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On Sun, Nov 24, 2002 at 09:14:14PM +0100, Russell Coker wrote:
> 3ware RAID arrays are affordable and deliver quite satisfactory
> performance.  Usually they are limited by PCI speeds (last time I
> checked they didn't support 66MHz 64bit PCI).

the key is that you need to use cards like these if you want decent
performance out of a multi-drive IDE system.  that's not such a bad
thing, because these cards are relatively inexpensive.

the one thing NOT to do is to have more than one drive per IDE channel.
i.e. don't have IDE slave devices (including disks, tapes, cdroms, etc),
have only master drives on a dedicated IDE controller.  either use a
bunch of cheap PCI IDE controllers (some have as many as 4 per card,
most have 2) to get enough IDE channels for your drives or use something
like the 3ware raid cards which have one IDE controller for each drive.


ps: i still prefer SCSI - a good scsi raid setup will beat a good ide
raid setup anyday (but it will cost more), and i know that i'm using
equipment designed for heavy server loads rather than light desktop

the price difference between SCSI & IDE is actually increasing.  there
are some huge IDE drives available now at reasonable prices, but the
SCSI versions of the same sizes are a) often delayed for at least
several months and b) not reasonably priced.

pps: last time i needed to build a large raid array for a fileserver, i
priced both IDE and SCSI solutions.  the SCSI solution was about $15000
all up (server, external drive box, drives, raid controller, etc).  the
equivalent IDE solution was about $13000.  i ended up deciding that scsi
was worth the extra $2000.  

btw, prices are in australian dollars, $AUD1.00 is somewhere around $US0.55

these days, i may have chosen differently because i could probably have
got twice the storage capacity for the same price with IDE.

craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
 -- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch

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