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Re: SATA Silicon Image 3114 support for A64 images ?

On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 04:15:14PM +0300, eternalnewbee wrote:
> Naturally you are not responsible for the evils in the world :-)
> so don't take this as a personal world :-) But, to have to buy
> another card just to be able to run Debian is sort of an overkill,
> isn't it?

Well I wouldn't use the raid feature of that card in the first place.  I
would either buy a 3ware raid card, or use software raid.

If Sil won't release official specs on how to talk to their proprietary
raid, that is their (and any customer of them) problem.  Having to
reverse engineer everything is just too much hassle, especially when
linux software raid performs better than their software raid.

> I could not agree more. Except that, I was not spoilt for choice,
> this is a dual Opteron box (Tyan K8W) and at the time there were
> not a lot of producers that supplied this.

True, but I still think if you want raid and dual boot, buy a real
supported hardware raid card.  Those with binary only proprietary
modules have a tendancy to only provide drivers for a few versions of
redhat and suse, and often break when you try to change the kernel
version at all.  And if the maker ever decides those linux drivers
aren't worth maintaining, you are stuck with a useless raid or using an
old kernel and distribution forever.  Of course they could release the
specifications and let an open source driver be written and included in
the kernel, but apparently they think raid is special knowledge that
can't be shared, even though there are already better implementations
out there in open source.

> Why not?

It is slower, and you can't move it to another raid card trivially.
With linux software raid you can move to another controller at any time.
That is certainly a problem of any hardware raid although when people
buy high end hardware raid cards they tend to be able to get
replacements for many years.

> The lowly Windows has been doing just fine with SiI; why is it not
> recommended under Linux?

The raid performance I have seen in reviews have been much worse under
windows than under linux.  And of course windows doesn't by default come
with software raid support (except the high end versions).

> CPU cycles?

It uses more than md raid.

> What if I have sufficient cycles, but need as many PCI slots as I
> can together with RAID protection?

You can't spare one slot for raid?

> Having to purchase another PCI card just to be able to have RAID
> does not only cost more, but it also means I have one PCI slot less..

Well you could scrap windows.  Toy desktops dual boot, very few real use
machines run more than one OS.  Well at least in my experience that is.

perhaps one could run a software raid on one pair of disks for linux,
and proprietary raid on another pair for windows.

Len Sorensen

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