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I/O performance issues on 2.4.23 SMP system

I am following up a message sent to this list:
# Subject: severe I/O performance issues on 2.4.22 SMP system
# From: Daniel Erat <dan-debian-isp@erat.org>
# Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 12:38:38 -0800

I have a server running dual 2.66Ghz Xeons and 4GB RAM, in a PenguinComputing Relion 230S system. It has a 3ware RAID card with 3 120GB SATA drives in RAID5. It is currently running Debian 3.0 w/ vanilla kernel 2.4.23, HIGHMEM4G=y, HIGHIO=y, SMP=y, ACPI=y. I see the problem with APCI and HT turned off OR if I leave them on.

I think my problem is perhaps the same as Mr. Erat's.

Basically, I/O on this box sucks. A good example of the problem is the compared import of identical data to mysql. On this box, importing a dataset takes roughly 20 minutes. On another dev server (single Athlon 2Ghz, 1GB RAM, software RAID5 over Firewire), with identical mysql and dataset, the same import takes roughly 4.5 minutes.

So, I have a couple of questions because this box made it to production before the problem was discovered and I can't test as I'd like.
* If I were to use 64GB HIGHMEM support. Would this problem go away?
* Is the I/O patch referenced (by Ingo Molnar) available for 2.4.24?
  OR is the patch going to be in the kernel anytime soon?
* Is the patch available individually, if so, where can it be found? I googled quite a bit, but didn't find anything definite.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Benjamin Sherman
Iowa Interactive, Inc

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