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Which RAID card should I get?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
HighPoint 2720 + (2) Adaptec 2236700-R

$236.97 + $73.12 = $310.09 (Including shipping)

OR

LSI 9240-8i
(cables included)

$304.99 (free shipping)

The cost difference is basically
negligible. 3 Seagate ES.2 500GB's in RAID1 (don't judge me) and 5 Samsung 1TB HD103SJ's in RAID5.

Performance isn't too big of an issue. I've heard great things about both controllers. They both seem like they'll do what I want.

Suggestions?
post #2 of 11
you know you can't put 3 drives in RAID1, right?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 11
you can quote Wikipedia all you like - try setting it up on a controller and you'll find they won't allow it.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
you can quote Wikipedia all you like - try setting it up on a controller and you'll find they won't allow it.


OP, what kind of load are you expecting?
If it's just a home environment you could easily get away with software RAID.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post


OP, what kind of load are you expecting?
If it's just a home environment you could easily get away with software RAID.
Well, unfortunately software RAID won't let me have my doubly redundant RAID1. There's going to be a noticeable load. I'm running 5 virtual servers and 3 virtual test clients and everything's installed on a single ES.2 500 right now. IT'S INCREDIBLY SLOW IN TERMS OF HDD SPEED. I'm actually debating getting another 500 and using RAID 1+0/0+1 or just dumping the idea of RAID1 and going with RAID5 (Any reason to pick one over the others?).

It's not a high availability machine, but it'll be running active directory, a website, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and a small business's SQL database (only as a backup).

So yes, I could get away with software RAID, but it'd be unrealistically slow... like it is now.
post #7 of 11
why not just get one of these with 2 sas to sata cables?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-Perc5I-SAS-...item3363fcb1ba
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post #8 of 11
i think another drive + raid 10 is going to be your best bet.
    
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
:sigh:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post
Well, unfortunately software RAID won't let me have my doubly redundant RAID1. There's going to be a noticeable load. I'm running 5 virtual servers and 3 virtual test clients and everything's installed on a single ES.2 500 right now. IT'S INCREDIBLY SLOW IN TERMS OF HDD SPEED. I'm actually debating getting another 500 and using RAID 1+0/0+1 or just dumping the idea of RAID1 and going with RAID5 (Any reason to pick one over the others?).

It's not a high availability machine, but it'll be running active directory, a website, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and a small business's SQL database (only as a backup).

So yes, I could get away with software RAID, but it'd be unrealistically slow... like it is now.
Actually, software RAID is the ONLY way you will get your doubly redundant RAID. As I said, you can read what you like on WikiPedia, but if you don't either listen to people who actually use these controllers or at very least consult the manufacturers you will end up disappointed. You CANNOT set up your triple redundant array on a hardware controller. They won't do it. 2 drives mirroring each other is the only RAID1 option (although newer LSI controllers will also do a RAID1 with multiple drives, but you need an even number of matched drives and the drives are only mirrored once, so it's like a RAID1 JBOD).

If you don't believe me you can look at this presentation from LSI about there controllers. Note the section on RAID1:

Quote:
It is important to note that current LSI RAID controllers supports two-drive RAID 1 configurations only.
Now I believe Windows RAID won't let you do double mirroring. But you can do it with *nix software RAID - which contrary to your impressions is not a low speed option. In fact you can build much faster arrays using decent software implementations than you can with the best hardware setups. It's worth noting that proper software RAID isn't the same as the fakeRAID setups you get on your motherboard though, and you won't be able to stick with Windows for your OS as Windows RAID implementations are terrible. However if you have mixed reads & write loads the performance is largely irrelevant - going with 2 or 3 drives in RAID1 won't offer any performance benefit. You will only see an advantage over your current single disk setup if your usage is mainly for reads, as RAID1 cannot speed up writes at all.

For your setup you would be best off if you separate your drives rather than trying to use RAID. If this machine doesn't require high availability then 3 separate drives plus regular backups to lessen the effects of hardware failures would easily be your highest performing option.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
:sigh:



Actually, software RAID is the ONLY way you will get your doubly redundant RAID. As I said, you can read what you like on WikiPedia, but if you don't either listen to people who actually use these controllers or at very least consult the manufacturers you will end up disappointed. You CANNOT set up your triple redundant array on a hardware controller. They won't do it. 2 drives mirroring each other is the only RAID1 option (although newer LSI controllers will also do a RAID1 with multiple drives, but you need an even number of matched drives and the drives are only mirrored once, so it's like a RAID1 JBOD).

If you don't believe me you can look at this presentation from LSI about there controllers. Note the section on RAID1:



Now I believe Windows RAID won't let you do double mirroring. But you can do it with *nix software RAID - which contrary to your impressions is not a low speed option. In fact you can build much faster arrays using decent software implementations than you can with the best hardware setups. It's worth noting that proper software RAID isn't the same as the fakeRAID setups you get on your motherboard though, and you won't be able to stick with Windows for your OS as Windows RAID implementations are terrible. However if you have mixed reads & write loads the performance is largely irrelevant - going with 2 or 3 drives in RAID1 won't offer any performance benefit. You will only see an advantage over your current single disk setup if your usage is mainly for reads, as RAID1 cannot speed up writes at all.

For your setup you would be best off if you separate your drives rather than trying to use RAID. If this machine doesn't require high availability then 3 separate drives plus regular backups to lessen the effects of hardware failures would easily be your highest performing option.
So what you're saying is I should also look at RAID 1E; as explained in the ppt:

"Shares the characteristics of RAID 1, but allows more than two drives, including odd numbers of drives
If one of the drives fails, the controller switches read and write requests to the remaining functional drives in the RAID level-1E array."

What would be better for me do you think, RAID 5 or 1E? I'm not 100% on the difference.
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