, sequential workloads may result in the maximum default data transfer or block size received by the EVA of 512 KB. Given a sufficient workload demand on the EVA, including one or more hosts and applications, and default HBA queue depths of 32, the host I/O latencies might be higher than desired. One tuning option available with the HBA drivers is to tune the HBA queue depth to lower values. Workload latencies, throughput and IOPs may see improvements with reduced queue depth values as the demand on the EVA would be less, resulting in better latency response times. Another option, now available with the latest release of the Emulex and Qlogic HBA drivers, allows the ability to tune the data transfer size to values smaller than the default of 512 KB. The latest release of the Brocade HBA driver allows the ability to tune the data transfer size to values smaller than the default of 2048 KB.

This advisory does NOT apply to Windows 2012, Windows 2012 R2, or later versions.

SCOPE

Products affected by this customer advisory are as follows:

  • HP 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array

  • HP 6400/8400 Enterprise Virtual Array

  • HP 4000/6000/8000 Enterprise Virtual Array

  • HP 4100/6100/8100 Enterprise Virtual Array

  • HP 3000/5000 Enterprise Virtual Array

  • HP P6000 Enterprise Virtual Array Systems

RESOLUTION

The Emulex and Qlogic drivers have been enhanced to allow the ability to optionally tune the data transfer size to less than 512 kbytes. The Brocade driver has been enhanced to allow the ability to optionally tune the data transfer size to less than 2048 kbytes. The Smart Components for these components can be located on the HP website at www.hp.com .

Emulex Driver

Emulex driver version 2.42.002 or later, along with OneCommand Manager version 5.1.53.2 or later, have been enhanced to allow the ability to optionally tune the data transfer size to less than 512 KB. OneCommand is used to modify the maximum data transfer size. Emulex has added a new parameter, LimTransferSize , which operates in conjunction with the ExtTransferSize parameter to increase the selectable range of the maximum transfer sizes. Both the LimTransferSize and ExtTransferSize parameters are available at the server level and also at the port level, which allows the data transfer size to be selected on a per HBA port or Mezzanine port basis. The new range of data transfer size values are as follows: 64 KB, 128 KB, 256 KB, 512 KB, 1 MB, and 2 MB. The data transfer size functionality is available for both the fibre channel (FC) and fibre channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols as follows.

  1. LimTransferSize valid values:

    • 0 = default: This enables the value selected via the ExtTransferSize parameter to become the maximum transfer size allowed by the driver.

    • 1 = 64kbytes — maximum transfer size allowed by the driver

    • 2 = 128kbytes — maximum transfer size allowed by the driver

    • 3 = 256kbytes — maximum transfer size allowed by the driver

  2. ExtTransferSize valid values:

    • 0 = default, 512kbytes — maximum transfer size allowed by the driver

    • 1 = 1 Mbyte — maximum transfer size allowed by the driver

    • 2 = 2 Mbytes — maximum transfer size allowed by the driver

Examples to tune the server or port level transfer size:

  • 128 kbytes, set the LimTransferSize = 2 and ExtTransferSize = 0 (default)

  • 512 kbytes, set the LimTransferSize = 0 (default) and ExtTransferSize = 0 (default)

  • 1 Mbytes, set the LimTransferSize = 0 (default) and ExtTransferSize = 1

QLogic Driver

QLogic driver, version 9.1.8.28 or later, has been enhanced to allow the ability to optionally tune the data transfer size to less than 512 KB.

The command line utility, \Program Files\hp\qlogic\qlfc.exe is used to modify the maximum data transfer size used by the HBA or mezzanine card. A help.txt file is located in the directory with the utility which provides additional information. The data transfer size functionality is available for both the FC and FCoE protocols. The new range of data transfer size values are 64 KB, 128 KB, 256 KB, and 512 KB.

  1. Execute the qlfc.exe utility without any arguments to display the following help content:

    • qlfc [-list] [-trace] [-tsize [/fc | /fcoe [/set [64 | 128 | 256 | default] ] ]] (QLogic FC Utility)

    • -list (List all HBA instances)

    • -trace (Capture driver trace of all HBA instances)

    • -tsize ( Show current transfer size setting for both fc & fcoe)

    • -tsize /fc (Show current transfer size setting for fc)

    • -tsize /fcoe & nbsp (Show current transfer size setting for fcoe)

    • -tsize /fc /set value (Set transfer size parameter for fc)

    • -tsize /fcoe /set value (Set transfer size parameter for fcoe)

      Examples:

      • c:\>qlfc -list

      • c:\>qlfc -trace

      • c:\>qlfc -tsize

      • c:\>qlfc -tsize /fc

      • c:\>qlfc -tsize /fc /set 128

      • c:\>qlfc -tsize /fc /set default

Brocade Driver

Brocade driver, version 2.3.0.2 or later, has been enhanced to allow the ability to optionally tune the data transfer size to values other than the default of 2048 KB.

The command line utility, \Program Files\HP\Brocade\util\bcu.exe is used to modify the maximum data transfer size bfa_max_xfer_len used by the HBA or mezzanine card. The new range of data transfer size values are 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384. All values represent the transfer size in kilobytes (KB).

  1. Execute the bcu.exe utility to set the value of bfa_max_xfer_len (default 2048):

    • bcu drvconf --key bfa_max_xfer_len [--val <64|128|256|512|1024|2048|4096|8192|16384>]

    Examples:

    • bcu drvconf --key bfa_max_xfer_len --val 64

    • bcu drvconf --key bfa_max_xfer_len --val 128

Proactive Updates

Receive support alerts (such as Customer Advisories), driver updates, software, firmware, and customer replaceable components, in your e-mail through HP Subscriber's Choice. Sign up for Subscriber's Choice Driver, Patch, Security, and Support alerts at the following URL: http://www.hp.com/go/myadvisory


Hardware Platforms Affected: HP 3000 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP 4000/6000/8000 Enterprise Virtual Arrays, HP 4100 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP 5000 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP 6100 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP 6400/8400 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP 8100 Enterprise Virtual Array, HP P6000/EVA Replication Software
Operating Systems Affected: Not Applicable
Software Affected: Not Applicable
Support Communication Cross Reference ID: IA02518189
©Copyright 2015 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
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