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RAID controller for RAID 5 array

Discussion in 'Storage' started by ult_nrg, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. ult_nrg New Member

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    Hi all

    I'm looking at upgrading my server as I have run out of storage space (single 128GB boot SSD + 2TB HDD)

    I'm looking at getting an 8 port RAID 5 controller and 3x 3TB disks. Now I would like to be able to purchase a 3TB disk in the future and be able to expand the RAID 5 array without having to rebuild the array (i.e. just expand the storage from 6TB to 9TB when putting in a new drive). Is this possible at all?

    Also of course I do have a budget, the cheaper will be the better. I’m trying to get the card in the $150 range.

    I have been looking at the following RAID controller cards:

    Intel SRCSAS18E:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-SRCSA...EN_Servers&hash=item588686ae7d#ht_2922wt_1110

    Intel SASMF8I :
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-SASMF...RAID_Cards&hash=item58935fa2c1#ht_2067wt_1110

    Are either of these any good? I’m not after anything for super speed or anything, my primary need is extra space followed by redundancy. I was originally going to get a ‘hardware assisted’ (software) RocketRaid RAID card for $100 but I have read that they are horribly slow (as in, max ~20MB/s). I wouldn’t mind something around the 100-120MB/s mark.

    Also before RAID 1+0 is recommended; while I would love to do this, I simply can’t justify/afford the extra cost for it. The super important stuff is backed up onto the boot SSD drive, and everything is on the primary computers anyway (this server is the backup solution).

    Finally other than the RAID card, are there any particularly good 3TB drives for RAID5? Should I be looking at 7200RPM or 5400RPM? While I want it to be as power efficient as possible (as it runs 24/7), I have read that there are problems with the 5400RPM (‘green’) drives that they turn off when not in use which is painful for RAID5. Is this true?

    Thanks! :D
     
  2. Albuquerque New Member

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    Look into the Highpoint 2720SGL card -- a 2-port SAS PCI-E 2.0 8x card for $160 that does really well for RAID0, RAID5 and RAID6 speeds. I'm using two (search for posts by me): one for a 6-drive RAID0 array that does over 2GB/sec with a stack of SSD drives, and another for an 8-drive RAID6 configuration that does 500Mb/sec reads and writes with a stack of 1TB laptop drives.

    Keep in mind that ANY hardware RAID card (no matter how much you pay for it) requires a motherboard that has enough firmware memory reservation to allow booting -- if you want to boot from it. I'm using it as a data array for my Z77-based server (the RAID6 1Tb x 8) and a boot array on my X79 gaming rig (the RAID0 6 x 240GB SSD).

    Edit: Here, the final specs on my RAID6 array with this card: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2631039&postcount=45

    And it was on a different forum, but here's my post about my RAID0 array with this card: http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware...s-your-ssd-performance-2-a-3.html#post1852651
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
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  3. ult_nrg New Member

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    Thanks for the reply :)

    That 2720SGL is a hardware-assisted card right?

    My primary concern at the moment is adding disks to an already created array (without having to rebuild the array). Do you have insight on that?
     
  4. Steevo

    Steevo

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    You might as well forget moving the disks in their current state to a new controller if you have an array/data you want to keep.

    I like my card, it does very well and will run RAID 5, I am currently using two RAID 0 arrays (I know it isn't actual RAID since there is no redundancy), and it flies, and has 0 issues with large drives.

    It comes with the boot interrupt configured so it will take over your boot, you could mirror the data to the new array and run from there.


    Adding disks to an existing array is no issue, most of the newer on board controllers allow for online RAID and data migration, add the spare, initialize it, and tell it to build new array while keeping data intact.
     
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  5. ult_nrg New Member

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    Ah I don't need to do this, currently just have a single 2TB disk that I will migrate to a new array that i'll build with completely new disks (literally just need to copy the data off it and paste it on the new array once built).

    This is what I am after. Are you 100% sure of this? Is there a 'name' (i.e. a feature) that I can look for when looking for RAID controllers?
     
  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I have two RocketRAID 2300 cards and I can tell you whoever said they were slow doesn't know what they are talking about. My 3 drive RAID5 arrays easily sustains over 100MB/s, usually over 110MB/s.
     
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  7. Steevo

    Steevo

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    I haven't seen a controller that hasn't supported it since 2005, at least none that were worth a damn.

    Online RAID migration.

    HighPoint RocketRAID 2640X4 SGL PCI-Express x4 SAT...


    Cheapest card I would recommend, it is only Sata II so SSD's will suffer if you plan on using them later.


    http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1616/highpoint_rocketraid_2640x4_pci_e_sas_controller/index3.html


    It does OK for speeds, but consumes 8% of CPU during RAID 5 writes as it is a software based controller.


    If you are looking for hardware based RAID you will spend two to three times as much for the same features on a card.
     
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  8. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Linux or Windows?
     
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  9. ult_nrg New Member

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    Hmm right, that's also with an e8500, so 8% isn't that much at all. And that's good news about the data migration :D

    Yeah after reading some reviews, they don't seem too bad!

    WHS 2011
     

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