Subject: Re: PCI Raid controllers
To: Mark Randelhoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Chuck Swiger <email@example.com>
Date: 07/14/2004 13:34:56
Mark Randelhoff wrote:
> Please would someone recommend a fairly recently released PCI SATA
> (hardware) raid controller. I am looking for a controller that will
> support up to 8 drives.
What are your priorities for this RAID setup? Choose one or two out of
"performance", "reliability", and "cost".
> I have tried the 3ware Escalade 9000 series and found that NetBSD does
> not support it. The local vendor no longer supplies the 8000 series
> controllers as they appear to be end of line. (I tried adding the pci
> ids for the 9000 but still would not work). There is a FreeBSD driver
> for the card and I have looked at porting it - but frankly - I am out of
> my depth here. Is anyone planning to integrate a driver for this card in
> the future ??
One of the FreeBSD committers is a 3ware engineer, so the twe driver receives
lots of love and attention. If you were running FreeBSD, the 3ware
controllers would be a good way to go. The Highpoint and Promise controllers
are also reasonable choices for software-based RAID-1 and -0, but they don't
have the hardware checksum support for RAID-5 that the 3ware line does.
Avoid the Silicon Image brand.
Also, someone else's comments with regard to PCI bus limitations are worth
considering. 8 drives is more than most RAID controllers can handle without
bottlenecking, unless you switch to 64-bit PCI or PCI-X. You might want to
consider dedicated RAID platforms instead of a custom-built NetBSD solution:
something like Apple's Xserve RAID box does up to 14 SATA drives, and uses
fibre channel as the transport, which puts you much closer to a SAN or NAS