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Re: Serial ATA Hardware RAID recommendations?

On 5 Nov 2005, at 3:25, Henrique de Moraes Holschuh wrote:

On Fri, 04 Nov 2005, Chris Boot wrote:
1. Take 5/6 SATA disks for RAID 5/6/10
2. Allow them to be hot-plugged (with or without Jeff Garzik's
in-progress SATA hotplug patches)
3. Do the work in hardware

Then you certainly won't need any patch, as the hotplugging will be done by
the SATA RAID controller :-)

That's what I thought, but you never know. :-)

I'd suggest one that handles saf-te enclosures, and a saf-te enclosure
(hotswap bay) to go with it.

That certainly would be the way to go. Can anyone recommend hardware vendors that will sell hotplug SATA servers that can take quite a few (6) drives? I've looked at Dell but they seem very attached to SCSI, and HP's site just confuses me. Any others?

All I've done previously is software RAID 10 which I'm happy with, but
I'm now building a high-performance database / file server and don't
want the machine spending time calculating parity and so on.

AFAIK RAID10 requires any parity calculation. What the hardware controller will give you is easier hotplugging, better SAF-TE support, and more SATA ports. If it is not a good RAID controller, you could easily actually lose
performance in every RAID level.

For RAID 5 and RAID 6, AFAIK if you want good performance you need a damn good RAID controller, the type that have IOP321 or IOP331 processors at the
very least, and a lot of onboard battery-backed SDRAM in it.

Well, so far the options seem to be:

* 3Ware Escalade 9xxx
I've heard bad things about these on LKML, mostly to do with broken / slow firmware with recent kernels. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

* Adaptec 2810SA and family
These have an Intel 80303 and 64MB SDRAM with battery backup.

* Intel SRCS28X
These have the mentioned IOP331 and 128MB of SDRAM with battery backup. Sounds nice, and cheaper than the Adaptec cards.

Does anyone have any experience with these in particular they might like to share?

Many thanks,

Chris Boot

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