So as my comment-ors have indicated, linux is making my chest very hairy. The Gist:
Realtek ethernet boards suck. At least in linux. Replaced the realtek with a D-link 530T. I can now read from the RAID as fast as my single drives can write the incoming data, which on my 250gb is about 28MB/Sec. I can write to the raid at about 35MB/sec which is about as fast as my 250gb can read (with overhead). This is over FTP.
Samba still sucks, but in far less degrees. I can read from the raid at about 22MB/sec with samba, and my writes are about 15MB/sec. This is MUCH better than it was before, but still a far cry from FTP. FTP as it should, can upload faster than it can download due to me reading and writing from a single drive on the client machine. Samba cannot do this. From what I have read, samba should be able to come pretty close to FTP in terms of performance. I don’t think this is the case with gig-e networks, or I’m really missing something in the smb.conf as far as tuning goes. Especially on uploading. It will burst up to 20MB/s then fall to 4MB/sec then burst then fall. This is on a 7 gig file, so it’s not like I’m throwing a lot of little files at it. I should be able to sustain from pretty good rates, and FTP does exceedingly well in this department.
While on the warpath today, I came upon a number of posts about people who’s 2.6.4 boxen were locking up just like mine. It’s the realtek driver that’s doing it. There is a patch for the code to prevent the crashing, but it doesn’t make up for the crappy performance. While looking around, I also located a number of posts complaining about that as well. Turns out that instead of searching for “8110s slow” (the chipset is RTK 8110s) I should have been searching for “r8169 slow” as the r8169 is the driver module that is loaded at boot. When I searched for that, I found more than a couple references. I’m assuming that this problem is not present in windows, or I would have seen many more posts. It’s too bad the linux driver is lame. But $40 has saved me from lameness (if I was less impulsive I could have gotten it from newegg for $25). I would be temped to return this one to Frys and order it from them if avoiding the pain of a Fry’s return wasn’t worth so much more than $15. Don’t buy the 530tx+ though, those are based on the realtek chipset.
For those who are curious, ph34r my b0nni3 scores ph00l
Bonnie 1.4: File ‘./Bonnie.2140’, size: 536870912, volumes: 1 Writing with putc()… done: 15745 kB/s 84.6 %CPU Rewriting… done: 43984 kB/s 32.7 %CPU Writing intelligently… done: 73106 kB/s 24.3 %CPU Reading with getc()… done: 14922 kB/s 90.1 %CPU Reading intelligently… done: 145488 kB/s 62.5 %CPU