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RAID Cards - Question about Mini-SAS connectors

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Quick question for you all.

When a RAID card says it has 2 x 4 port Mini-SAS connectors but then says you can attached a few hundred hard drives via expander cards, how does this work exactly, because surely by attaching an expander with more that 4 drives will be bottlenecked by the 4 port Mini-SAS connector on the RAID card anyway?
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post #2 of 11
Each mini SAS connector is a 4x6Gbit path for data. That gives a theoretical 24Gbit path for data per connection. If you look at most drives random read and write performance, 24Gbit is more than enough for random IO for hundreds of drives. Think about a 15k SAS drive, spec'd at 180IOPS. If each IO is 4k, each drive can provide less than 800KB/sec of IO. 24Gbit sounds like a lot of bandwidth. If you start looking at sequential throughput then there is more bandwidth that will be used, but it is still a sufficiently big number. SAS3 providing 12Gbit/sec essentially doubles those numbers also.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply. You mention they are 4 x 6Gbps paths, however why are they marketed as 4 port Mini-SAS connectors?
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverswish View Post

Thank you for your reply. You mention they are 4 x 6Gbps paths, however why are they marketed as 4 port Mini-SAS connectors?

what raid card are you looking at??

The reason they are marketed as 4 port mini-sas connectors is this is how most of the people will use the, to connect a expander you will use a differant type of sas cable but it still has mini-sas connectors this is a SFF-8087 connector. and the raid card probably comes with the SFF-8087 to 4 sata/sas connectors also called a SFF-8087 fan out or break out cable.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Not looking at a specific RAID card but most are marketed as 4 port cards/8 port cards etc.

Thanks for your explanation thumb.gif

Can you recommend me a cheap RAID card with compatible expander card that supports SATA 3 and SAS? (Both the RAID and expander card will be in the same server).
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post #6 of 11
@OP

Any internal LSI RAID card will do you well. Hit eBay for a look-see. smile.gif
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post #7 of 11
I had looked at a lsi 9260-8I / 9261/8I, I know it supports 8X hdd in RAID and it is excatly what I want.
If I'm not mistaken it has a 800MHZ cpu couppled with 512MB of RAM which is awesome to have

http://www.amazon.com/SAS9260-8I-Raid-8PORT-sata-512MB/dp/B002IT4YG2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816118104

If we look at data sheets. this one only supports 8X hdds in raid0 though. Any more hdds in raid would require a more expensive raid card
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwamotto Tetsuz View Post

I had looked at a lsi 9260-8I / 9261/8I, I know it supports 8X hdd in RAID and it is excatly what I want.
If I'm not mistaken it has a 800MHZ cpu couppled with 512MB of RAM which is awesome to have

http://www.amazon.com/SAS9260-8I-Raid-8PORT-sata-512MB/dp/B002IT4YG2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816118104

If we look at data sheets. this one only supports 8X hdds in raid0 though. Any more hdds in raid would require a more expensive raid card

Actually you can have a lot more than 8 drives in raid 0 you just have to use a expander card!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by seross69 View Post

Actually you can have a lot more than 8 drives in raid 0 you just have to use a expander card!
http://techpubs.sgi.com/library/manuals/0000/860-0502-001/pdf/860-0502-001.pdf

Quote:
9240-4i RAID controller, the maximum number of drive groups per controller is eight,
which is based on the maximum number of physical devices that you can connected
Got counfused with this explnation

So I didn't read through carefully before.

the 9260-8i supports 128drives in raid maximum
post #10 of 11
OK so the LSI 9260-8i can have up to 8 RAID groups, and a maximum of 32-drives per RAID group. Therefore, 128 drives maximum.

SAS allows you to hook up THOUSANDS of disks in a SAS network if you really wanted to, although there are practical reasons and limitations to that. It's a switched device infrastructure, much like Fiberchannel, in that each initiator and each target has an address (World-Wide-Name, WWN) and can talk to any other device on the network as long as the device isn't already configured as an exclusive connection somewhere else.

BTW there is no way I'd hook up 32-drives in a single RAID group. Even with RAID 6 your opportunity for failure during recovery is great.

What is your end purpose for this?

Greg
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