Cliff writes:
> I'm running image loading tests and I am noticing that it 
> takes about 10 minutes to load an 8 gig VCL image from the 
> storage appliance.

  My experience is from 8 to 18 minutes to load a (bare metal) image
depending on the size of the image.  (This is one reason to make images
somewhat single purpose and to strip out what's not needed.)  VMware
guest images load considerably faster.

> We are using a 1G backbone on the system, and some of the 
> people backing our test program are wondering if we can speed 
> this up a bit since they are uncomfortable with the 10 minute 
> load times.

  My understanding is that there are a number of factors at play, the
backbone, the I/O of the disks and the computers, ...

  We treat this as a "cultural" issue, and try to get users to
understand that they either should make an advanced reservation (very
few do :-) or do something else in the 10 or so minutes.

  Since people are already on a computer, most of them can easily spend
the time on their e-mail, web surfing, whatever.  (A not-uncommon result
is that they forget about their reservation and it times out before they
check it. :-)

  The one time this wait for loading is really not acceptable is for a
scheduled class - and that's the reason for the Block Reservation which
allows the multiple reservations for the class to be loaded in advance
so they are availble for login at the specified time.  Then there is no
load needed, and it takes only about a minute for the login process.

> Are these speeds OK? What are you all experiencing? 
> Do we need to drop a few G's on a 10G backbone?

  Somebody else should discuss what good this might do, and perhaps also
discuss the types of disks that can be used and speeds.
--henry schaffer

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