Which Hardware RAID Controller

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Which Hardware RAID Controller

Postby jdtate101 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:41 am

Whilst upgrading to SuSE 10, I will do a fresh install, then recover data off usb external drive. I was thinking of upgrading to a Hardware RAID 5 solution of SATA disks (4 x 250GB Hitachi disks). What cards would people recommend? I want card to do the XOR parity calculation in hardware (most still do it via CPU), be supported in the latest kernels (2.6.11 -> ), and allow booting off the array.
Ubuntu Edgy & Beryl on:

AMD X2 4800+
4GB Corsair TWINX RAM
1.2TB RAID0 SATA2 (3ware RAID)
2 x Seagate 400GB USB2
Dual Layer DVD-RW
Nvidia 7800GT
2 x Viewsonic VP201b TFT
Iomega Rev Internal
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RE: Which Hardware RAID Controller

Postby drws » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:03 am

I haven't looked into if this card does a lot work on the CPU but check out 3ware. (www.3ware.com)
I've got a 4-port and a 8-port 9xxx series card (drivers either from 3ware or included in 2.6.9->)
The driver can also update the firmware on the card at the same time.

I've got them in servers running 64-bit RedHat Enterprise linux on dual AMd opterons, and the CPU usage is low (average <10% with 50 NFS clients read/write access over gigabit)
The servers boot from the card, and linux only sees one big hard disk, which means every partition can reside on the raid5.
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RE: Which Hardware RAID Controller

Postby jdtate101 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:29 am

From the 3ware site...HARDWARE only :)

All 3ware products incorporate an onboard processor for true hardware RAID performance. Software RAID schemes use the system processor, occupy host memory, and consume CPU cycles. RAID reliability is compromised with software RAID, as the RAID system is vulnerable to an operating system corruption or crash. Performance measurements demonstrate that software RAID can rob the system of as much as 25% of its CPU cycles processing the RAID calculations instead of managing your applications.
Ubuntu Edgy & Beryl on:

AMD X2 4800+
4GB Corsair TWINX RAM
1.2TB RAID0 SATA2 (3ware RAID)
2 x Seagate 400GB USB2
Dual Layer DVD-RW
Nvidia 7800GT
2 x Viewsonic VP201b TFT
Iomega Rev Internal
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jdtate101
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:49 am
Location: Birmingham

RE: Which Hardware RAID Controller

Postby jdtate101 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:34 am

Sorry also worth mentioning that this is for a high end workstation, 32bit not 64bit PCI.
Ubuntu Edgy & Beryl on:

AMD X2 4800+
4GB Corsair TWINX RAM
1.2TB RAID0 SATA2 (3ware RAID)
2 x Seagate 400GB USB2
Dual Layer DVD-RW
Nvidia 7800GT
2 x Viewsonic VP201b TFT
Iomega Rev Internal
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jdtate101
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Posts: 115
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:49 am
Location: Birmingham

RE: Which Hardware RAID Controller

Postby ollie » Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:10 am

This review may help - SATA RAID Review. However they all look to be PCI-X or the lonely PCIe version - I haven't seen any that are 32-bit PCI for a while now due to the data transfer rate limitations. One SATA-II drive can pump out more data than a PCI slot can really handle - SATA RAID.

Hope this helps 8)
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RE: Which Hardware RAID Controller

Postby Farslayer » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:34 am

Typically PCI cards are backwards compatible a 64 bit PCI card should plug into a 32 bit slot (part of the card edge will hang out of the slot) but the card will still function properly.

A 32-bit PCI card features 124 pins for mating with a slot on a system’s motherboard, and will fit into either a 32-bit or 64-bit slot (although data transfer will be 32-bit in either type of slot).

A 64-bit PCI card features 184 pins for mating with the appropriate slot on a system’s motherboard, but can generally fit into a 32-bit slot as well, as long as features on the motherboard do not interfere. When installed in a 32-bit slot, data transfer on a 64-bit card will be limited to 32-bit.


So don't let the card edge hold you back.. feel free to shoot 3ware an email to verify what I told ya.. I have several adaptec SCSI cards running like this in my servers and have not had any troubles..
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