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Upgrade from Perc5 to ?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hello there.
I am running a raid5 array on my system that is also an HTPC and use it to store my bluray movie ISOs, so I need a lot of space and some kind of safety. Raid5 is doing the job just fine.

Currently I got a Dell Perc5i with 8x Seagate 7200.11 1.5tb drives. So usable space is 10.5tb and I am almost full.

I want to upgrade my space, but am also thinking of upgrading the controller to a new one.
The main reasons are those :

1) Perc does not support OCE by changing each drive with a bigger one (letting it rebuild each time), it only supports adding a same drive to the chain. If you change the drives to bigger ones, you cannot grow the VD to cover the new space, you can only create another VD in that space. This makes expansion rather painfull as now I am capped at the max 8 drives and cannot expand at all.

2) Perc as most controllers out there, does not support >2tb physical drives. So even if I find a way to temporarily save all my data and create a new array from scratch, I can only go up to 2tb drives which gives me a max of 14tb....enough for now, but not for later...

So, I am considering buying a new adapter that will sole the 2 above problems, but searching online is very difficult to find information on them, because they only list OCE as a feature but they don't tell you if it works both ways, and they usually mention >2tb logical drive support, which as far as I understand only means the VD can be >2tb which is old news, I think they should list >2tb PHYSICAL drive support right? Well noone does that even though some controllers DO support bigger drives.

The only helpful think I've found online is this list seagate has with the controllers compatible with their 3tb drive :


but I assume, there are more that DO support bigger drives...

I don't want to spend a lot of money, because perc5 was rather cheap and honestly if I were to spend ~500$ on a raid5 controller, I may as well invest them on extra hard disks and have a 1:1 backup in my closet. I am prepared to sacrifice speed in order to decrease cost, but it would be nice to stay at or above the perc5 levels so as not to feel like a downgrade. And because it's a new controller, sata3 (6gps) would be wellcome (although useless since I am gonna use mechanical disks and they only just broke SATA1 levels...)

So basically, I need :
1) 8 internal sata 2/3 slots
2) pci express x4/x8
3) good OCE (explained above)
4) >2tb physical drive support

My plan is to put 8 x 2tb drives right now and be able to upgrade each one to a 3tb later on when cost allows me to...

From the seagate list, the LSI 9240 seems to cover my needs, and its cost (around 300$ is basically the max I can offer. There is also the highpoint 2680 in that list that is VERY tempting in price (~100$) but I don't know about its capacity expansion capabilities and I feel it might be a downgrade from the perc in performance.

Give me your thoughts and opinions....and suggest any other controllers please (and sorry for the huge post!)
post #2 of 2
Take a look at PERC H700 and H800. It can be bit pricey but as for as I know that's worth it. Newer Dell PERCs do use LSI chips but are actually designed to work in highly productive environments.
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